The World Of Junior Samples
I donít know whether people read liner notes on the back of albums
before or after they play the record thatís inside, but in any case the
recording thatís inside this album jacket is the result of one of the
most amazing stories Iíve encountered in my sixteen years of covering
stories about show business and itís people. Junior Samples is a North
Georgia backwoodsman who backed into show business through an amazing
set of circumstances that seem more like a fairy tale than that
legendary lady, Cinderella.
I suppose it all started when one of Juniorís young sons found the head of a big fish on the shores of Lake Laneer near his home in Cummings, Ga. He took it to a race track to show his dad, our hero, who had taken a few drinks, and, needless to say, was feeling pretty good. Junior paraded the fish among the racing fans and claimed that he had caught a big bass. A radio announcer covering the races also heard Juniorís story and proceeded to broadcast it to his audience. Thus the story of the big fish spread, and soon came to the attention of the Georgia Game and Fish Commission who, in turn, dispatched Jim Morrison to the home of Junior Samples with a tape recorder to get Juniorís own account of how he caught the big fish.
Today Junior says, ďthis is one of my stories that got out of hand. I told Mr. Morrison to forget it, but when he kept insisting that he had to get a story, I took a drink and told him one!Ē
In the Spring of 1966, the original ĎBig Whopperí interview was broadcasted all over the state of Georgia through the regular Game and Fish Commission program. It was so funny that stations were asked by their listeners to repeat it.
Junior was then forgotten for a while until Spring of 1967, when the program was repeated and the reaction again was fantastic. Slim Williamson, President of Chart Records, was contacted, and he immediately signed Junior to a recording contract and gained the rights to release the interview as a record. The two guitars were dubbed in to provide background music and the interview was shortened to conform with the time of most of todayís records.
The results have been fantastic. Junior, after appearing on my night radio program and on my television show, as well as others, was immediately taken into the hearts of all who heard him. He was asked to, and did, appear before the Legislature at the Tennessee State Capital. Johnny Cash was so favorably impressed with Junior that he asked him to join his radio show this fall. He was written up in newspapers all over the South, and is now being acclaimed as the comedy find of 1967.
I personally think that Juniorís greatest appeal is in his honest approach to any subject, as Iím sure you will be able to tell by listening to this, his first album.
WSM Radio and Television