Jesco White

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Jesco White
Jesco-White-2011-Cropped.jpg
BornJesco "Jesse" White
(1956-07-30) July 30, 1956 (age 57)
Bandytown, West Virginia, U.S.
Other names"The Dancing Outlaw"
OccupationMountain Dancer, Entertainer
Years active1980s –present
Spouse(s)Norma Jean White (1974–2009)
 
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Jesco White
Jesco-White-2011-Cropped.jpg
BornJesco "Jesse" White
(1956-07-30) July 30, 1956 (age 57)
Bandytown, West Virginia, U.S.
Other names"The Dancing Outlaw"
OccupationMountain Dancer, Entertainer
Years active1980s –present
Spouse(s)Norma Jean White (1974–2009)

Jesco White, also known as the "Dancing Outlaw" (born July 30, 1956) is an American mountain dancer and entertainer. He is best known as the subject of three American documentary films that detail his desire to follow in his famous father's footsteps, while trying to overcome depression, drug addiction and the poverty that afflicts rural Appalachia.

Personal life[edit]

Jesco White was born in Bandytown, a tiny community located in the Appalachian Mountains of Boone County, West Virginia, to Donald Ray White (1927–1985), also known as D. Ray White, and Bertie Mae White. White's father, D. Ray, was profiled in the Smithsonian Folkways documentary Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap (1987) as one of the greatest mountain dancers in the United States.[1] Following in the footsteps of his father, Jesco's dance style is a subtle mix of tap and clog dancing that is native to Appalachia. Jesco White's dancing has been featured in at least three documentaries.

White was married to Norma Jean White (1939–2009)[2]

2009 arrest[edit]

In April 2009, White was featured in the documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, produced by Storm Taylor and MTV's Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine. The film was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. White has claimed that his portrayal in the documentary was an act and is not an accurate depiction of the White family.[3][4]

The week after the release of Wild and Wonderful, White and his sister, Sue Ann White, were arrested in West Virginia on suspicion of drug-related crimes.[5] White gave an on-camera interview while in jail and stated that he had been drug-free for 30 years. White said that he is not a bad person and that he was "embarrassed" and "hurt" by the arrest.[6] Shortly after his arrest, White was bonded out of jail by the MTV producers of the newly released documentary about the White family.[7][8] A month after his arrest, the charges against White were dismissed due to lack of evidence.[9][10]

Depictions in media[edit]

Dancing Outlaw[edit]

White was first profiled on the Public Broadcasting Service's Different Drummer series. The first of these documentaries was Dancing Outlaw (1991),[11] directed by Jacob Young, which featured him at home in West Virginia and gave audiences a glimpse into his troubled life.

Dancing Outlaw II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood[edit]

Dancing Outlaw II (1999)[12] (also directed by Jacob Young) chronicles White's trip to Los Angeles to appear in an episode of the sitcom Roseanne as the Elvis impersonating "Dan's Clog-Dancing Cousin".

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia[edit]

The documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009) directed by Julien Nitzberg follows the White Family for one year and primarily consists of first person interviews detailing the poverty, crime, addiction and the ramifications of the coal-mining industry on Appalachian society.[13][14]

Grand Theft Auto V[edit]

Jesco White provides his voice as the DJ of Rebel Radio in the video game Grand Theft Auto V.[15] He also makes a cameo in-game as an Easter egg, where you can find a character depiction of Jesco doing his mountain dance.

Other depictions[edit]

Numerous musicians have made tribute songs for Jesco White and the White family. These include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Talking Feet:Solo Southern Dance:Buck, Flatfoot and Tap (Documentary). Smithsonian Institution: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. 1987. Event occurs at 1:12 onward. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Obituaries". Coal Valley News (Madison, West Virginia). 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  3. ^ WSAZ News Staff (29 April 2009). "MTV Producers Bond Jesco Out of Jail". WSAZ Channel 3 News. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jesco Out of Jail". MetroNews, The Voice of West Virginia. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Hicks, Martin (28 April 2009). "Dancing Outlaw Behind Bars". WCHS 8 Eyewitness News. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jesco White Gives Jailhouse Interview After Arrest". WSAZ Channel 3 News, via YouTube. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  7. ^ WSAZ News Staff (29 April 2009). "MTV Producers Bond Jesco Out of Jail". WSAZ Channel 3 News. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Jesco Out of Jail". MetroNews, The Voice of West Virginia. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Associated Press (22 May 2009). "'Dancing Outlaw' Jesco White Cleared of Drug Charges". WSAZ Channel 3 News. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Keeney, Lawrence (May 2009). "Charges Dropped against "Outlaw"". Coal Valley News. 
  11. ^ Dancing Outlaw at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Dancing Outlaw II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Owens, Jesi. "Interview: Wild, Wonderful, Poor, Trapped: Jesco White and Family Are Back". www.altdaily.com. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  14. ^ Jardin, Xeni. "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia". www.boingboing.net. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  15. ^ http://www.mxdwn.com/2013/10/03/news/full-tracklist-for-grand-theft-auto-v-revealed/
  16. ^ It Came from Trafalgar at the Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ White Lightnin at the Internet Movie Database
  18. ^ "White Lightnin'". Archives. Sundance Institute. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Roberts, Randall (23 August 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V music tracklist, stations revealed". LA Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  20. ^ Shamoon, Evan (28 August 2013). "Inside the 'Grand Theft Auto V' Soundtrack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 

External links[edit]