It's hard to tell exactly what Cas Walker means to Knoxville today. He's an icon of some sort, but is he a folk hero or a cuddly mascot? Would he seem like the same kind of lovable curmudgeon if he was still on City Council?
It's beyond our powers to answer questions like that. But you can get a more informed take on Walker's legacy next month when the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound screens recently uncovered footage from his television show and hosts music by several local and regional country acts linked to Walker's career.
The event, a fund-raiser for TAMIS, will be held at the Palace Theater in downtown Maryville on Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m.
The television footage features music clips, advertising spots, and outtakes from Walker's long-running TV series, as well as TV ads for Walker's chain of grocery stores from the 1950s. The music lineup includes Luke Brandon, Sisters of the Silver Sage, Larry Oldham, Rita Cianciola, David West and the Cider Mountain Boys, and Pappy "Gube" Beaver, a 90-year-old singer who appeared on Walker's radio show in the 1940s. A reunion of the surviving members of the Randolph Family Band, who also appeared on Walker's radio show, will headline the event.