The Rackensack Folklore Society Salutes Local Music Heritage on Saturday, 2 August at 7 p.m. in the Ozark Heritage Arts Center at 410 Oak Street in Leslie! Admission is FREE, however donations will be solicited for the Ozark Heritage Arts Center. This VERY special night of music will honor Jimmy Driftwood, Frankia Stills Treat, Elton Britt, and fiddlers Absie and Abbie Morrison.
Abbie Sherman Morrison and his twin brother Absie Sheridan Morrison were born and raised in the Searcy County community of Campbell, Arkansas. The brothers played at the first Arkansas Folk Festival in Mountain View in 1962. Absie also won the Burl Ives award one year, and played at the Grand Ole Opry. Absie’s fiddle is on display at the Ozark Heritage Art Center in Leslie.
Searcy County native Elton Britt (born James Elton Baker) had the very first country music performance to be awarded a gold record for selling more than a million copies with “There’s a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere.” In addition, according to the “Cleveland American” newspaper, Britt once won the world championship as a yodeler.
Jimmy Driftwood was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and his song “The Battle of New Orleans” won a Grammy in 1960 for Song of the Year. He wrote over 6,000 songs and is a member of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. Driftwood graduated from Marshall High School in 1928 and later worked in the Snowball School.
Another Searcy County native and recording artist Frankia Stills Treat earned gold, platinum, and double platinum albums for writing a song on Country star John Anderson’s Seminole Winds album. She was also a writer for Buck Owens’ Blue Book Music. Her son Mason Treat was a drummer for John Anderson’s band and also earned gold, platinum, and double platinum albums for Seminole Winds.
Rackensack is comprised of a group of musicians, storytellers and friends who are dedicated to the preservation of the performance of old time traditional folk music of the Ozarks. The acoustic music in Rackensack is comprised of a group of musicians, storytellers and friends who are dedicated to the preservation of the performance of old time traditional folk music of the Ozarks. The acoustic music is performed with fiddles, guitars, banjos, dulcimers, harmonicas, bass tubs and other instruments of our forefathers. The Pulaski County Chapter of the Rackensack Folklore Society was formed in 1963 as a sister to the original chapter organized in Mountain View. Jimmy Driftwood of Timbo, was the founder of the Rackensack Folklore Society of Mountain View and was the inspiration for the founding of the Pulaski County Chapter.
Come hear special tributes to our local music talents and visit with the families of these stars of yesteryear! Brought to you by The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, please call 870-448-2557. Some of the material for this article obtained from The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, and the Rackensack Folklore Society website.