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Jay Perkins

Jay Perkins was the son of poor sharecroppers near Tiptonville, Tennessee.

Jay together with his brother Carl would earn 50 cents a day. With all family members working and not having any credit, there was enough money for beans and potatoes, some tobacco for their father Buck, and occasionally the luxury of a five-cent bag of hard candy

Jay layed acoustic guitar with brother Carl as "The Perkins Brothers" in the fifties.

As entertainers at the "Cotton Boll" tavern on Highway 45 some twelve miles south of Jackson, starting on Wednesday nights during late 1946.

Carl and Jay began playing Friday and Saturday nights at the Sand Ditch tavern near the western boundary of Jackson. Both places were the scene of occasional fights, and both of the Perkins Brothers gained a reputation as fighters.

During the next couple of years the Perkins Brothers began playing other taverns, including El Rancho, The Roadside Inn, and the Hilltop around Bemis and Jackson as they became well known. Carl persuaded his brother Clayton to play the bass fiddle to complete the sound of the band.

Perkins and then his brothers began appearing on The Early Morning Farm and Home Hour. Overwhelmingly positive listener response resulted in a 15-minute segment sponsored by Mother's Best Flour. By the end of the 1940s, the Perkins Brothers were the best-known band in the Jackson area.

After playing a show in Norfolk, Virginia on March 21, 1956, the Perkins Brothers Band headed to New York City for a March 24 appearance on NBC-TV's Perry Como Show. Shortly before sunrise on March 22 near Dover, Delaware, Stuart Pinkham (aka Richard Stuart and Poor Richard) assumed duties as driver.

After hitting the back of a pickup truck, their car went into a ditch of water about a foot deep, and Carl was lying face down in the water.

Drummer Holland rolled Carl over, saving him from drowning. He had suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, a broken collar bone, and lacerations all over his body in the crash.

Carl remained unconscious for an entire day. The driver of the pickup truck, Thomas Phillips, a 40-year old farmer, died when he was thrown into the steering wheel.

Jay had a fractured neck along with severe internal injuries.

Jay died in 1958

All further information may be obtained at the Carl Perkins address above.

Thank you.
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