Crowe and the Wildman

Call of the WildmanMany popular reality shows currently highlight Americans with somewhat unusual occupations, largely living in rural Southern communities. One of these programs is Animal Planet’s Call of the Wildman, which depicts the adventures of “Turtleman” Ernie Brown, Jr. Brown, who lives in central Kentucky, is featured weekly as he catches a wide variety of wild creatures, ranging from snakes to opossums to his favorite, turtles (which he often kisses in celebration).

This past Sunday (August 5), Turtleman was charged with ridding the workshop of world-renowned banjo maker Frank Neat of a snake. Turtleman’s pay? A jam session with banjo legend J.D. Crowe, who was arriving soon to pick up a banjo Neat had repaired for him. Crowe made a brief appearance, even picking for a few minutes with Turtleman’s sidekick Neal James, who plays clawhammer style banjo. Turtleman also displayed a custom banjo Neat had made for him.

Interestingly, Crowe did a fan a favor this past weekend at the Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival in Hyden, Kentucky, by playing Back to the Barrooms on a Frank Neat banjo, one of two in existence to bear Crowe’s endorsement and likeness on the back of the resonator.

Just in case you missed it, Call of the Wildman typically reruns episodes each week and also posts episodes and video clips on their website. Be on the lookout for a different type of Crowe on the Animal Planet!

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.

  • That’s awesome! Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch the rerun. I haven’t watched this show yet, but I have heard great things. I’ll definitely make sure I catch it now! Thanks for the head’s up.

  • Dick Bowden

    Folks run hot and cold on the Turtleman hisself (I like the show) but Frank and Ricky and JD all done good on this episode I thought. Turtleman’s buddy Neal gave a terrific testimonial to JD. However, the very thought of a copperhead curled up inside an unfinished banjo pot gives me the heebie-jeebies!