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Transcription of Memories of Prince Albert Hunt

 Elasped time (time code) is in minutes and seconds.

(Fade in on a close up of a red center of a record on a record player. The record begins to spin).

[Music]

(As music plays, the shot moves down into the black section of the record

 

Text: FEATURING HIS SON,

         P.A. HUNT

 

         AND HIS COUSINS,

         BUFORD HUNT

         R.C. HUNT

         GRACIE HUNT RUSH

         AND

         MARIE RUSH TURNER

 

         WITH

         HARMON CLEM

         H.E. HARPER

         AND OTHERS

 

(Fade out. Fade in on old photographs of interior of a radio station. A voice over in the style of a RADIO ANNOUNCER reads from a news clip).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER v/o: Occasionally, showers Monday night and Tuesday, predicted by J.L Klein’s US Weather Offices today for Dallas and vicinity.

 

(Shot of newspaper article with a headline).

 

Text: RADIO PLAYER KILLED AS HE LEAVES DANCE

W.M. ARRESTED AND GIVES GUN TO PATROLMAN

SAYS HOME RUINED

FORMER FIREMAN OF CITY SAYS

AVERS VICTIM TOOK AWAY HIS WIFE

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER v/o: A Dallas radio entertainer known on the air as Prince Albert Hunt, 30, of 1723 St. Louis Street was shot and fatally wounded at 11:45 PM on Saturday, as he left a dance with a woman at Confederate Hall on North Harwood Street.

 

(Shot of photograph of Albert Hunt’s face).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER v/o: Hunt had played in the orchestra for the dance. He was a violinist.

(Fade out).

[Music]

(Fade in on old photograph of Terrell, Texas).

Text: TERRELL, TEXAS  1900

(Montage of photos continues as music plays. Photos include street shot, car shots, a group outside of church, billboards).

 

P.A. HUNT v/o: My dad was born about 1900 in Terrell, Texas. His real name was Archie Albert Hunt; and someway or other during the time he was playing some dances, they called him the Prince of Fiddlers, or something. He took the nickname of Prince Albert then. Grandpa came from Tennessee, his name was Arch. He was Irish, I guess about full blood Irish. Grandma come from Alabama in a covered wagon, took her over a year to come from Alabama to Texas. She was just, about near full blood Cherokee Indian.

 

(Music and montage continues, fade to sign, P.A. HUNT TRIANGLE FEED).

 

[Time code: 3:18]

 

(Cut to shot of two trailers, one that has the sign toward the back. Cut to interior, P.A. HUNT giving interview).

 

P.A. HUNT: Her hair hit her to the hips. Never had her hair cut in her life. Didn’t have a grey hair on her head, she was seventy eight when she died. And that was the flaxiest hair, most velvet feeling of anything I ever felt. I remember I used to like to watch her, she used to comb it about thirty minutes every night, brush it, and comb it, and I’d feel of it.

 

(Cut to garbled conversation, shot of Wills Point Iron-Met., shot of two men in jumpsuits unloading spare parts out of the back of a pickup).

 

R.C. HUNT: It originated out of Arlen. Prince Albert’s grandfather was a full-blooded Irishman. In other words, me and Prince Albert is second… double cousins. Double cousins.

 

You know, we was kids. We run around with him, he was born and raised, he was in the junk business, same as we are, and that’s all we ever  knowed.

 

(Cut to exterior of a small white house. Shot of Gracie Hunt Rush, interior).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: Albert was a happy child. He was, erm, peaceful. And they got along just fine. Yes, in fact, Uncle Arch was too good to him.

 

(Shot of photograph of the Hunt family).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH v/o: They idolized him, I guess, because he was he youngest one of the children. Wesley Hunt was the oldest; Geneva Hunt, Turner, she married Saint Turner; and Corbin Hunt is a third. And, um, Prince Albert is the youngest child. He’s the baby.

 

(Back to interior).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: So I went to school with him, and he was very smart at his books, and our teacher was Miss Jewel Monday.

