- Stories from Home (1992)
- Life Everlaughter: The Heart and Humor of Jerry Clower (1987)
- Let the Hammer Down! (1978)
- Ain’t God Good! (1975)
by Neil Couvillion (SHS)
Jerry Clower was known as one of the country’s top comedians, but he also wrote a number of books. He is not only known for his comedy, but also for his religious influence. Jerry Clower was born in Liberty, Mississippi, on September 28, 1926. He grew up in Amite County among family and friends who became the source of his funny routines. After he graduated from high school in l944, he joined the navy. Soon after he was discharged, he earned a football scholarship at Southwest Junior College. Later, he won another scholarship to Mississippi State University (MSU) in Starkville, Mississippi.
Jerry majored in agriculture at Mississippi State and received a job with Mississippi Chemical Company where he became the Director of Field Services for his company. While working, he gained popularity when his coworkers heard his Coon Hunt Story and other comedy routines. One of his close friends suggested that Clower record an album with some of his routines. Jerry liked the idea and recorded an album under the Lemon label.
His first album was named Jerry Clower from Yazoo City Talkin’, and it sold over 8,000 copies without being advertised. He received a contract with MCA in l97l, which sent his album to the billboard charts. Soon after, he recorded a second album, From the Mouth of Mississippi. His third album was called Clower Power, and his fourth was Live in Picayune. As a result of these albums, he earned the title of Country Music’s funniest man.
Clower wrote several books. Let the Hammer Down is a collection of humorous events and funny anecdotes. Other books he wrote include Ain’t God Good!, Life Everlaughter, and Stories from Home. He made more than thirty-two recordings and several videos. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry until he died. In conclusion, Jerry Clower led a successful life as both a businessman and comedian. To many people, Jerry Clower was one of the funniest men who has ever lived.
Jerry Clower died on Aug. 26, 1998.
A Review of Let the Hammer Down
by Neil Couvillion (SHS)
The book Let the Hammer Down by Jerry Clower is packed full of humorous events and anecdotes. He is truly one of the funniest storytellers of all time. His elaboration of his stories makes them fun to read and makes this book move quickly until the end. Most of his stories and anecdotes make fun of people. The characters in these tales are mainly his family and close friends. Almost every narrative he tells relates to someone in his hometown. These tales range from coon hunting, to school, to shopping, and even to church. Most stories revolve around his best friend Marcel Ledbetter.
Jerry describes some of the dumb and idiotic things that Marcel has done in his lifetime. One event Jerry recalls is the time when he was walking to school and on his way there, he met Marcel walking home. He asked Marcel why he was going the wrong direction, and Marcel said, “Ain’t no need to go to school today. Somebody let the air out of the basketball.” So they both turned around and went home.
Another tale about Marcel that Jerry tells occurred when they were eating at a fancy restaurant in Boston. After they were finished eating, they walked up to the cashier to pay. Marcel grabbed a complimentary toothpick and started picking his teeth. Once he finished, Marcel looked at the cashier, put the toothpick back in the bowl, and said, “Lady, I bet you a lot of people use them toothpicks and walk off with them.”
This book has no particular setting other than places in Mississippi that Clower knows about. The settings also include the many cities in the United States Jerry Clower visited with his show. In conclusion I enjoyed reading this book. It even taught me a lesson. The title Let the Hammer Down means to do the best you can with what you have, and do it with your maximum effort. Now that I have read Jerry Clower’s book, I consider him a great author, comedian, and, most importantly, a great Christian.
- Information available on Ole Miss web site includes biography and photos.
- CMT presents biography and photos of Clower.
- Website dedicated to Jerry Clower – includes photos, quotes, and bio
- Biography on oldies.com
- Jerry Clower: Country’s Comic Finds Happiness at Home (1995) Country Weekly (after ad)
- Clower, Jerry. Let the Hammer Down. 1979