Artists leave this business regularly, either just not "making it" at the fairs, or lured by other opportunities or taking an idea and building it into another chapter of their lives. Jack Stoddart is one of the latter. Well-known at the fairs for at least 20 years he has transformed into "Hippie Jack", a producer of music festivals with two missions: preserving American Roots music and feeding the poverty stricken in the hill country of Tennessee.
(In the meantime at least two of his children are regular exhibitors at the top shows, having learned the business traveling with Jack and his wife Lynne since they were in diapers).
You can catch his TV series "Jammin' at Hippie Jack's" hosted at his Outlaw Gospel Music Sanctuary in Tennessee on your local PBS channel.
A little more:
Hippie Jack’s Music Sanctuary is about loving people
By Rebekah K. Bohannon Beeler Scribe editor
"Jammin at Hippie Jack’s is on a mission to love the people on the mountain. Jack Stoddart, otherwise known as Hippie Jack, has built the Music Sanctuary outfitted with fiber optics and all the bells and whistles to create a hightech listening room to look something akin to a church where he holds benefit concerts to collect items, load them up on the psychedelic “Hippie Bus” and bring them to those who need them all over Wilder Mountain, Cub Mountain, Crawford and Monterey.
Hippie Jack was able to collect enough items to fill his bus from the Spring 2017 Music Arts & Camping Festival May 25 - May 28 and delivered them to Twinton, Cravenstown, Crawford, Monterey and everywhere between June 17. The Jammin at Hippie Jack’s Facebook page, he posted where he would be delivering and items they had, say- ing, “If any of this would help you, look for the bus. It’s easy to spot. We will happily pull over.”
There will be a series of benefit concerts held at Jammin at Hippie Jack’s starting in August that will be non-ticketed events for patrons to bring donation items, including children’s books, toys, children’s clothes, new or like new coats and non-perishable food items.
The Liberty Circus, a traveling show starting in New York, will be stopping in at Hippie Jack’s for a benefit show Aug. 12. Hippie Jack hopes to raise awareness about refugees as well as collect much needed items for his “mountain friends.”
The August show was as Hippie Jack said, “To raise awareness about refugees and to benefit the mountain people. Personally, I consider many of the mountain people that go back to the coal mining days as sort of refugees themselves. There’s a lot of their families came to this country to work in the coal mines and kind of got stuck."
Basically, the skinny is, Hippie Jack puts on this non-ticketed series of spectacular musical events, complete with a gourmet food vendor that could be anything from wood fired pizza to Yardbirds or Seven Blue Rooster of Cookeville. Budweiser of Cookeville and Stonehaus Winery of Crossville have been sponsors of Hippie Jack’s events. Free refreshments are provided and free camping on Friday and Saturday nights is permitted at what Hippie Jack calls his “river farm.”
“It is designed to try to help is what we’re trying to do,” said Hippie Jack. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding and denial about marginalized people in our area. And I’m trying to change that a little.”
Since its inception 11 years ago, Jammin at Hippie Jack’s has always partnered with a non-profit organization to benefit. Hippie Jack’s has partnered with The Stephen’s Center for child abuse prevention, TDOT and recycling and cleaning up the environment, Soles for Souls to collect clothing and shoes for both recycling and redistribution. Having also partnered with multiple food pantries over the years was what brought Hippie Jack to decide to start collecting food and start his own pantry.
“We are able to get out and deliver food to people who can’t get out,” said Hippie Jack. “We’ve been seriously involved in our own outreach for about three years as far as food delivery.”
Hippie Jack focuses primarily on Wilder Mountain, including Vines Ridge, Cravenstown and Twinton. “What I’m trying to stir up is we need to help each other,” said Hippie Jack. “There are a lot of people on the mountain that live on less than $6,000 a year. It wouldn’t hurt, you know, to put down a little for those folks. The poverty level is $20,000. Can you imagine living on $500 a month? It’s a very small amount of money.”
Hippie Jack was raised in Miami, FL, and moved to the base of Cub Mountain in 1972, he did still photographs and black and white photos for 35 years as the opportunities came along with the mountain culture and old country people.“The same people who helped us then are the kind of people we help now,” said Hippie Jack. “We were lucky.” His work became a part of collections at many prestigious museums, including the American History Museum and the Smithsonian. Hippie Jack is currently working on a full length documentary on the mountain people.
“I love going up on the mountain,” said Hippie Jack. “This is a great place to hang out, a great, great, great place to hear music.”
Hippie Jack’s will also be benefiting The Reach Academy in Livingston, TN. It their goal to provide weekend backpacks full of food for students who may be experiencing hunger issues on weekends. “We’re just hippies,” said Hippie Jack.
The fall dates for the Jammin at Hippie Jack’s Music Sanctuary Benefits 2017 Liberty Circus Aug. 12, Sept. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16 from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. These are non-ticketed events to collect food, children’s books, toys, and new or like new coats children’s.
- For the Liberty Circus lineup, visit www.liber- ;tycircus.com.
- Visit Jammin at Hippie Jack’s for printable directions and schedule details at www.jamminathippiejacks.com.
- Learn more about his mission on his Facebook page
- Listen to the music on the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jamminathippiejacks