Tag Archives: The History Channel

American Royalty: The Hatfields and McCoys (White Lightning)

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At a time when it seems that the USA isn’t (the USA,) the Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel takes us back to America’s roots. Not as far back as the Founding of Jamestown, Columbus or even Geronimo – but back to the time when two families of the “West Virginia–Kentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River” were involved in The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1863–1891.)

“The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1863–1891) involved two families of the West Virginia–Kentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River. The Hatfields of West Virginia were led by William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield while the McCoys of Kentucky were under the leadership of Randolph “Ole Ran’l” McCoy. Those involved in the feud were descended from Ephraim Hatfield (born c. 1765) and William McCoy (born c. 1750). The feud has entered the American folklore lexicon as a metonym for any bitterly feuding rival parties. More than 100 years later, the story of the feud has become a modern symbol of the perils of family honor, justice, and vengeance.” Read more…

“To this day, the Hatfields and McCoys still live along the West Virginia and Kentucky border on the same land where their ancestors waged America’s most notorious family feud. 150 years later, they are still working the coal mines and still making moonshine. Divided by the Tug River and generations of bad blood, they still don’t get along. Sure, over the years treaties have been signed and handshakes exchanged, but none of that can erase their violent past.”

“Now, the legendary clans are trying to put aside their hateful history and come together, even as old tensions run high. HATFIELDS AND McCOYS: WHITE LIGHTNING, [premiered] Thursday, August 1 at 10 p.m. on HISTORY®, follows the current real-life descendants of Randall McCoy and Devil Anse Hatfield as they face an opportunity that could rewrite history – or further propel their hatred well into the 21st century.”

“With moonshine now legal in West Virginia, seasoned liquor executive Monsell Darville is looking to bring an authentic new moonshine brand to market. He approaches McCoy patriarch Jim Quick, a direct maternal descendent of Randall McCoy, to boldly propose a business partnership with the Hatfields – one that would create a Hatfield & McCoy moonshine. This would require Jim to work alongside patriarch Mark Hatfield, the great-great-great grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield. It would also demand that both families reveal their secret moonshine recipes, supply their legendary well water and most importantly – work together and get along!” Read more…

Probably the slickest and best liquor advertising campaign in the history of liquor, advertising or even campaigns in general is – the marketing of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s White Lightning. How cool is that? What American wouldn’t drink a glass of White Lightning? Who cares if the American haters, who would call these fine folk dumb-hicks or hillbillies, don’t get the importance or meaning of this legendary family, or don’t get the fact that the terms hillbilly and hick are not necessarily negative. New Yorkers have to invent a lifestyle; these people from the Appalachian mountains actually live life. Their roots run deep in the fabric of America. I’ve got to do research to see if that lackluster TV series The Hatfields and McCoys with Kevin Costner was just a lead-up to the ad campaign for The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning. *Was the TV show American Pickers the genesis?

Courtney McCoy in Historys Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning.
Courtney McCoy in History's "Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning."

Courtney McCoy is the femme-fatale, star of this fascinating series. “It is only fitting that Courtney McCoy, the daughter of Jim McCoy, has business acumen and a fiery temper to match. Courtney is the organizer of the family and keeps everyone in line. She is an alumnus of Marshall University and graduated with a degree in history and international affairs, with a minor in Political Science. Courtney is currently working toward her master’s degree in Business. Courtney is the family historian, who hates the Hatfields but appreciates the legacy that their families share. Like a true McCoy, she loves four-wheeling and carries her .22 at all times.”

No disrespect meant, but this young woman has a derriere that’s the Real McCoy. I’m talking rock star a–!

Find more about Courtney and the other family members at The History Channel here.

Scotty May Hatfield
Scotty May Hatfield

Another emerging star of The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning
“Known for his country character and backwoods charm, Scotty May loves moonshine almost as much as he loves his family. As one of the proudest descendants of Devil Anse, Scotty May has made his home up Devil Anse’s old hollow. Like his cousins Mark, Missy and John T., he is proud of his family’s history and will defend it against the McCoys. His best friend is his dog, Toto, who sits on his shoulder like a parrot.”

Verbal gemstones of brilliance are offered, every-so-often, from this coolest of cats. Just try to best him.

 The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel - Family Members
The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel - Family Members

The Hatfields and McCoys may be here to show us the way back home. We need someone to (moon) shine that light (ning.)

White Lighting
“Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly. The word “moonshine” is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey.” Read more…

Stills & Recipes for homemade moonshine “for informational purposes only.”

*The History Channel’s, American Pickers, featured a show about collectible items belonging to the Hatfields and McCoys.

The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel