Danny George Wilson of the marvellous Danny and The Champions of the World asked me to come up with a shirt for the showcase he has at the Americana Music Association’s Festival in Nashville on 18 August at Third Man Records. Somewhat recklessly, he gave me a completely free rein about fabric choice and design.
I wanted to do something totally different from his previous Dandy & Rose shirts, which are black with contrast yoke and piping.
The print that immediately came to mind was Liberty’s Kitty Grace. Danny can pull off a really decorative print so well, and this one had been in my sights for a while. With its hearts and flowers, it reminds me of the great western tailor Nathan Turk’s work for The Maddox Family, who were known as ‘the most colorful hillbilly band in America’ during the 1940s. He took the heart motif on these outfits
from this book by Lepage Medvey about costumes from his native Poland. Turk’s own copy is in the Autry Center in Los Angeles and his note to remind himself to place hearts down the leg of the Maddox Brothers’ trousers survives.
Here’s Danny’s Kitty Grace shirt….
Good luck to Danny and the Champs for their Nashville excursion! May the spirit of Nathan Turk be with them!