Last Radio Baby, The
In this lively memoir, award-winning novelist Raymond Andrews vividly recalls the pleasures and pains of growing up black in rural Georgia in the 1930s and 1940s—a time when families gathered together around the radio to listen to mysteries and sports events, when county fairs and revivals provided riotous relief from the daily routine of country living, and when double features cost a dime.
With incomparable humor, Andrews describes his preoccupations as a child, such as perfecting the art of running-board jumping, avoiding the local bully, Minnie Pearl Massey, and sneaking peaks into the county jail and the notorious "DeMo's" cafe, famous for fried fish, fights, and "sin."
Along the way, he also supplies a lost segment of American history, describing the manner, mores, and daily lives of rural blacks—not only the prejudice they encountered but also the sports figures who inspired them, the teachers who educated them, the church that bonded them together, and the local characters who both amused and scandalized them, including guitar-picking, fast-driving, hard-drinking "Tampa Red," and "Old Mrs. Hill," who had been born a slave and in her nineties ran around with a "set of fast girls in their sixties."
These people and many other intriguing figures people the pages of The Last Radio Baby, an entertaining, informative, and important view of a time and place in our history filtered through the gentle and generous vision of one of its most lovable characters.
Author & Illustrator
Raymond Andrews in the author of a number of books, including The Last Radio Baby and Jessie and Jesus and Cousin Claire. He died in 1991.
Benny Andrews illustrated all of his brother Raymond's books. Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was an internationally-known artist whose works hang in major museums around the country, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirschorn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and the Museum of African Art. He died in 2006.
“Don't touch that dial. In this vivid, bittersweet memoir, novelist Andrews tunes in to an experience that has never been so clearly heard: growing up black in the rural South in the 1930's and 40's.” ―People Magazine