Friday, April 11, 2008

the book: "Daddy Moonshine- The Story of Marvin 'Popcorn' Sutton"

“Daddy Moonshine - The Story of Marvin 'Popcorn' Sutton”
by Sky Sutton
NOW AVAILABLE "Daddy Moonshine" is $25 including shipping and handling. Please make check payable to Sky Sutton and mail to: P. O. Box 331 Northampton, MA 01060. Include your address so I know where to send it and allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.
Or:








Sky Sutton is a New England historian raised in Massachusetts. Researching her paternal geneology for over a decade, she discovered her biological father is a notorious - and quite famous - backwoods moonshiner from the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. "Daddy Moonshine" is the story of Sky Sutton's journey to uncover a family history so different from her own experience, and to understand her ornery, sometimes brilliant, and often quite dangerous renegade father; the one and only Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton.

“Daddy Moonshine” is the story of Sutton's father, moonshine and mountains- and of the culture and people who have lived in those wild, beautiful heights for generations. From finding possums in the mash to sh*ting out his own teeth, Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton has lead the life of a true Appalachian moonshiner. As the last of a dying breed Sutton has lived close to the earth and on his own terms as few other modern Americans would dare.

EXCERPTS from “Daddy Moonshine” :
From Chapter 2- Popcorn Sutton: Master Moonshiner:
“It isn't surprising that Popcorn has attracted so much attention. His slippery craft and his old-timey antics appeal to something in our collective past. His overalls can be seen as the blue denim flag of old pick-up trucks and cork-plugged clay jugs. His colorless hat is the nod of a gentleman, his beard the badge of a wild man. His high reedy voice carries the echoes of banjos and fiddles. His stealth and focus speak volumes for the cunning and moxie of who he is: a Smokey Mountain moonshine master.”

From Chapter 4- Moonshine: From Horse Mint to Coon Peckers:
“Popcorn started out building the pot-bellied beasts for his own personal use. For years he tinkered, tweaked and experimented. When he got good at it he began to build them for other people. He built them to be displayed as mementos of mountain life as well as ones to be used as fully functioning likker producers. He's got an excellent memory for customers: 'I sell them as stills about as fast as I can make them. Some buy them for display such as the one I sold Dennis and Shirley in Dillard, Georgia. They have it in their new restaurant. I have made some that I am damn sure won't be on display.’ “

From Chapter 5- Adventures in Moonshining (or: How to Sh*t Teeth for a Week):
“ Have you ever wondered what the best way to get an amphibian wasted is? Popcorn has the answer. He asks: ‘Do you know how to make a frog drunk? I bet you don't. But I do. I fired my pot up one morning and got it going real good. It had just started running high shots. That is what you call it when it first starts to come out. For so many jugs, then it turns to backins. Anyway here come hopping up to the still a damn big frog. I thought to myself ol' boy I'll make you drunk as hell. I had heard all my life that a frog will absorb things through its skin. So I got me a can lid and caught me some of that high shots and I dropped it slowly on the old frogs back. Real soon its throat started to swell up and then all at once that frog started singing like hell. When he stopped singing he flopped over in the leaves and didn't move till I got done running that likker. I guess he passed out. Anyway when I come back the next morning to sweeten it back he was not there. I guess one good damn drunk taught him a lesson.’
Popcorn got the frog drunk on purpose. Not so with the geese. My aunt Panzie told me a story from when she was about nine or ten years old and Popcorn was in his late-teens. Unknown to my grandmother my father was in the middle of a run of peach brandy in the back shed. The geese got into the peach peelings Popcorn had thrown away. It didn't take long for the geese to start stumbling and lurching around. Grandma Bonnie came out into the yard, puzzled by the odd behavior of her foul.
‘What's wrong with them?’ Grandma Bonnie asked her children. Panzie knew full well what Popcorn was up to. My father snarled at her to keep her lip zipped.
‘Take me to the store or I'll tell 'er! ‘ Panzie quickly bargained. Popcorn took her to the store. Panzie kept her lip zipped. Grandma Bonnie stayed puzzled. “


