Still Ramblin’ plus Trail of the Hawk – Randall Franks hosts and directs
Randall Franks hosts and directs Still Ramblin’ plus Trail of the Hawk
The story of Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott America’s Last Real Medicine Showman
Hosted & directed by TV star Randall Franks – Still Ramblin’ follows Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott’s unique career from the foothills of Georgia to stardom through interviews, rare photos, and never before seen film footage and western Trail of the Hawk
Randall Franks, Tommy Scott and his Hollywood Hillbillies, Frankie Scott, Sandra Scott, Gaines Blevins, Eddy Williams and Luke McLuke. Yancey Lane, Betty Jordan, Dickie Jones, Lafe McKee among others.
Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott’s (1917-2013) Last Real Old Time Medicine Show reached its 110th year in 2000 and celebrated on PBS in 2001 for with the release of Still Ramblin’ plus Trail of the Hawk.
The documentary “Still Ramblin’” gives a unique look at the life of America’s Last Medicine Showman. It follows his career from the foothills of Georgia to his days at the Grand Ole Opry and in Hollywood. Through interviews, still photos and never before seen film footage, writer/director Randall Franks includes greats like Roy Acuff, Stringbean Akeman, Sunset Carson, Carolina Cotton, Col. Tim McCoy Charlie and Bill Monroe, Lash LaRue, Minnie Pearl, Al “Fuzzy” St. John, Curly Seckler and many more.
“I just got the video back. Watching it brought back so many great memories of good times and old friends,” Scott said.
“Still Ramblin’” also features the digitally-restored anniversary edition of the western drama “Trail of the Hawk” featuring the music and comedy of Tommy and his Hollywood Hillbillies, Frankie Scott, Sandra Scott, Gaines Blevins, Eddy Williams and Luke McLuke. “Trail of the Hawk” was the directorial debut of Academy Award nominee Edward Dymtryk. The film, which was based on a James Oliver Curwood story, also featured western stars Yancey Lane, Betty Jordan, Dickie Jones, Lafe McKee among others.
Franks said, “It took us 2½ years to complete this project but it was more than a century in the making.” Franks, a former co-star of TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” hosts the project which will run in PBS syndication around the country.
“All my life, I heard of “Doc” Tommy Scott. I had the pleasure of meeting him around seven years ago and have since been a guest star on his stage show. He is surely one of America’s greatest treasures,” he said.
Actor Tommy Barnes of Nashville has worked on countless projects including Tom Hank’s “The Green Mile.” He edited “Still Ramblin’” at his High Moon studios. ”It has an abundance of rich pictures . There was so much amazing color home movie footage,” Barnes said. “As a western fan what impressed me the most was that Tommy had home movie footage of his daughter playing with Lash LaRue. As a child, I sure would have liked to have done that.”
In 1936, Scott joined “Doc” Chamberlain’s Medicine Show, founded in 1890, when it rolled through Toccoa, Ga. When Chamberlain retired, he gave Scott the medicine and the show. As one of country music’s first generation of stars, he began recording for RCA in the 1930’s.
He performed as a regular on some of the South’s biggest radio shows from WWVA Wheeling, West Virginia to WSM’s Grand Old Opry in the early 1940’s joining stars like Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb and Pee Wee King. Scott said, “We played live on many stations and by transcriptions on the powerful Mexican stations like XERF Del Rio, XEG Monterey, Old Mexico.”
Like many of the stars of his era, success came from a combination of factors: the new medium of radio beamed their live performances all over the country; the popularity of new hillbilly records which started in Atlanta in 1923 with Fiddlin’ John Carson and film “Soundies” which showed fans what their favorite singers from radio looked like on the silver screen.
He benefited from all of these mediums, but his most lucrative medium was touring with his stage show. Scott said, “We kept the show on the road almost 350 days a year.”
Scott’s stage show has taken many names in it’s long history. The Georgia Peanut Band and The Hollywood Hillbillies are a couple of them. He has even run several shows at one time featuring different stars. It is this dedication to the public that has put his show in more different towns than any other entertainer. He has walked on stage for more than 29,000 performances in front of more than 25,000,000 paid admissions.
In the days when westerns were king of the silver screen, fans could have not only seen him on screen in musical films like “Southern Hayride,” “Hillbilly Jamboree,” and “Hobos and Indians,” but for their 25 cents admission children catching a Saturday matinee at the Wink Theater in Dalton or the Tivoli in Chattanooga could have seen him live and in person with his whole show. “We played so many of those theaters, three to five shows a day. Sometimes more than 200 in one year,” he said.
Scott’s status as a treasure is evidenced by many accolades, including his recent nominations for the National Heritage Award, his 1976 placement in the Country Music Foundation’s Walkway of Stars and the 1996 – 2008 Georgia Music Hall of Fame exhibit, the museum’s largest.
Scott, who counts appearances on television with Johnny Carson, Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman and Walter Cronkite, was also a pioneer in that medium hosting two of television’s first country music shows, “The Ramblin’ Tommy Scott Show” and “The Smokey Mountain Jamboree.”
With over 500 recordings to his credit, his chart success with included three titles “Rosebuds and You,” “Dance With Her, Henry,” and “Mule Train.”
He wrote around 300 of his recordings including “Rosebuds and You,” recorded by numerous artists, and the bluegrass standard “Rainbow of My Dreams” popularized by Lester Flatt. While Lester Flatt, of Flatt & Scruggs, is considered the author of “Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” Scott said, “Lester and I many times had a friendly discussion about who adapted the folk song first.”
In the seventies, when Suffolk marketing launched selling albums on television, Tommy Scott, Boxcar Willie and former Scott show alumnus, Slim Whitman reached an audience of millions in their homes.
Scott’s unique career spanned eight decades.