14 January 2009

Hattie Carroll's killer dies

In 1964 Bob Dylan released a record album, The times they are a-changin' with the song The lonesome death of Hattie Carroll, about a black barmaid who died after being assaulted by the son of a rich white farmer, who was sentenced to six months imprisonment for his role in her death. Now her killer has died, but his deed lives on in infamy.

William Zantzinger - Telegraph:
William Zantzinger, who died on January 3 aged 69, was the scion of a rich tobacco farming family in Maryland whose drunken, racist assault of a black waitress at a society ball in 1963 ended in her death. He would have subsequently sunk unmourned from view had the attack not come to the attention of a young folk singer, 22-year-old Bob Dylan. As it was he became a notorious and widely-loathed icon of bigotry just as America's civil rights movement came to the boil.

'William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll/With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger,' Dylan sang in The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.

The times they have a-changed, at least to some extent, and at least in part as a result of the songs of Bob Dylan.

1 comment:

James Higham said...

Different rules down south.


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