Archive for the 'Watermelon Wine' Category

Frye Gaillard on Tour with Southern Girl’s Kathryn Scheldt

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Author Frye Gaillard continues to develop new outlets for his creativity. Frye — the author of Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, considered one of the best books ever published on the history of country music — is one of the South’s hardest-working journalists, with a wide-ranging interest in culture and history. He has published many books, and is ever investigating new territory.

Recently, he shows he has a related talent, that of song-writing. And he’s doing a tour now in connection with Southern Girl, a new CD on which he and country recording artist Kathryn Scheldt have collaborated. Frye is co-producer of the CD and has co-written a number of songs on it; Kathryn Scheldt is singer and co-writer. Around this new CD he’s put together a small program in which Frye speaks about the themes of the music and the way Southern music often serves a literary purpose, then Kathryn performs. Gaillard describes the music as in a “country-folk-Americana groove.”

Frye and Kathryn are taking this musical lecture program on the road, with stops in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The program is part song and part commentary and 100% fun. In April 2010, the duo will appear at the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery. In addition, they can be heard on WTSU radio on November 6.

Baldwin County NOW recently featured a piece in which Frye recalled his first meeting with Kathryn, at a Mobile Sunday service held in the wake of Hurricane Katrina:

“The late autumn sun (was) slanting through the windows, as she sang of hope and mercy and despair,” Gaillard would later write on the liner notes of “Getting Ready,” Scheldt’s first CD, released in 2007. “There was a power in the lyrics that seemed inseparable from the strength of her voice — a rich contralto that was different from anything I had heard.”

Lagniappe newspaper praises Gaillard as a “sharp writer with a clear, honest voice who has done his research on the nature and evolution of country music. Collaborating with country songstress Scheldt seemed like a natural fit.”

Visit Frye Gaillard’s website at

Watermelon Wine is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.

Frye Gaillard Remembers Millard Fuller

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 by Brian Seidman

Author Frye Gaillard offers the following remembrance of Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, who died this past week. Gaillard wrote extensively about Fuller in his book If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity.

I was stunned by the news that Millard Fuller had died. Seldom have I met a man more vital, more energetic or committed to his work. The founder of Habitat for Humanity may have had his feet of clay–an inclination to greed in his early adulthood that almost ruined him; and random sexual longings later on that caused hurt to a few of the women he worked with. But Fuller was a good and decent man, and because of his energy and his life, more than a million people worldwide–many of them the poorest of the poor–are living today in good and sturdy homes.

At a critical time in his life, Fuller paid a visit to Koinonia Farms, a Christian commune in southwest Georgia where the Southern Baptist radical Clarence Jordan had taken a powerful stand for racial justice. Together, Fuller and Jordan came up with the Habitat idea–the notion that volunteers working in partnership with the poor could build decent houses that most low-income families could afford. The key to it all was a no-interest mortgage, because the Bible on that point was clear–explicit, in fact, in the Book of Exodus about not charging interest to people who were poor. Jordan thought the Bible meant what it said and so did Fuller, and the result became Habitat for Humanity–one of the high-water marks in American philanthropy.

If Fuller’s legacy is solid–a fitting reminder of his energy and drive–he is still a man who will be deeply missed.

Frye Gaillard is the author of If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity; With Music and Justice for All: Some Southerners and Their Passions, including a profile of Millard Fuller; and Watermelon Wine and a contributor to American Crisis, Southern Solutions from NewSouth Books.