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Dick Davy - You're A Long Way From Home Whitey 1966

On: Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dick Davy
Birth Name
Official Site 

..The m.c., smooth-talking and confident but less than precise in his choice of words, announced: "The Apollo would like to take great pleasure in presenting a wonderful guy. You wouldn't exactly call him a comedian. He is more of a news-carrier, a news analysis, you might call him. He came all the way from Arkansas and he has no intention of going back there. He's a very shy guy, so don't you frighten him. Here he is -- the Arkansas Fellow Traveler, DICK DAVY."
...Out of the wings ambled a six foot, two inches, sandy-haired white man, wearing a flannel shirt, chino trousers, and the high-top brown boots commonly called clodhoppers up North, "Sunday-best" boots in the rural Southwest. Carrying a high stool in one hand, scratching his head with the other, he was accompanied across the stage by friendly laughter. After perching atop the high stool, he scratched his head some more, took a wad of chewing gum out of his mouth, and stuck it to the side of the microphone.
"Howdy...I used to 'how' y' all,' but I don't say that no more. In Arkansas, 'how' y' all' just a way a greetin', but I found out up here it's just a way to a beatin'. I was backstage there, waitin' to come out here, and this fella come up and give me a shove and say, 'Get out there, Whitey, they either gonna love you or lynch you.'"...He scratched his head, and looked around the theatre. "This sure is a nice place you got here. Make a nice bar. Or a nice church. That's what Harlem needs...another church."
"When I got up here from Arkansas on one of them dog buses, I couldn't get no job except doin' demonstrations, and that don't pay so good, so I came up here to 125th Street, to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Fella there, he say, 'You musta took some wrong fork in the road, son.' I told him I needed a job. He say he never hear of a white red cap before, but I told him I needed a job real bad, so he said, 'Tell you what I'm gonna do, Whitey. I'm gonna make you a case of token integration.'"
So that's where he was at -- the audience shoved their buttocks down into their seats and relaxed completely. He belonged to them. They would have killed anyone threatening a hair on his head. During the next 18 minutes while Davy talked about the Klan, Vietnam, civil rights, draft-card burning, the FBI, voter registration, and public accommodations, the audience never wandered in its attention. "You tell 'em, boy." "Go 'head, boy." "You tell 'em what it's like, boy."
Although the material differs act-to-act, Davy always ends with the same words: "I try to help out with civil rights all I can, not 'cause I like you all so much" (here the audience always laughs and so does Davy), "but 'cause everybody always gets a turn at bossing everybody else, and I figure it be the colored folks' turn next. And when the time comes, I just wants y' all to remember me kindly."
...Davy, a University of Arkansas graduate and a teacher in New York City's detention centers and "600" schools for the past seven years, was saying that the change coming for Negroes is just a small part of the total change necessary. One Negro in the audience had said to his date, "If white folks ever hear what he really sayin they gonna lynch him."
Later, coming around the corner from the stage door, Davy and his companions bumped into Big Bobby Bland and Jackie Wilson. They told Davy how much they enjoyed his act and that they would like him with their shows sometime in the future. Davy, now a Villager, appeared on the December 8 Merv Griffin television show, and now faces his first tour of white-tourist-trade nightclubs in the Midwest...

01 Apollo Theatre Opening 2:34
02 Greyhound Bus 8:44
03 Non-Violence 3:03
04 New York Blackout 6:35
05 Things Is Getting Better 6:46
06 New York Signs 7:42

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Thanks thunderfoot!
His other material on this blog is tagged at the bottom of this post


1 comments on "Dick Davy - You're A Long Way From Home Whitey 1966"

Media Funhouse said...

You're doing a lot to keep the work of these unknown comedians alive, Jim! This is a real little slice of history -- taped at the Apollo, it has jokes about the NYC blackout of 1965, made a week after the incident (or so Davy sez). He sounds like a younger version of Pat Buttram, but does hip, timely humor.


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