Who Is This Brother Dave?

Dave Gardner's peak of popularity was in the early 1960's, fueled by frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show." Brother Dave suffered a heart attack in 1983 and died in South Carolina where filming had just begun on his new movie, "Chain Gang." For some wonderful essays on Brother Dave, be sure to visit The Brother Dave Congregation at Jimbo's site. Here are a few quotes about the man from his album liner notes that sum up his comedic style.

From It's Bigger Than Both Of Us

"Dave is a true son of the South, born in Columbia, Tennessee. After completing his education he followed a musical bent as a drummer/vocalist of relative note. The wild Gardner sense of humor could not remain subdued, however, and soon he was scoring with comedy bits which were so successful that he was appearing with regularity on the Jack Paar "Tonight" TV program."

From The Very Best of Brother Dave Gardner

"The slim, cigarette-smoking comedian was sometimes given to off-color and racial humor. He frequently targeted politicians and their friends in the post-Eisenhower days, but also found ways to rework everyday miseries into colorful anecdotes."

From Kick Thy Own Self

"Dave Gardner, talking a smooth Southern-hip-universalist line, is about as think-y as they get. Or, to put it another way, he is stimulating, relevant, pointed -- all the things that true wit has always been. Gardner is more succinct about it. He flashes a huge smile, opens his big blue eyes, looks at you with this impossibly innocent face, and says, "I stir up snakes."

From Ain't That Weird

"In an era of comedy when practicioners of the art stand up, stand still and complain, Brother Dave's spirit is glad."