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Cooter Brown - Man or Myth

Posted by Matt Cooke on April 17, 2003

I am a resident of the upstate of South Carolina, often referred to as the foothills or piedmont. The area around Spartanburg County, SC and Polk and Rutherford Counties of NC has a long standing tradition of using the term, "Drunker than Cooter Brown". I am working to explore my hunch that Cooter Brown and the expression probably lived in this area around the time that the Piedmont Blues style of music evolved in the 1930's through 50's. I have friends from the NC counties who used the term as children in the 60's, and my wife from Spartanburg County used the term in the 60's as well. I was raised in Pickens County, SC (also in the Piedmont) where I never heard the term used except by those people hailing from the Polk, Rutherford and Spartanburg counties. My guess is that someone like Little Pink Anderson probably sang about Cooter and the term and legend grew from there. I will be researching and will post my findings. Anyone?