‘All they grow south of us are palmettos and other nuts’

On this day in 1962: Deflating state archivist H.G. Jones’ hopes of establishing that the song “Carolina Moon” refers exclusively to North Carolina, lyricist Benny Davis insists that the question leaves him “really at sea.”

Jones was inquiring at the behest of Gov. Terry Sanford, who had been startled to see S.C. Gov. Ernest Hollings jump to his feet when “Carolina Moon” was played at a governors’ conference. In his letter to Davis, Jones noted that “one has only to read the lyrics to know that you were dreaming of the Tar Heel state as you wrote them. Even the word ‘pining’ gives it away. North Carolina is the state of the long leaf pine. All they grow south of us are palmettos and other nuts.”

Jones is similarly unsuccessful in nailing down the state’s claim to “Carolina in the Morning.”

 

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