Apr 13 2011
05:28 pm

The proposal to designate "Tennessee" by John R. Bean as a state song advanced in the State Senate yesterday and is up for a floor vote. Sen. Jamie Woodson's bill (SB1910) cleared the State and Local Government committee by a vote of 7 to 1.

And guess who voted against it? Stacey Campfield, for some bizarre reason. Apparently he has also been lobbying against the bill.

On his blog, Campfield said last night that "You may think I am kidding but there is a move to make a song by "Roy D. Mercer" one of the states 8 official state songs." He goes on to say "If you are not familiar with 'Roy D. Mercer' he was a semi well known crank caller who would call random people, make threats of "I am going to whip your @$$!" record it and put it out for the public to hear."

First of all, the late John R. Bean's character was named "Leroy Mercer," not "Roy D. Mercer." "Roy D. Mercer" is a complete ripoff by two lowlife DJs in Oklahoma who came along long after John R. Bean was gone. "Leroy Mercer" was the real deal, and a beloved East Tennessee original.

Second of all, John R. Bean made those prank call cassette tapes for friends, who copied and traded them among their friends and so on. He didn't "put them out there," yet they managed to gain a widespread cult following (and at least one cheap imitation) because they were so hilarious.

Anyway, Campfield seems to be suggesting the song is inappropriate because John R. Bean threatened to whip somebody's ass every now and then, like there's something wrong with that?

My guess is Campfield has never heard the song. Or, as Betty Bean said, "Stacey Campfield is a carpetbagger who isn't even from around here. He doesn't get it."

We are told that Steve Hunley is a big fan of John R. Bean and one of the forces behind getting recognition for the song. We are also told that he commissioned a professional studio recording by his brother Con Hunley, and that it might be played in the Senate when the bill is introduced for the floor vote by sponsor Sen. Jamie Woodson.

We also hear that Hunley and Knox Co. Mayor Tim Burchett, also a supporter of the bill, aren't too happy with their (former?) pal Campfield.

BONUS: Tennessee, by John R. Bean

SEE ALSO: The committee vote video with Sen. Woodson's endorsement (1:40:20 in or scroll down in the links and click on SB1910), and Campfield (objecting): The song never charted. Every senator knows somebody with a guitar and a song about Tennessee.

Sandra Clark's picture

john bean

I thought all rednecks loved John Bean. Maybe Stacey X has him confused with Jim Beam? -- s.

Bbeanster's picture

So Clark, does that mean you

So Clark, does that mean you love John Bean, too?

R. Neal's picture

I should also add that I'm

I should also add that I'm sure Con Hunley recorded a fine version of the song, but I'm also certain there's not much any way to improve on the recording of John R. Bean's original vocal and piano linked to above. That's about as pure and beautiful as it gets.

sobi's picture

Versatility, baby.

Leroy Mercer wasn't the only shadow name of the late greatest. Another was the Reverent Raleigh Arnwine, a buffalo-preserving Baptist pasture. And what about the master arbitrator Bill Morgan, from just 'is side o' Maynardville? Charlie Strawfields, sabbath-breaker? Ted Logan of Skaggston, hog-chaser to the world?

The travesty of Stacey Campfield's chickenshit basterd personhood notwithstanding, "Tennessee" shouldn't be yet another state song for this place. That immaculate honor should be heaped upon "C & C Auto" if for no other reason than it contains this exchange between "Roy Mullins" and a man engaged peripherally in the automotive industry:

"Are you 'at little skinny sumvbitch I bought it off of?"

"I might be."

'At's are damn state song, right there. It don't make a damn that it's not actually a song.

But nobody else needs to be trying to sing it.

gonzone's picture

You win!

You win!

R. Neal's picture

Here's the Con Hunley

Here's the Con Hunley version, which does the song justice:


gonzone's picture

I know why Stacey is against

I know why Stacey is against it. Too darn hard to spell!

R. Neal's picture

Metro Pulse with some

Metro Pulse with some history...


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