Good ole mountain folk.
Tangentially, I started to watch this a ways back when it was mentioned on BB. Couldn’t get through it, it might have had genuine sincere intent but felt like gross poverty porn, not so much wild and wonderful.
I’ve seen too many docs about the men in this family and, in the end, they just come off as shitty, manipulative, abusive criminals even though the documentarians are so rapt as to describe all of their criminality in passive tones with a deep thread of “lost cause” romanticism. Their only real distcintion is that they have tap shoes that they can use as well as any 13 year old in tap class. Whatever.
And as for their claims to be the “best dancers” (presumably) in the south, well the record shows otherwise. But these folk are Black, so maybe they don’t count until a white man shows them the right way:
Bojangles Robinson, VA
John W Bubbles, KY
The Nicholas Brothers, NC
And local legend Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, originally from South Carolina before founding (one of?) the only Catskills resorts for Black tourists. Not only was he more talented than the Whites, he was a better dancer with one leg!
Oh, and he was 60 when that clip was filmed.
I have a VHS dub of this documentary that I used to spring on people late at night when we were partying. The woman who would eventually become my wife and I, to this day, threaten one another over “sloppy, slimy eggs” (we are joking, I promise you).
In retrospect it’s sad how fucked up the whole White clan was on pills.
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