• 68°

Dixie Gamble comes home with new book

Author

Dixie Gamble

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Dixie Gamble will be at South Main Book Co. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, to do a reading and sign copies of her book, “Witch Hairs: Mirth, Miracles, Mayhem & Music.”

That’s Dixie Cauble Gamble, who grew up in Salisbury, on Cauble Road, who went to Salisbury High School, where she met and married J.B. Gamble, when they were very young.

J.B looked and sounded a lot like Elvis, and he got an offer to work at Opryland, so they moved to Nashville, where the marriage didn’t last, but Dixie found success, rising to become president of a record company that’s now part of Sony.

Her book tells her story, from that puppy love — literally — to her days as an advocate for mental health, and all that came in between, including a marriage to Jimmy Bowen, a record producer.

She writes about falling in love with J.B. The high school kids were hanging out at Fulton Street Pharmacy, near the school, and she saw a red Chevy convertible with the best looking guy she had ever seen, holding a puppy.

“I tried not to pay attention to the guy, so I looked at the puppy … then at J.B.’s puppy eyes,” and they fell madly in love on the spot. “We were so young, too young.” He went on to have a successful career as a musician while Dixie worked at the record company.

After a while, she realized she was not very good at playing the corporate game, keeping her mouth shut and playing the toady.

While married to Bowen, who produced Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others, she realized she needed her own creative path. Sadly, her younger son was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. “He was a musical prodigy,” Dixie says, and what happened “brought me to my knees.”

She began working on films to de-stigmatize mental illness. She did training for police officers and corrections officers on how to deal with people with mental illness. She volunteered in a prison.

“I did a lot of work in advocacy. I put my heart and soul in that to help those like my son. I was fierce about my son, and he’s lucky he had a family to fight for him.”

Along the way, she did a documentary in Australia’s Outback, and was invited to dance a sacred dance with the aboriginal women. “It was a spiritual and creative highlight of my life.”

Her current husband, John Jorgenson, is a world-class bluegrass musician, who happened to get a booking at Lee St. theatre last year while he was between gigs. He liked it enough to return this year, as well. He said yes because Salisbury is Dixie’s home.

Dixie believes everything is connected; there are no accidents.

She writes about the Cauble homeplace she remembers, on what is now Cauble Acres. It was an old house in the middle of an oak grove. “We used to sit on the porch all the time. We didn’t have air conditioning or central heating. We talked to so many people on that porch.”

Her father, Gaither Grier Cauble, was going to be a doctor, but it was about the time penicillin became available, and he didn’t like the idea of giving patients drugs. So, he studied to be a chiropractor and naturopath, “way before his time,” she says. He was also a gentleman farmer, raising mostly cotton, and a garden. He never used pesticides, and was very careful about what his children ate. “We loved Campbell’s tomato soup,” she remembers, and Mom would skim the cream off the fresh milk and mix it with that soup. We loved it.” Her father, however, told them they couldn’t have canned soups. He realized the acid in the tomato soup was leaching some of the aluminum out of the can, and knew ingesting aluminum was bad.

Dixie reveals some family secrets in the book, including one that has a happy ending.

You’ll recognize a lot of musicians in the book, including Elton John, for whom Dixie’s husband, John, played at one time. John and Dixie were married in England on the day Princess Diana was killed.

There’s so much in the book, Dixie says, and she hopes people here will be interested, even though it’s been a long time since she’s been back.

At Parnassus Books in Nashville, 200 people came to her book launch.

“But you know how North Carolina people are. When you see each other, you just get that feeling. I’m so excited to come home and experience that.”

Dixie will be at South Main Book Co., 110 S. Main St., on Sept. 25, from 7-9 p.m.

Comments

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, professionals reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT