Snake 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.”