The Mighty Men of Lauderdale County, Mississippi (Part 2)

Sam Dale was born in 1772

to Scotch-Irish parents Samuel and Mary O’Brian Dale in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Six feet, two inches tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, Dale was known for his ability to maneuver quietly and lightly, much like a Native American.

Dale was intensely devoted to his family.

When his parents died in 1792, he took over the care of his seven orphaned brothers and sisters and protected them during the Creek Indian raids. He was 20-years-old. After serving with a cavalry troop to fight the raiding Creeks, Dale opened a wagoning business in Savannah, Georgia and operated this business during the winter months. In the spring, he returned to the family farm to help with planting.

By wagon, Dale brought families into the new territory

and brought back to Savannah the goods he traded with the Indians. In 1803, Dale was appointed as a guide to the federal workers mapping the road through the Cherokee nation in Georgia. He is probably best known for his legendary “Canoe Fight” against the Creeks in 1813, which along with his daring exploits in the early frontier, earned him the nickname “Daniel Boone of Alabama.”

While Dale served in the Mississippi territorial legislature,

Gov. William Wyatt Bibb commissioned Dale as a colonel in the Alabama militia. Dale also helped establish a public road from Tuscaloosa to Pensacola and later to Blakeley in Baldwin County and Fort Claiborne. He was a member of the first general assembly of the Alabama Territory and served two separate terms in the state’s legislature: 1819 to 1820 and 1824 to 1828. In 1831, Dale was appointed to help remove the Choctaw Indians to their appointed territory. However, during the trip, he fell off his horse and received numerous injuries that kept him from completing the journey.


According to Dale’s biography, Claiborne, J. F. H. The Life and Times of Gen. Sam Dale. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1860, this was the era of banks and discounts, wild speculation, extravagance, and license, where excessive gaming and drinking took place at the state capital in Jackson:

Men not worth a button would coolly ask for an indorsement [sic] for ten thousand dollars, and indorsements in blank to be filled up to suit any trade that might offer. A refusal to indorse was resented as a reflection on one’s integrity; and to suggest a mortgage as security for an indorsement was a matter of great delicacy, and generally offensive. I have seen a man not worth one cent at a gaming-table publicly staking blank paper with the well-known signatures and indorsements of responsible men.

On November 21, 1831, Sam Dale purchased for $700 approximately 1,280 acres of the Choctaw Ia-cha-hopa’s reserve of two sections of land in present-day Lizelia, close to the old Choctaw town of Pante. Often, homeless Choctaws camped around Dale’s plantation and lived off his land. According to Sam Dale, Southern Pioneer, Dale and Ia-cha-hopa were blood brothers, and their oath to each other promised that:

“as long as the sun shines, the moon and stars rise in the heavens, the grass grows green and the rivers run to the sea, we will be friends, and where one is buried the other will be buried.”

Dale received the rank of brigadier general from the Alabama Legislature, as well as a lifetime pension for his service. Samuel Dale died on May 24, 1841, and was buried in Daleville, (which is named for him) Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Dale County, Alabama is also named for him. History does not show if Dale married or had any children.

According to Legend,

the Choctaw chieftain, Greenwood LeFlore, stood over his grave during the burial, and when the last spade of earth had been turned, said:

“Big Chief, you sleep here, but your spirit is a brave and a chieftain in the hunting grounds of the sky”.

Claiborne, J. F. H. The Life and Times of Gen. Sam Dale. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1860

Putnam, Richelle, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, The History Press, 2011 

Your Lifestyle Or Your Life

The comedian, George Burns, was famous for making people laugh with silence. He once told of a robber who banished a pistol and demanded of him “Your Money or your life.” After George’s long pause, the robber demanded, “Did you hear me? I said, Your money or your life.” Eventually, George replied “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.” That scenario reminded me of how some of us-even in the case of eminent danger, remain inattentive about our health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,

claiming the lives of one in four individuals, and adds 300  billion dollars of financial burden to the U.S. economy. The biggest factors that contribute to the onset of serious heart problems include: high blood pressure; high cholesterol; an unhealthy weight; and poor lifestyle choices like smoking: a poor diet; excessive alcohol consumption; and negative thinking.

Mississippi is ranked 49th out of 50 states and is America’s most unhealthy state.

