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Born for Hard Luck: Peg Leg Sam Jackson

Film by Tom Davenport
Produced by Tom Davenport with Allen Tullos and Daniel Patterson
Cinematographer: Tom Davenport
Sound: Allen Tullos with Kip Lornell
Editing: Louise B. Steig
Copyright: 1976, Tom Davenport
29 minutes, Black and White
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1976
Distributor: Davenport Films
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Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Tom Davenport or to the distributor, Davenport Films.

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A portrait of Arthur "Peg Leg Sam" Jackson --black harmonica player, singer, and comedian who made his living "busking" on the street and performing in patent-medicine shows touring southern towns. Footage includes excerpts from one of his last medicine shows, videotaped at a county fair in 1972, and material filmed near his home in South Carolina in 1975. The performance includes harmonica solos, songs, a parody of a chanted sermon, folktales and reminiscences, and three buck dances.

A clip from this film appeared in Jean-Piere Jeunet's popular French feature Amelie. Born for Hard Luck is available on DVD from Davenport Films.

If you are interested in other films about medicine shows, we recommend Free Show Tonight, by academy award winner Paul Wagner.

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