from Chapter 7- Lawed:
“On the morning of January 26th my father and I both got ready for court. While he was sitting in a court room in Tennessee I was facing a judge in my corner of the world. There the similarities end. I pulled on my black leather boots and my Myrna Loy coat with the high vamp collar. My father donned over-alls, a denim jacket and a hat with feathers and a squirrel tail attached to it’s crown. This was my first time before the magistrate for a traffic ticket. It was only a hundred dollar barrel pressed to my temple. To my father’s head was the muzzle of a Smith &Wesson 500 Magnum of moonshining charges. I dodged my bullet. Popcorn was not as fortunate.
A little birdie told me my father stood his ground. His chin was up and his eyes direct. In a courtroom so full that folks were sitting ‘ass cheek to ass cheek’ my father faced his accusers without blinking. He walked past the reporters as if they weren’t even there.”


87 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, let me know when the book is available. I met Tammy Sutton yesterday, would love to keep in touch with her, can you give her my address?

Sky Sutton said...

Who's Tammy Sutton?

amcarson26 said...

Do you know who saul sutton is?

Sky Sutton said...

Yes, I do & he's a sweetheart. :)

Anonymous said...

I found this site looking for info like you said on Popcorn.I take it he didn't stand by your mother or for lack of info take care of his duties as a father.I am sorry for any pain his lack of judgement may have caused.I was just looking for info on the old time bootleggers and moonshiners. I wish you and your mother well. Best wishes,The Omega

Kimberly said...

I have Popcorn's Book he wrote himself. I met Popcorn about 9 years ago right outside of Maggie Valley, NC at his little "store." He was quite a character...definitely one I will never forget! Awesome book to read...but I love all stories about the backwoods of the mountains!

Anonymous said...

Popcorn may have been independent and lived a colorful life, but when he gets to the end, what will he really have to look back on? Life without Christ is dust and ashes, no matter how 'colorful' it is.

I do wish you all the best however.

Dave

Anonymous said...

I met Popcorn in Maggie Valley several years ago. I saw him on The History Channel tonight. Fascinating. I look forward to your book being published.

Lon

Anonymous said...

I have seen popcorn's movie and read his book. I would like to say popcorn you have helped keep these mountains alive and you are a Hero to me. I was makeing likker when I was 4 years old I think its the good life everybody should have grew up like I have.

Anonymous said...

Hi popcorn you are a hero in my world. I grew up helping run a still and I would not changed anything. There will be likker here in these mountains as long as there is life here.

Anonymous said...

we got to meeet the old coot on one of our vacations.A friend of my moms got them together on a date .thank god mom doddged the bullet on that one.I feel he has led a clourful life.But iam sorry he has no sense to say he does have children.And respect women.And does not have the sense to admit it.Wish you coul adopt me and my family.

Anonymous said...

We got to meet the old coot on vacation once.A so called friend got my mom to go out with him.thank god she dogged the bullet on that one.Sorry he cant ackolange he has children.Or act like he has sense.Too bad you cant adopt my family.Wish you the best.

phillip said...

I look up to popcorn and his family they have lived the life most of us wish we have lived.
I grew up doing the same thing I remember going to my dad's moonshine stil when I was 5 years old and I would help fill the jars. what a good life it was.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sky,
just from reading the excerpts from your book makes me excited for it to come out. Any clue as to when it may be available so I can look for it in the future?

-Steve in Virginia

Sky Sutton said...

The book should be ready in about a week. :) Stay tuned for updates!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of Popcorn's death.

Matthew Whyte said...

Really sorry to hear of his passing.

kkiss said...

I was sorry to hear of Popcorn's passing. My sympathies to you and your family.

stevie said...

I am very sorry to hear about your dad passing. He is legend around here. Good luck and take care

Anonymous said...

Very sorry about your dad

Anonymous said...

my condolencies on your father's death. It takes balls to decide death over jail. he had balls

Anonymous said...

my sincere sympathy Sky, to you and yours.

wrecklessabandn said...

I just recently read about Popcorn and he quickly became one of my hero's. It is a tragic day for all of us. May you rest in peace popcorn

Anonymous said...