And according to Dr. Agatston, creater of the South Beach Diet, “the poor health of Americans is only predicted to increase.” Once heart disease is present, we resort to popping pills to quell the symptoms, but prevention is better than all attempts to cure.

Maintaining a healthy heart and mind is both physical and psychological. It involves daily attention to activities, family history and healthy lifestyle choices. While you can’t change your family history, you can turn a family’s history of unhealthy living into healthy opportunities.

On the physical side, eating the right foods in the right amounts is a good start.

Foods that are low in salt and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish have been shown to reduce heart disease and cancer.

Maintaining an exercise regimen of 30 to 60 minutes 3 times a week and getting a good night’s sleep reduces your chances of getting high blood pressure and diabetes. Small portions of food are easy to accomplish by using a smaller plate.

On the Psychological side it’s important to remember we are creating our lives and that for every moment we live, we’ll be attracting either jewels or crap into it. It’s imperative that we choose our behaviors, friends, thoughts, and words wisely in order to manage stress.

healthHuman beings are designed to be in relationship with others.

We need to connect so that we know who we are and how we matter. Most of our problems are people problems. Our friendships and relationships have a major impact on our health. Plenty of people, however, love to hang out, listen to negativity, and complain when they can get a word in edgewise. That negative energy is infectious. Complaining and worrying are the absolute worst possible things we can do for our health. It sticks to our insides and wears us down. When we complain, we’re focusing on what’s wrong with our lives not what is right. What we focus on tends to expand. Negativity leaves very little room for positive growth and productivity. Separating ourselves from complainers is just as important as resisting the urge to complain. Do what you can with the problems that inevitably occur in life and let them go.

We all need a cheering section.

Think of a few people you can trust with your stuff. Use them as a sounding board for your concerns, your longings and your creative pursuits.

While there is nothing you can do to change your gene pool, there are many things you can do to help prevent heart disease. Here are just a few.

What’s a Person To Do?

  • Eat healthy and (reduce your salt intake to no more than 3/4 a teaspoon a day) stay active.

  • Move your body and stay active. If you’re overweight, make a plan to gradually reduce. 1 1/2 pounds per month is medically supported.

  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

  • Control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. One drink a day for women, two for men are medically supported.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can alter your metabolism, making you prone to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

  • Find a Cheering Section-people with whom you can connect, share and evaluate your productivity-thereby dropping complaints, worry, and negativism.

Unlike George Burns, refuse to wait for imminent danger to tend to your health by improving your lifestyle. Take actions. You life depends on it.

© Rachell N. Anderson, Psy.D. February 24, 2016

photos courtesy of Free Digital Photos, stockimages and Sujin Jetkasettakorn.


 Mac McAnally, The Williams Brothers, Sonny Landreth, And Muddy Magnolias To Perform March 5 at Bologna Performing Arts Center

CLEVELAND, MISS. (FEB. 27, 2016)  – Following the opening of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi on Saturday, March 5, a benefit concert will be held that evening at Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center, headlined by eight-time CMA Musician of the Year recipient Mac McAnally and multiple GRAMMY® Award nominees The Williams Brothers. Also set to perform are Mississippi-born slide guitarist Sonny Landreth and friends, and rising female soul rock duo Muddy Magnolias. Titled “Back Where I Come From,” the concert will explore these artists’ Mississippi ties through a special evening of music and conversation.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to pay respect to the people who have brought us so much enjoyment through their music than to have them perform during this exciting weekend,” said Lucy Janoush, President of the Cleveland Music Foundation. “There will also be special guests in attendance who will be recognized for their lasting contributions to the music we all love.”

“As native Mississippians, we are truly honored to be a part of this grand opening,” said The Williams Brothers’ Doug Williams. “The heritage of gospel music has very deep roots here in Mississippi and many gospel greats came from this state. We would like to personally thank the GRAMMY Museum for recognizing the rich musical heritage of this state, and for opening only the second museum of this nature here on these grounds.

Doug Williams’ brother Melvin added, “There are artists that put a stamp on my heart and soul so deep ‘til this day, it still remains relevant after all these years, especially ones with Mississippi roots like Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, and my dad, Leon “Pop” Williams, and the legendary Jackson Southernaires. Me being a country boy born and raised in Mississippi singing gospel music from the cottons fields to being recognized as part of such an historic event as the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi grand opening is priceless. I feel like Mississippi has been honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Williams Brothers are part of the presenters.”