 

(Class photo that includes ALBERT HUNT).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH v/o: Anyway, he was smart in his books, too, but I don’t know when or how he dropped out. Fifth or sixth grade.

 

MAN IN PLAID: You know, he just seemed to be different from the rest of them, of us. Seemed like he was more quieter than we was, you see. All the time, he would have something, his dogs, his wagon, something else, you know, call attention to you, if you know what I mean. Seemed like he was more…

 

MAN IN BLUE: Well, more and more popular than us boys, because he’s a good musicianist, comedian, and everything, don’t you see. Jolly. When you get around him, he’s always got something to say, don’t you see.

 

[Time code: 5:48]

 

(Cut back to junk yard, shot of white dog. Shot of R.C. HUNT).

 

R.C. HUNT: When I was five years old, he’d used to steal his daddies fiddle and go up in the grave yard. And he’d take the fiddle. His father was trying to learn his brother to play the fiddle, and didn’t want him to touch it, and he was the one that learned how to play it.

 

BUDFORD HUNT: Yes, I remember that, now.

 

R.C. HUNT: And we’d steal the fiddle, and go up in the old grave yard and sit there and play.

 

(Picture of ALBERT HUNT with guitar on his knee).

 

BUDFORD HUNT v/o: I remember that.

 

R.C. HUNT v/o: Yeah.

 

(Cut to interior of white house, with MARIE RUSH TURNER and GRACIE HUNT RUSH).

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: Music was his life. He liked the crowd, he liked the crowd. Now that was his… delight.

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: And that was easy money. I never knowed him to hold down a real job, only when he went in the service, for Uncle Sam.

 

(Cut to photograph of WFAA radio, as ANNOUNCER continues).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER: After the shooting, William M. Douglas, 30, 2622 Cole Avenue, was arrested by patrolman Paul Baron, and placed in the city jail.

 

(Shot s of newspaper clippings, including photograph of Douglas with the caption Slayer).

 

He broke up my home, Douglas declared, he took my wife away from me. When she left, I told her I was giving fair warning that she had better stay away from Hunt, pending the divorce. The accused man then told of how he closely watched his wife, and found that she was associating with Hunt. Saturday night, he said that he went to the dance looking for them.

 

(Shot of road, cars, then P.A. HUNT’s trailer).

 

P.A. HUNT v/o: I tell you, his first marriage, as far as my grandma can remember, was to an Indian woman. I think he just married her for a pair of jackasses she had, a pair of jackasses and a wagon.

 

(Cut to interior of trailer)

 

P.A. HUNT: Her name was Laura something, I don’t remember what her last name was. He married her. I don’t think anybody knowed what happened to her, she just disappeared; and, to my knowledge, I don’t know if my daddy ever had a divorce from her or not. And then he met my mother, married her, shortly, I believe, after he was discharged out of the army.

 

(Photograph of ALBERT HUNT in uniform, with fiddle, with another soldier).

 

I think that’s when he met her and married her. I was born in 1922. Sister born in ’24, and then a brother in ’26, and then the youngest brother in ’28.

 

(Cut to two men on a porch).

 

PORCHMAN 1: He was an old country boy, he’d do anything for you. I known that boy ever since he was just knee-high to a puddle duck, he’d do anything in the world for you.

 

CROSS EYED MAN: I saw him play a fiddle on top of his head.

 

[Time code: 8:02]

 

(Cut to junk yard).

R.C. HUNT: He’d play the fiddle, anything, by ear. He could hear anything, he could sit down and play it.

 

BUDFORD HUNT o/c: Yeah, I remember that. He’d hear a song one time, turn around and play it. I don’t care what it was, he could play it.

 

Blues come to him. Now, that was his famous music, blues. Now he could play the blues. That was his favorite music, blues. He was good on break downs!

 

R.C. HUNT: He wasn’t so good on waltzes.

 

BUDFORD HUNT: No, that Oscar Harper, he was on waltzes. They went together. Oscar would play the waltzes, and breakdown or blues or stuff like that, it just come to Prince. And he was hard to beat on ole breakdowns, too.

 

R.C. HUNT: But Oscar was on all playing the waltzes. Oscar Harper.

