Sex, Lies & Snake Oil: The strange career of Jackson County’s “Doctor” John Brinkley

Press release from Pack Memorial Library: 

“Sex, Lies & Snake Oil:The strange career of Jackson County’s “Doctor” John Brinkley”

Free multimedia presentation by local historian Jon Elliston

Lord Auditorium at Pack Library (lower level)

Wednesday January 25, 2017 12:00-1:00

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Carolina Room

Local historian Jon Elliston will explore the bizarre odyssey of John R. Brinkley, one of Western North Carolina’s most infamous figures.

From his humble mountain origins, Brinkley rose to national stature as a medical scam artist. He made a killing on sketchy goat gland implants and other oddball treatments, only to die pretty young and totally broke. At the same time, Brinkley built radio audiences for some of his musically talented Jackson County neighbors and others from around the country, including the Carter Family. And he helped shape modern advertising and political campaign tactics that are still in use today.

Elliston’s presentation is based on his January 2017 article in WNC magazine about Brinkley’s rise and fall, and will include audio from Brinkley’s radio broadcasts along with rarely seen images of the would-be doctor and his enterprises.

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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