Whittlin’ and Fiddlin’ My Own Way by Violet Hensley with Randall Franks

243b2f156cbb02b5520e5fda9858df7c_plf5Whittlin’ and Fiddlin’ My Own Way by Violet Hensley with Randall Franks


“Whittlin’ and Fiddlin’ My Own Way: The Violet Hensley Story” reflects nearly a century of experiences through the eyes of Silver Dollar City personality Violet Hensley.

“I never thought I would be writing about my life, my music and my fiddle makin’,” she said. “I could have never dreamed coming from a farm in the backwoods of Arkansas that the things I learned on that farm would make me a TV personality and gain me fame around the world.”

The Arkansas Living Treasure Award winner from Yellville, Arkansas learned to fiddle in 1928 and make fiddles watching her father George W. Brumley in the community of Alamo, Arkansas in 1932.

Hensley joined in a three-year effort with award-winning journalist and author Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode,” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” to complete her memoir.

“It was an amazing experience to work with Violet weekly to refine the experiences from her life and compile a book which not only reflects what many rural families endured in America in the 20th century but what was most unique about Violet as she grew artistically, to find folk music stardom at nearly 50.”

He said Hensley raised a family of nine with her late husband Adren while he moved the family from town to town and state to state.

“With the advent of the folk music revival, Violet’s blossoming musical and fiddle-making talents, caught the attention of Grammy ® winner Jimmy Driftwood and the owners of Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri,” he said. “She joined the crafter’s cast at Silver Dollar City in 1967, becoming part of the City’s celebrities who used radio, television, and newspapers to invite visitors to the amusement park.”

Peter Herschend, Herschend Family Entertainment co-founder and owner, said Violet is one of the City’s most unique citizens.

“In the early years of Silver Dollar City, Violet, Don Richardson and I, along with an interesting assortment of the City’s colorful characters, would spend weeks on the road together…all devoted to promoting SDC,” he said. “I came to know Violet for the amazing wonderful woman that she is. She would amaze us with stories of field plowing with her mules. Then a new Violet would seem to appear when she would sit for an interview with some grizzled reporter (reporters who probably didn’t believe she was real), and she would proceed to win them over with her charm, her skills as an artist, and her talent as a musician.’

Sharing her talents in front of millions, Hensley became one of the first woman fiddlers to reach a large international audience appearing at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife, festivals, colleges, and on countless local, regional and national television and radio shows such as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Captain Kangaroo,” and “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.” according to Franks.

“I hope folks will enjoy getting a glimpse at what my near century on this world has been,” she said. “It’s been a hoot so far and what’s even better is while the book is written – the story continues. I hope folks will join me for what is yet to come, they can start by reading the book.”

The 258-page soft cover book from Peach Picked Publishing includes 145 photos.


Silver Dollar City Folk Music Legend Violet Hensley shares 98 years of experiences from a backwoods farm to international folk music fame.

Snake Oil, Superstars and Me by “Doc” Tommy Scott, Randall Franks and Shirley Noe Sweisz

9781425991890_cover.inddSnake Oil, Superstars and Me 


“Doc” Tommy Scott, Shirley Noe Sweisz and Randall Franks
A 700- page autobiography with more than 500 photos highlighting Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott’s 90 years in Film, Television, Stage and Radio and all the superstars that were part of his life, show and career. We will pay postage and handling.


Tommy Scott (1917-2013) liked to tell the story of the time he met David Letterman, when the famous TV show host stormed off the stage because his own guest overshadowed him with his musical ramblings. Known for his rambling and roaming, this Hillbilly, western, country and bluegrass artist could never plant his roots in one place, so for a while he traveled and played the guitar, and later, he traveled and sold a cure-all remedy known as snake oil. The  entrepreneur, artist, and actor tells about his lifetime of personal discovery in his memoir, “Snake Oil, Superstars, and Me”

Different segments of his life can be labeled and described by his various nicknames. When he was just Tommy, the son of a farmer in northern Georgia, he decided he needed to make a name for himself in the music world. He escaped to join the Medicine Show, a musical and acting caravan that traveled across the U.S. There, he answered to the name “Peanut,” taking on the role of a guitar-playing clown. Next he was “Texas Slim” on a radio show, where he infused comedy and music with his ventriloquist doll-partner, Luke McLuke making his way to star on the Grand Ole Opry in the 194os. And then he was “Rambling Tommy,” a guitar player and music composer. Later in life, he became “Doc Tommy Scott,” selling snake oil as a medicine man in traveling exhibits.

No matter what name he went by, he always loved Frankie, a southern model and starlet from his hometown. When she took his last name, she became his “right hand man,” smoothing over rough business deals in her graceful way. The two wandered together when Tommy played and entertained many musicians in their home. As a young couple, they starred in a traveling show group and appeared in Tommy Scott shows that were later transformed into syndicated films and television.

Although he went by many names and lived many lives, one part of Tommy always remains the same. He loved igniting a crowd and hearing the roaring applause. He didn’t particularly love the praise, but he loved the response. He claimed snake oil is a cure-all remedy in his traveling shows, but even if it isn’t medically proven, Tommy cures the audience with gales of laughter.

“If you think it will help then it will,” Scott’s mentor advised him once. “If you have the faith for it, the liniment will stop the pain while the herbal treatment sets you to running! One thing for sure, though, if you visit a medicine show, for an hour and a half you will leave your burdens behind.”