 

(H.E. Harper sits in a swing in a back yard)

H.E. HARPER: Doc Harper was my father, and Oscar Harper was my great uncle. My father grew up, seconding him on the guitar, after my grandfather. And later on, why, he and my uncle would play at different dances. It was usually an occasion of some kind they would have a dance. Get the word out to all the neighborhoods they was going to have a dance on a certain night, and they’d furnish the musicians for everybody to come, and then usually they’d get there; why, they have to stack all the furniture out in the yard, and they’d dance then in the house.

 

And, like I say, it was usually the square dances, or something like that, where there is group participation. It got to be quite a crowd in some of the small rural homes then. Sometimes they would last all night, according to the mood that the people were in, you know. If everybody was having a good time, and no kind of interruption or friction amongst the clan, why it would last all night; they’d still be dancing when the sun come up.

 

[Music] (Shots of  an old rickety house, the well, interior with hay bales).

 

(Man on main street of small town)

MAN WITH WHITE STREAKS IN HAIR: He used to go out from house to house playing dances on weekdays and Saturday night. I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you what house, because they’re all tore down, that he used to play in. It’s been a long time since he’s been here, I don’t know when he died. He died a long time ago.

 

[Time code: 11:35]

 

(Cut to photos of radio station).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER v/o: In her statement, Mrs. Douglas admitted fondness for Hunt. She said when her husband came to the dance hall Saturday night, he asked her to dance with him, saying “You had better get up and dance with me, and enjoy yourself. This is going to be your last night.”

 

Headline:  WRECKED MY HOME, SAYS MAN CHARGED IN DANCE SLAYING.

 

P.A. HUNT: Well, you know him, fiddling around and playing the way he did, was separated but not divorced. He’d just kind of go and come when he wanted to.

 

[Music] (Cut to HARMON CLEM playing the fiddle in his home).

 

HARMON CLEM v/o: Prince Albert Hunt, I met him at Rockpoint in the afternoon, spring of 1927. And he said, “Well we might get together and rig up and make some money, work some music on the road wherever we can get a job, and whatever we can do, play for what we can get. And I said “That suits me all right, I aint  doing no good no way.”

 

Bustin’ music is just bustin’, in other words just bustin’ in a place. If they want you to play alright, if not alright. And so we got in that old T-model truck of mine, and took off. Went up to Farmersville, we walked up to the City Café, that was the biggest one in town at that time. He introduced himself, and introduced us to the manager there, at the café. Says “We don’t do this to make a living, we just do it to keep from goin’ hungry.”  (Laughter off camera). Yeah, he’s comical.

 

(HARMON CLEM walks onto his porch).

 

HARMON CLEM: Well, we wound up there that afternoon about five o-clock. We just kept playing all evening, first one then another coming in there. And Albert just took his hat off, set it down on the floor, on the table there, and they’d throw in twenty five and fifty cents, and sometimes even as high as a dollar. And we just kept playing, you know; they liked it. They enjoyed it. And so, we just stayed on till around five o clock, and we had a long ways to drive in that ole model T ford. Wasn’t no paved road them days, it was all gravel, why, and some of it wasn’t graveled, even.

 

Well, we drove back to my house. And we thought we’d made a haul that day. The three of us making forty dollars, you know. It was all we could eat and drink up there, and I thought we were rolling fast, we got with it then, sure enough.

 

[Music: Traveling Man] (Montage of country, including fields, houses, horses, and dogs running, all shot from a moving vehicle).

 

[Time code: 15: 37]

 

(Harmon Clem in backyard)

HARMON CLEM: He had a comedian suit, you know, in other words it was a Prince Albert suit is what it was; you know, one of them big top hats, you know. He’d get that black on, wasn’t a nigger could imitate him at all, hardly. He was, oh, he was terrific.

 

(Cut to junk yard).

 

R.C. HUNT: They used to sell medicine, like the old medicine shows, you know, we used to have? That sell medicine. And he was a black face man. You know, a clown, in other words...

 

BUDFORD HUNT o/c: He’d draw the crowd.

