What ever happened to Brother Dave Gardner? Well, until last month, the Deep South hepcat comic was just living quietly in an apartment near Lake Dallas with Miss Millie, his wife and manager. But now Brother Dave is hitting the comeback trail – though he prefers the term “renaissance.”
Brother Dave rose to national fame in 1957 in a series of appearances on the Jack Paar show, including the fondly remembered Ides of March skit (“Et tu, Brute?” “Naw man, I ain’t even et one.”) Over the next six years he put out a string of hit records and became a household word. But as the Sixties wore on, Brother Dave’s stream-of-consciousness raps became more political and more radically right. His popularity waned, largely because of bad press which portrayed him as a paranoid racist with close ties to the Ku Klux Klan. In 1970 he quit touring altogether.
Now Brother Dave has his act together again, and he’s taking it on the road. His December 1 performance at Will Rogers Coliseum was enthusiastically received by a thousand of the faithful; the act was hilarious and by current standards extremely inoffensive, with political references limited to “that preacher in Iran.” Now Miss Millie is setting up a 50-stop tour for 1980. Says Brother Dave, “All I want to do is go out and unify the people.” Rejoice, dear hearts.