Appalachian Outlaws

Real-Life Outlaw Otto Wood Went Viral In The Thirties

In the early 1930s, the way for a story to go “viral” was by being sung about in a ballad. That’s what happened to Otto Wood, a real-life outlaw who grew up around Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He spent time with the Hatfields of southern West Virginia, became a famous moonshiner, and died in a shootout with police in 1930. Less than one year later, his story was told in the ballad “Otto Wood The Bandit,” recorded by Walker Kid and the Carolina Buddies.

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Ginseng Reality TV: Cultivating Conservation or Encouraging Extinction?

A new reality TV show that features ginseng hunting premiered this week. Smoky Mountain Gold pits four teams against each other to see who can collect the…

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