 

R.C. HUNT: He’d  draw the crowd. He played the fiddle, and he had guitar pickers with him…

 

BUDFORD HUNT o/c: And he had a good personality.

 

R.C. HUNT: And he had a good personality, and he could draw a crowd.

 

BUDFORD HUNT: The guy that would sell the medicine.

 

R.C. HUNT: Have old medicine shows like we used to have, you know…

 

(Shot of old medicine show bottle, OKAY TONIC, WHITE EAGLE)

 

BUDFORD HUNT o/c: And auction it off, and I remember they’d sell you a bottle and give you a bottle.

 

R.C. HUNT: That’s right, they’d sell you a bottle and give you a bottle.

 

(Cut to GRACIE HUNT RUSH and MARIE RUSH TURNER, interior).

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: He would fiddle, and then he’d cut stunts with it, cutting up, and it would draw attention to him.

He would draw these young folks attention; and we all thought he was grand, because he could fiddle, and of course a whole lot of us would kindly try to dance and cut up like he did.

 

He would go A-Ha! And all such as that, he done that lots of times, when he was out, he would do it that a way, A-Ha!

 

[Time code: 17:04]

(Cut to photograph of two men in black face, one of them ALBERT HUNT, two women with a guitar and a mandolin, and P.A. HUNT as a small boy).

 

(The voices of a  MUSICIAN and ALBERT HUNT from an old recording with Subtitles)

 

MUISCIAN: How do you feel, Prince?

ALBERT HUNT: Feel like a jug of Molasses.

MUSICIAN: How’s that?

ALBERT HUNT: All round but not stuck up!

MUSICIAN: Well that’s great, boy.

 

P.A. HUNT v/o: Always a big part of Glenrose, Texas. They had a big band shell there, a dance hall was open, had a big band stand.

 

(Describing picture, right to left) My daddy, and this woman he was with, a fellow by the name of Carroll Harms, and then he had his woman with him. Whoever she was, I don’t remember. But, anyway, they played there for about a week.

 

They’d have a dance every night. Then they’d sleep during the day time, they provided quarters for all of us. Then we stayed there about a week, and started back to Terrell. This woman my daddy was with, or had with him, they got in an argument about something, and he just picked the guitar up, hung it around her head just like it was a neck tie. I know it wasn’t funny to her, but it was awful funny to me at the time. We got back to Terrell, they left me then at my granddads house. And I guess they took off toward Dallas, somewhere. I don’t know exactly where.

 

HARMON CLEM: I moved to Dallas in 1928. There was a bunch of poor people running up and down the street in 1928 up to ‘33. And it was all gettin’ on relief so you couldn’t get a job for love nor money. Well we played them eating joints down on Deep Ellum, we were playing, making a little money in there.

 

Sometimes Albert Hunt was with us, sometimes he wasn’t, it just depended on… you never knowed when he was coming in or nothing, but he always played with us whenever he came in from Terrell, he’d go back and forth, from Terrell, he’d go down there, stay a while, and come back up here.

 

There was lots of misdemeanors, lots of fights in them places, you know; and it’d get rough in some of them, and in some of them you go days and days, and never have no trouble at all. You could dance all night and drink all night, it was an all night go then, sure enough.

 

[Time code: 19:18]

 

[Music] (Montage of old photographs of the Deep Ellum district, buildings, men in beer joints, shots of streets).

 

(Shot of ALBERT HUNT, back to radio station).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER: She accused Douglas of first trying to shoot her when she and Douglas came down stairs. “I hit him with my fist and knocked him up against the wall,” she said. “Then he ran and shortly I heard a shot and saw Mr. Hunt lying on the sidewalk.”

 

(Cut to GRACIE HUNT RUSH and MARIE RUSH TURNER, interior).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: And I really believe that he might of made something out of himself he hadn’t of died. Or got killed.

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: Seemed like that was mostly what he’d… When he started recording then he began, uh, being in the world, he thought.

 

(Shot of old record, TRAVELING MAN, PRINCE ALBERT HUNT’S TEXAS RAMBLERS).

 

(Cut to P.A. HUNT, interior).

 

P.A. HUNT: I heard him say, when he made that first record, Blues in a Bottle, that he was drunker than a hoot owl. He didn’t tell me personally, but I heard him tell it to somebody else. Which I don’t doubt, because I think he drank quite a bit when he was around those dance halls, things, honky tonks. I think he kind of drank with the crowd.

 

I believe, at that time, that they just paid him kind of a lump sum; I don’t think there was no royalty, or anything. What he made, I don’t know what he made, it didn’t do us no good, he spent it or did something with it before he ever got home with it. I don’t know, he lived it up, I guess, fast as he made it.

 

(Cut to H.E. HARPER smoking a pipe).

 

H.E. HARPER: As a person, he liked him, and all. When he played, or when the dance was over, or anything, why, my daddy didn’t approve of his doings at all. Because he was pretty much a party goer, and loved to have a big time, and would usually go to excess. Of course my father wasn’t a prude, or anything like that. He loved fun and everything else, but he didn’t go for the carousing and drinking, and all that some of the other members of the band did.

 

(Cut to junk yard).

 

R.C. HUNT: Well I know one Saturday night down at Lockhead’s, this woman drove up in a car, and we was all standing out there. And she said, “Come on, let’s go to Dallas,” and he says “I’m not going.” Well she come out with a pistol, and made him get in the car. And so he got in the car, and I think that’s the last I ever seen him, weren’t but a few days before he got killed after that.

 

(Cut to GRACIE HUNT RUSH and MARIE RUSH TURNER, interior. Shows a photo of MARIE at a young age).

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: The last time I seen him, he was in the old T-model truck with this girl, and her last name was cotton, and they must have been going back to Dallas. And that was the last time I seen him. And he was just as happy as he could be. He wasn’t….

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: Well, he stopped to talk to me. You know, I was along with you, with all the little children. And he stopped to talk to me, and he said something to his, friend about the windshield on the car, and he said something about… he was a good mind to hit it. And she dared him to hit the windshield, and he did, and it broke out.

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: He took his foot and kicked it out!

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: That was the last time we ever seen him until he was laying a corpse to be buried, at Terrell.

 

(Cut to HARMON CLEM).

 

HARMON CLEM: I remember that night just as well as it was last night. I was playing a job in Oak Cliff, I was going to; and he wanted me (he’d seen me that afternoon, it was on a Saturday afternoon,) he wanted me to go up with him and help him play that dance. And I told him, I says, “Albert, I can’t go.” I says, “I can’t go up there, I got a job playing Oak Cliff,” I said I better not go up there, I says “You better go up there by yourself.” “No,” he says, “I’m going to go up there just like I been going,”

 

[Time Code: 24:35]

 

And I says, “You might be sorry. You better be careful.” So I says, “Albert, you been doing the wrong thing. You better let her alone, I says, until she gets that divorce.” And he says, “Well, I don’t know, I don’t think that husband of hers will do anything.” I says, “You can’t tell about it.”

 

(Cut to P.A. HUNT, interior).

P.A. HUNT: Spring is… Ever since I can remember, it always come the 20th or 21st of March, and that was the 21st day of March when my daddy got killed. I can always remember spring and his death being right there within one day of each other. I know I was at my grandpa’s house that night, about one o-clock in the morning, when they let us… no, must have been two o-clock in the morning when they let us know, but I think he was killed about one o-clock.

 

This fellow’s wife that he had… was with, and been going with, by the name of Bob Douglas from Athens, Texas, which I think has passed on since. Well I know he’s been dead about three years now. He walked out behind the sign board, stuck this twenty five automatic under my daddies arm and shot him; came out through his heart under his other arm. And as far as I can remember, they put him in jail that night, and I think he stayed around the balance of that night, and the next day, and got out, and… I don’t know if there was ever even a hearing on it after that. I don’t remember ever hearing on it. Of course, in those times, fooling around with another man’s wife was bad business anyway.

 

(Cut to junk yard).

 

BUDFORD HUNT: I seen his suit. All I noticed, one big hole in his suit, as killed him.

 

R.C. HUNT: Killed with a twenty-five automatic.

 

BUDFORD HUNT: That’s what I remember, a twenty-five automatic.

 

R.C. HUNT: Shot one time… The trouble, if they’d a got him to a hospital…

 

BUDFORD HUNT: Aw, no, couldn’t either.

 

R.C. HUNT: But he bled in on the inside, the blood…

 

BUDFORD HUNT: Just barely clipped his heart.

 

[Time code: 26: 29]

 

(Shot of ALBERT HUNT photo).

 

RADIO ANNOUNCER: Hunt was taken in a private ambulance to the emergency hospital for first aid treatment and then removed to Parkland. He died en route to the hospital without making a statement.

 

(Cut to GRACIE HUNT RUSH and MARIE RUSH TURNER, interior).

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: We come, it was turning cold. Well, there were a good many left, you know, before the funeral was over. Now that the burial was over. Well, I just can’t tell you how many because I had my little young baby out, and it turned off bad. And I was thinking about trying to get home, out of the weather.

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: It just was a big crowd.

 

GRACIE HUNT RUSH: Yes it was.

 

MARIE RUSH TURNER: It just was a big crowd there.

 

(Shot of ALBERT HUNT’s gravestone, the name ARCHIE A. HUNT engraved in it’s face).

 

R.C. HUNT v/o: But it was people come from everywhere, Oklahoma and everywhere for his funeral.

 

BUDFORD HUNT v/o: Lots of people out here, funeral. I remember that.

 

(Cut to P.A. HUNT, interior).

 

P.A. HUNT: We were never real close. You know, like a father and son should have been. Because most of my remembrance of him, you know, was going out and in. He was either leaving or coming in. And, uh.. it wasn’t like a real close, we just wasn’t real close. Well, it bothered me a whole lot, you know, but not like if he had been with me all the time. I don’t know, seemed like all my life, too, I never was a kid, I been a man all my life, it seemed like. What little schooling I got, I never got to play in any games. It took most of my time, you know, making a living.

 

(Return to photograph of ALBERT HUNT in black face).

As money and clothes and food and everything was awful scarce. I know we… a lot of times we got up, and didn’t have anything to eat. Well I heard some people talk about, well, we had bread and gravy this morning. But I remember when we didn’t have even gravy, didn’t have anything to eat.

 

(Cut to JUNKYARD WOMAN sitting in a junk-yard with a dog).

 

JUNKYARD WOMAN: I’ve heard my husband speak of him a lot of times. And everybody liked him.

 

(Cut to JUNKYARD MAN in junk-yard).

 

JUNKYARD MAN: I’ve heard them talk about him a lot, but I don’t seem to remember him. I don’t remember too much of my young life. Just very little of it, it just comes and goes.

 

[Music] (The record plays again).

 

Text:

 

MEMORIES OF

PRINCE ALBERT HUNT

 

Credits:

 

PRODUCED, DIRECTED

AND EDITED BY

KEN HARRISON

 

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

BLAINE DUNLAP

 

VIDEO TAPE CONSULTANT

LARRY KENWARD

 

SLIDE GUITAR BLUES

PLAYED BY

MARK WHEAKLEY

 

NEWS ANNOUNCER

LOWELL PARSONS

 

STILLS COURTESY OF:

TERRELL PUBLIC LIBRARY

DALLAS PUBLIC LIBRARY

ENCINO PRESS

(“DALLAS: HE DECIDING YEARS”

BY A.C. GREENE)

 

STILLS COURTESY OF:

P.A. HUNT

JIM HUNT

GRACIE HUNT RUSH

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AND SOUND

KENN HARRISON

BLAINE DUNLAP

 

PRODUCED IN

SUPER-8 AT

KERA-TV DALLAS

 

THE FILMAKER

EXPRESSES HIS GRATITUDE

TO THE ENTIRE HUNT

FAMILY FOR THEIR COOPERATION

 

MADE POSSIBLE

BY A GRANT FROM

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

AND

THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

 

(Fade out). [Time code: 29:30]

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