Mississippi Queen, Casey Kasem, and Mermaids

When we were driving down to Gulf Shore, Alabama, for our family vacation this year, Casey Kasem died. Since we had Sirius radio in the car we listened to a few of his countdowns on the drive. The shows were a reminder that through the late sixties and early seventies the radio was really diverse. A song by The 5th Dimension would be followed by one by The Rolling Stones, then The Singing Nun, Three Dog Night, The Jackson Five, The Temptations. In a lot of ways it seemed like we were a much more diverse culture then. I know that’s not the case, but it seemed that way listening to those countdowns. I forget which state we crossed the Mississippi in. On the way down we were lucky enough to stumble upon the annual Superman Fest in Metropolis, Illinois, then an amazing art festival in Paducah, Kentucky. 

The most jolting moment in all of the countdown we listened to was when we heard the opening riffs of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” ripping out of the speaker. I know Black Sabbath and Iron Butterfly are both credited with pioneering heavy metal, but nothing sounded heavier than “Mississippi” queen after hearing Pat Boone. 

This drawing is Jenny’s Mississippi Queen Catfish. It’s one of 18 from her series Freshwater Mermaids of North America

Mississippi Queen Mermaid

Mississippi Queen Mermaid


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