A Real Rowan County Feud – Ted Chestnut vs. Dick Parman

Been working through some of the royalty statements Gennett sent to Doc Roberts from the Berea College Doc Roberts Collection.  I cannot start this work until I read through the letters Roberts kept from some of his fellow musicians, including Ted Chestnut.  Seems there was quite a row between Chestnut and Dick Parman.  I just wanted to share a passage from one of Chestnut’s letters to Roberts from 1928.

“If Dick is still darned sure I owe him and so darned set on collecting it, I don’t see why he hasn’t got guts enough to tell me about it.  If he ever names it to you again you tell him to say something to me about it.  I’m going to London the last of this month and I’m going to hunt him up and find out what its all about.  Just tell him attach my rep (?) once and I’ll attack him to the hospital for about 6 months.  I’m plumb sick and tired of his lying and crookedness.  He has tried every way to knock me since I’ve been with you and now I reckon he’s trying to make you think I’m as dishonest as he is.”

Makes you think, Chestnut is drawing from this experience on his 1928 recording of “Rowan County Feud” featuring Doc Roberts and Asa Martin.  It appeared on Gennett 6513 and Champion 15524.

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