Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Ballad of Archie Who . . . And More

SI Archie cover
The following exerpt from the Sept. 14, 1970 edition of Sport Illustrated Describes the phenomenon known as “Archie Fever.”
“Began last fall when, as a junior, Manning passed and ran the Rebels to an 8-3 record — including an upset of Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. First red-and-blue buttons inscribed “Archie” or “Archie’s Army” blossomed like Dogwood all over the Ole Miss campus in Oxford. Then some Tennessee fans came up with “Archie Who?” buttons, and the craze was on.
After Archie and the Rebles wiped out Tennesseee 38-0 in Jackson, Ole Miss came back with  “You Know Damn Well Who” buttons. Lamont Wilson, a postal clerk in Magnolia, Miss., took the tune of Johnny Cash’s Folsome Prison Blues and hastily worked up a ditty entitle the Balad of Archie Who. Recorded on the Hotty Toddy label by a guitar-twanging group known as the rebel Rousers, the song sold 35,000 coppies quicker than you can whistle Dixie, and young Manning became a sort of instant folk hero.”
Listen to the recordings of The Balad of Archie Who below as well
Part of coming back to Oxford for me has been the re-discovery of gems from growing up. Included in the mix was this 45 featuring songs about Archie Manning by Molly Thomas. My Dad (Hugh Wiley), an alum and avid supporter of Ole Miss, picked these up for us. This copy was kept pristine by my much more responsible sister, so we can share with you. – Sarah Beth Wiley Smith

Archie Sir (Click to Play Song)

The Red-Headed Kid from Rebel Town (Click to Play Song)