Remember when Trent Lott was in a Congressional barbershop quartet? Or how about that photo Sun Herald photographer Tim Isbell shot of Brett Favre on the day he was drafted into the NFL?
Here are 15 of the more memorable pop culture moments that involved the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This list definitely does not contain all of the popular moments and the list is not in chronological order.
The Singing Senators
No one sings the hit song “Elvira” like the Oaks Ridge Boys, right? Well, this version by a then-up and coming group called the Singing Senators gives the Oaks a run for their money, especially the “oom papa mow mow” bass parts by Trent Lott.
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School teachers find love in all the right places
“Looking for Love,” written by Wanda Mallette of Gulfport and Patti Ryan of Long Beach, both of whom were teachers in the Gulfport School District, along with Bob Morrison of Nashville, was passed over by 20 or so singers before it finally found a home with Johnny Lee on the soundtrack to the film “Urban Cowboy.”
And the rest for the “little song by two elementary school teachers from Gulfport, Mississippi,” as Lee likes to call it, is history.
Bay St. Louis gets its closeup
Dodson, Mississippi, was once the home to Natalie Wood, Robert Redford and Charles Bronson. Dodson, in fact, was actually Bay St. Louis, which is where the 1966 film “This Property is Condemned” was filmed. The screenplay for the film was written by Francis Ford Coppola, among others, and it was based on a play written by Tennessee Williams.
Jaimoe starts the Brothers
Coast native Jai Johanny Johanson, who grew up in Gulfport and is best known as Jaimoe, toured and performed with Otis Redding. In the late 1960s, he met a young guitarist named Duane Allman and they started a band that would eventually come to be known as the legendary Allman Brothers Band.
Boosie shops, unsuccessfully, at Edgewater Mall
Rapper Boosie Badazz (formerly known as Lil Boosie) was at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi in April when a scuffle broke out that was caught on video.
A Dillard’s loss-prevention officer and a Biloxi police officer suffered minor injuries during the fight outside the south entrance of Dillard’s. Boosie was pepper-sprayed by the loss prevention officer. He was pulled over after the incident and claimed Biloxi police “stole” $1 million in jewelry from him while some of his entourage was arrested.
The jewelry was later returned to his road manager.
Elvis and the Biloxi beauty queen
Elvis Presley was no stranger to the Coast, especially early in his career in the mid-1950s. Presley was apparently smitten with a Biloxi beauty queen named June Juanico. The King was so taken by her that he set up shop in Ocean Springs for a while in a private home that is now the Gulf Hills Hotel.
Son of a sailor
Jimmy Buffett crossed the boundary between pop, country and “island escapism” music with hits such as “Margaritaville” and “I Don’t Know.” But everyone has to be born somewhere and Buffett was born on Christmas Day in Pascagoula.
He received his own bridge there in 2015. In January, he was a surprise guest at friend and bandmate Mac McAnally’s show at the Grand Magnolia in Pascagoula.
Sun Herald photographer Tim Isbell took an iconic photo of Kiln native Brett Favre on the day he was drafted into the NFL by the Atlanta Falcons.
Favre was at his Kiln home and just happened to be wearing jorts. The photo is resurrected each year close to Draft Day.
In 2016, Favre was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And somewhere in between, he brushed up his acting chops in “There’s Something About Mary.”
‘Guys and Dolls’ and Frank and the Coast
Biloxi has been mentioned in many songs, including one by Aersomith’s Steven Tyler. But there’s nothing quite like hearing Ol’ Blue Eyes sing about Biloxi like Frank Sinatra did in “Guys and Dolls.” Of course, we call it Bi-luxee, not Bi-loxee.
Tig Nataro comes home
Comic Tig Notaro spent a lot of time in Pass Christian as a child. She loves the Pass so much that she married fiancé Stephanie Allynne on a ceremony on the beach. The Pass and Bay St. Louis are also the basis for St. Lucille, the setting of her Amazon series “One Mississippi.”
Recently, Notaro was a guest on Sun Herald Social Media Editor Justin Mitchell’s podcast, “Out Here In America.”
A famous UFO abduction
Charles Hickson became a Coast celebrity in 1973 after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens near the abandoned Schapueter’s Shipyard. Hickson said he was fishing with co-worker Calvin Parker when they saw a spaceship that brought them aboard to be scanned.
Afroman loses control
Afroman was playing a Fat Tuesday show in Biloxi in 2015 when a fan jumped on stage and started dancing near him. Video shows the rapper punching the woman on stage. He was later arrested and a lawsuit was filed against the performer.
Escatawpa boys start a rock band
3 Doors Down had their beginnings in Escatawpa. Since starting in 1996, the band has sold more than 20 million albums. In October, they will be headlining the Gulfport Music Festival. They also played at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Guitarist Matthew Roberts, who battled a drug addiction, died in August 2016.
The day the squirrel went berserk
Who doesn’t love the Ray Stevens song “Mississippi Squirrel Revival?” The song was set in the fictional First Self Righteous Church in Pascagoula.
Neil Simon set his 1985 play “Biloxi Blues” in, of course, Biloxi. It was later made into a film starring Matthew Broderick.
Jayne Mansfield’s final performance
Actress Jayne Mansfield played the room at Gus Stevens’ Seafood Restaurant & Buccaneer Lounge many times. On June 29, she played her final show there. Mansfield died later that night from injuries in a car accident on US Highway 90 near New Orleans.