“Back Where I Come From” will take place on March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University, 1003 West Sunflower Road, Cleveland, Miss.  Tickets range in price from $50-$100 and can be purchased by the general public beginning Wednesday, March 2, by calling Bologna Performing Arts Center at 662-846-4626. For a full schedule of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi grand opening events, visit

Malcolm White, Executive Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, said,

“The artists who will perform and be recognized represent the very best of Mississippi, our story and the goodness of our diverse and curious history. Mississippi’s rightful real estate in the American musical landscape is firmly anchored in gospel and country as well blues, rock, jazz and pop music. Every night is Mississippi Night in the wide, wide world of American Music.”

Mac McAnnally –

Chart-topping recording artist, accomplished producer, hit songwriter and studio owner Mac McAnally marked another note in history with a record-breaking eight consecutive wins as the Country Music Association’s Musician of the Year in 2015.  McAnally was first honored with the Musician of the Year award in 2008, and has won every year since.  Beyond being one of the most respected guitar players and vocalists in Nashville, he has also been nominated for a CMA Award as an artist.

A.K.A. Nobody is McAnally’s latest solo album, sung, performed and produced by the much beloved session ace.  All but one of its songs were written by McAnally, either on his own or with illustrious co-writers including Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Sonny Landreth, Chris Stapleton, Al Anderson, and others.  Working with an all-star assembly of friends and studio colleagues, McAnally achieves a rare blend of deep soul and polished technique on each track.  The ironic tile notwithstanding, the music of A.K.A. Nobody speaks to everybody.

McAnally’s depth and breadth as an artist are no secret with the recording community.  McAnally grew up in Belmont, Mississippi and was raised on church choirs and formal lessons, playing pro gigs at 13, tutored on the mysteries of session excellence at the historic Muscle Shoals Studios and relocated to Nashville, he was an essential ingredient on studio dates with Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Randy Travis, George Jones, Billy Joel and many other headliners.  And with a track record that includes writing No. 1 hits on his own for Kenny Chesney (“Down the Road”) and Alabama (“Old Flame”) as well as penning chart-toppers for Sawyer Brown (“All These Years”) and Shenandoah (“Two Dozen Roses”), it’s no wonder that he has been voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Sonny Landreth –

Born in Canton, Mississippi, Sonny grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana. The melding of those two places gave him the name “King of Slydeco” from his inimitable slide guitar technique together with southwest Louisiana influences of zydeco. He has enjoyed a prolific career for decades as a solo artist, celebrated sideman and session player. Over the years he performed and recorded with artists that include British blues innovator John Mayall and toured as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s band as well.

Landreth’s latest album Bound by the Blues was released in 2015. Vintage Guitar magazine said, “Landreth is arguably the finest living slide-guitar player on the planet.” The instrumental “Firebird Blues” from that album was created for his hero and fellow guitar ace Johnny Winter, who also grew up in Mississippi.

As Landreth said, “It’s always been about getting out on the road and playing these songs anyway. For me, it’s a continuum of that, with the songwriting process, going in to record and taking that out on the road. That’s still a familiar format for me, although a lot of the other moving parts have changed. As long as it’s soulful and I can get the message out there, I’m in.”

Muddy Magnolias –

the soulful duo of Kallie North and Jessy Wilson, are fresh on the music scene after meeting in Nashville just three years ago. Within six months of individually landing in Music City, North and Wilson met, became songwriting partners and bandmates. Before releasing a single, Muddy Magnolias had earned rave reviews from national press.  Rolling Stone praised, “a sound that melds city grit and Delta dirt, exploding onstage not like two lead singers but more like parts of the same whole…performed as if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards inhabited the Indigo Girls.”  They also landed a coveted spot in Elle magazine’s 2015 Women in Music issue. Now, with new music produced by Butch Walker (Weezer, Pink, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy) the pair are poised for their real breakthrough.

About GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Built and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation —

a non-profit organization developed in 2011 — the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Similar to its sister Museum — the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE — GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum will feature a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric display that will introduce visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape. The Mississippi Museum’s debut special exhibit will be Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! Curated by the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE and Fab Four Exhibits, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! provides fresh new insight into how and why The Beatles impacted America in the 1960s — and beyond.

For more information on about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @GRAMMYMuseumMS on Twitter and Instagram, and like “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi” on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi