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Betty Brown of Ooltewah hasn't seen the movie "Get Low," but she is familiar with the story behind it. She's heard the tale her whole life.

The film stars Robert Duvall and came out this summer. It is the story of Felix "Bush" Breazeale, a Tennessee farmer who in 1938 at age 74 staged his own funeral in Roane County.

He drew national attention, and the funeral drew about 7,500 people.

Among those who were there that hot day in the summer of 1938 was Brown's father Edwin "E.R." Brown. Now deceased, Mr. Brown was, at the time, part of an octet that sang regularly at Manker Memorial Methodist Church in East Chattanooga.

Clyde Blaylock, another member of the group, heard of the funeral plan and wrote to Breazeale about performing during the event. Breazeale was familiar with the octet and invited members of the group to come up and sing two songs.

"My mother talked about how hot it was that day," Brown said. "She said it was so hot they sold ice cream and cold drinks at the funeral. The piano player was so hot he fainted."

The group was only able to sing one of two planned songs, though Brown said she is not sure which one.

"I know he [Breazeale] requested 'On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand' and 'Crossing the Bar.'"

According to newspaper reports from 1938, which Brown's parents saved from the event, Breazeale made his own casket out of a walnut tree from his farm and wanted his mule - aptly named "Mule" - to be a part of the funeral procession. The funeral director he had enlisted to stage the event talked him out of it.

The story made for a great conversation starter, Brown said.

"Whenever my parents would talk to friends about a funeral, my dad would say, 'I sang at a live man's funeral,' and nobody believed him so he'd pull out the newspaper articles."


* Earl "Hey Earl" Freudenberg has found a new home on North Georgia television at UCTV, according to Judy O'Neal, president and CEO.

Freudenberg is a long-time radio personality who was with WDOD for almost 40 years and was with WDYN for the last five.

He, along with Alvin Shipp, will co-host the morning show at UCTV. According to O'Neal, Freudenberg will develop other program concepts as the station expands its emphasis on issues affecting viewers.

UCTV can be seen on Comcast and Charter cable systems in Walker and Catoosa counties.


* Tuff TV launched this week on over-the-air channel 12.2, as a sub-channel for WDEF-TV. The station offers programming aimed at the 18-49 audience with shows including "The MMA Big Show," "Unreliable Sources," "Motoworld" and "Black Dawn."

According to WDEF general manager Phil Cox, Tuff TV will also offer local news. Through a partnership with Outdoor Chattanooga, viewers will get updates on area outdoor activities.

The station is also available on Comcast channel 212, Charter channel 156 and EPB channel 162.

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