I WAS SAD TO HEAR OF POPCORN SUTTONS UNTIMELY DEATH ON MONDAY MARCH 16th 2009, roehoe in NC I would like to offer my condolances to his family during this time of loss, you are in my prayers.

Rorrye said...

I'M SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR LOVED ONE. MY SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILY. GOD BLESS, RORRYE

rtweiler3 said...

Just heard of your dads passing, am so sorry. Condolences to you and your family. I have your dads book and live in Asheville.Had always hoped to meet him, but the one time I got the opportunity and saw him out at a restaurant, I didn't want to bother him. Now I wish I had. When is your book coming out and where can it be purchased?

Frank said...

You have my condolences as well on the death of your dad. Very sad news.

Anonymous said...

Sky,

We in Maggie Valley are truely sadden by the death of your dad and an old friend to many. Maggie Valley won't be the same without him around. The gang at the liars bench has come up one short again. Our rich history and heritage are slipping away with each passing one of them. The Maggie kids will miss him greatly....

Troy said...

Sky
Sorry for your loss, I found your fathers tale very interesting. Similar to the life of my grandfather a trapper in South West Louisiana. It's a shame blind adherence to an old law pushed him into a corner. Once again sorry for your loss I wish you well

Troy Sorbet

Della Haney said...

I am so very sorry for your father's death.My daddy also made moonshine when I was growing up.We knew Popcorn sutton and my daddy Junior Haney would go to his house alot here in Parrottsville,TN.POPCORN YOU WILL BE SADLY MISSED BY ALL OF US.
Della Haney

Sky Sutton said...

Many people are asking about the funeral service. The burial will be a small private ceremony. If anyone knows of a public memorial service please let me know so I can tell others.

Anonymous said...

Sky, Sorry to hear of your dad's passing. My cousin Olin from Walhalla,SC made and hauled many a load of his likker down through Rabun and Habersham County,GA and all over the DarK Corners area. He was the last one and thats for sure. There are no more of his kind. I wish yall all the sympathy in the world during this time.
Dwayne

Anonymous said...

IM so sorry to hear about ur father he was a true legend up hear in the mountains of NC

WeldrBrat said...

I wish to extend my condolences for the loss of a man so loved by so many in the East Tennessee region. His passing yesterday was very difficult to hear. He was a man that simply used the only thing he felt he had a talent with to take care of family. He will be so sadly, but fondly, missed.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. oh moonshiner you will be missed im sure.

Wilderness Woman from Indian Creek said...

Sending my condolences to Popcorn's family. I'm from a long line of shiners in Kentucky myself. Those of us who know the life will keep his memory alive.

Anonymous said...

Please accept my condolences Sky. I knew your father a little bit in Maggie Valley. I sampled his fine product many times. May he rest in peace. And peace to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

He lived life on his terms and left it the same way. May be hard to understand by some but makes sense to me. If you need them Sky my condolences but Popcorn wouldn't want anyone to mourn him. He didn't need any of that.

Greg said...

As a Midwesterner not affliated with the 'mountain life' and my curiosities with the way our previous generations lived, I kept track of Popcorn through internet stories, news articles and videos. He somewhat reminded me of my granddad from the ozarks in MO. He had the same type of thinking as Marvin. Altho I never met Popcorn, and do not know wnat he really was like outside of the media, he seemed genuine to me. I will miss checking the latest stories about him since I feel like I know him from all I have read about him. I will miss him and I know others will as well. My condolence. He seems to have done mostly what he wanted to do and didn't care what others thought.

Gunner said...

Sky,
First of all I would like to say I am sorry for your loss. Popcorn and my dads family where really close. I had not seen him since I was a little kid, but he was one hell of a man. I know what he did was illegal but there is a lot worse they could have done. They should have just left him alone, but time and money into getting child molesters and drugs off the streets.

Anonymous said...

would love to buy this book i alredy have me an my likker.

DannynTracey said...

Sky:

My husband and I were married in Maggie Valley in 1997. And it was shortly after our marriage we met Popcorn. We have kept in touch thru the years and he will certainly be missed. We have his video and his book and I plan on purchasing yours. Can't wait to read it!

Woody said...

Dear Sky, VERY sorry to hear of your fathers passing. I Only met him once 10 years ago when I stopped in Maggie Vally to buy "Boiled Peanuts" and asked him in the garage if people REALLY made moonshine any more.I have told hundreds of people here in Iowa about the day I met POPCORN SUTTON! I got my moonshine and a hell of a lot more! Saw him on the History Channel and about died! SHAME on the law for their stupidity

Anonymous said...

Sky, I have a question and was wodering if you could answer.
In the documentry " The last one" Popcorn talks of an old woman who done the thump keg waltz. Who was she? and what was her name? .

Sky Sutton said...

Off the top of my head I'd guess that was Letha Hicks.

Anonymous said...

My condolences. There ain't gonna be no more good shine, the stuff they make now will kill ya. I'll keep the family in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

The folks here in Dawsonville, GA send our sympathy to you and your family. I am a big fan of the the 'shine lifestyle and look forward to your book.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies Sky and to all of those who will deeply miss Popcorn...They should've left him alone..What a shame...

dblythe said...

Used to buy antique radios when he was at the foot of Soco.Also went to acouple of pickin' parties on Hemphill.Will miss him.

greg said...

Hey Sky,
I read the ones about the family. Myself I am a believer in family. I do however smile when I think of Marvin Sutton as a legend. It was a way of life, no excuses. But my heart aches over the old coot. I grew up around farming, lived close to the land. I love learning and knowing about my old kin folk. My grandpa was a blacksmith, logger, farmer, etc. A good life was not handed out back then..

Greg

jclittrell said...

Sky,
I'm sorry for your loss and looking forward to your book. Does his tombstone really say Popcorn said FU?
Jeff

Granduncle Joe said...

Popcorn Sutton(your father) was indeed an interesting individual man and today a star in the heavens.You have my condolence.
Granduncle Joe and grandaunt Sophie

Anonymous said...

so sad popcorn he has passed he lived a life we only dream of! he was a man of his own will and maybe there is a little popcorn in all of us. he will be missed

Mary Fowler said...

My family rented one of Popcorn's trailers up on the mountain in early 90's my first experience with a wood stove I melted my remote ! He was truly an amazing person I tell tales of him often like the time our water stopped and he had to just go pull that dead possum out of the water line so it would work again :) one of my strangest stories. I was saddened to hear of his passing I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

A friend gave me a quart of Popcorn's shine and said there won't be any more and told me why. I put some in a Civil War whisky bottle for special occasions. When the level goes down, I will replenish it with more corn liquor but it will forever have some of Popcorn's in it. I'll pass the bottle and story on to my kids.
Eric in Homestead, FL

Anonymous said...

As a pro photographer, I had the pleasure of photographing Popcorn. The photograph on the cover of his revised book, Popcorn and his truck, was taken by me. Also, the clocks with Popcorns face on it, which is also my photography, are my creation. Popcorn purchased quite a few clocks from me. I enjoyed sitting and shooting the breeze with him. I was saddened to hear of his passing. He will be missed and so will his shine.

Art Orlando said...

My sympathies. I just heard today.
Erin Casey

Anonymous said...

God bless Popcorn & the last few real Americans like him.Individuality is what made this country..not the sheeple mentality demonstrated in the last presidential election.Few people know that George Washington made as much as 11000 gallons of shine yearly at Mt Vernon. He the had the presence of mind to institute a liquor tax on the smaller producers to pay for the Revolutionary war..they dont teach that in history..

Anonymous said...

I am sorry there is no evidence that Popcorn is really your father. Are you sure you want to exploit what may be a falsity?

Sky Sutton said...

I would LOVE to see your SOURCES for researching MY blood. ;) I've got documents, etc. What have you got? Other than a petulant tongue?

Sky Sutton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sky Sutton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the controversy concerning Popcorn's wife moving his body. It's a shame he couldn't be left where he wanted to be buried.

CryingIndian said...

Ms. Sutton I'm so so sorry for your loss. God bless you and your family. It's got to be pretty cool to be the daughter of what was a living legend. His memory will live on and with you his blood will also. Once again, God bless you and anyone else that loved Popcorn.

Squirrel said...

I don't understand why everyone is offering condolences to Sky; she made it abundantly clear through numerous (now deleted) blog entries that she HATES her father.

Popcorn is a legend that will always be remembered.

Sky Sutton said...

Dear Squirrel,

You must live in a very black and white world where everything is cut and dried for you.
My feelings for my father SHOULD be dark. He was a dead-beat dad who avoided child support on almost a dozen children. That DOESN'T change the accuracy of the information and stories I've collected about the man.
And I appreciate the condolences people send. It helps the hurt my father inflicted on us kids. Someone loved him. That's important.

coolrayfruge said...

Watched "The Last One " on the DOC Channel.
What a great man he was.
Such a Free spirit.
Would of love to have met him.
May he RIP in the Big rock candy mountain.

coolrayfruge said...

I live in St James MO
on HWY 8 I walk pass the cemetery all the time going to the store.
There s a Big head stone in front with the name Sutton on it.
Did you have any relatives in St James.

CajunGamecock said...

To Squirrel,

Where I'm from we don't stick our nose where it aint invited.
I suspect you of being a Yankee, if not, you sure sound like one.
Her feelings for her Daddy are none of your DAMN BUSINESS.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sky-where can a person get one of them Marvin Popcorn Sutton books?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sky is it true that somebody dug up Marvin Popcorn and put him in the front yard and animals have dug up his bones? How can a person get one of his books? This is one of the most bizarre stories that I have heard of! And he never divorced his first wife? What does that mean for all the other women and children? God Bless and love to you!

Sky Sutton said...

It's true about the body being dug up from it's original location and buried in the yard but I don't think animals have dug him up. I hope they haven't...
So far as my father's marital status and it's current state that has yet to finish working itself out. But it will.
Very bizarre, yes, I'd agree! LOL! It's like living in a dark comedy/adventure movie.

Sean said...

@CajunGameCock

I'm a Yankee and damn proud of you. What are you gonna do about it?

It gets annoying hearing ignorant southerners like you talk shit about northerners when you don't know a damn thing about us.

jeff said...

yes weall miss him i didnt know him but my daddy new hil very well i have drank his whiskey for years it was the best but his whisky is still remberd around the world still get my whisky from a man that he tought how to make it every time i take a sip i thank of pop corn miss him .jeff fromm east tennessee,

Sky Sutton said...

Good to hear from you, Jeff! And happy to hear there's still shine being made out there.
Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I was wanting to know if he was related to the Suttons in Putnam County Tennessee. and if so could you help me with that or just give me a few names maybe between 1800s and 1950's Thank you Lisa Evitt

Misstrouble2424 said...

I wish people could have known the true side of popcorn sutton!!!
My family and I owned a restaurant in Maggie valley and we had a great man walk through our doors quite a bit his name was popcorn!! Every time he would walk in I would hear hey there gurl you got my black eyed pea's and cornbread today!! Lord I miss hearing those words. I will always remember him every time I make a mess of pea's and cornbread.
Yes I will admit he has made some mistakes in the past but who hasn't we all have and anyone who says they haven't is lying their butts off. Popcorn was a dear friend of mine and I will miss him but he will always be a part of my life every time I make those BLACK EYED PEA'S. lol!!!
R.I.P. POPCORN I MISS YOU SO!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

popcorn reminded me of my dad.they looked and acted alike.It saddens me to learn of his passing.

DAn said...

Sky
I wrote this song for your dad about 4 years ago
God Bless
Dan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wam_SnQeYsQ

Sky Sutton said...

Hey Dan~
Thank you for sharing the song. I reposted it immediatly on the FB "Daddy Moonshine" page. :)

DAn said...

Sky
Thank you, yes I wrote Lightning Road in 2007 before your dad passed away. I appreciate your kindness of posting it to FB. I am honored

Dan O'Connell

Josie States said...

Sky,
You have ever right to feel the way you do. I hope you find peace with everything.

Josie States

Sky Sutton said...

Thank you, Josie. :)

Anonymous said...

Fab post :) Makes me wish to change my comment boycott

Anonymous said...

Sky, does your dad have any brothers or sisters ?

Sky Sutton said...

Yes, Popcorn's parents had two kids. A boy (Popcorn) and a girl.