The Gutbucket King

by Barry Yeoman on January 2, 2014

Little Freddie King at home in New Orleans. Photo by Julie Dermansky.

Little Freddie King at home in New Orleans. Photo by Julie Dermansky.

The New New South, a digital publisher of longform journalism about the South, has released “The Gutbucket King,” New Orleans bluesman Little Freddie King’s epic story of migration, music, booze, bloodshed, race, and redemption. It was written by Barry Yeoman, with photos by Julie Dermansky.

The full multimedia version features 45 minutes of interviews and music, some of it never before heard, as well as archival photos and documents and interactive maps. It is available now on Creatavist for $3.99; a text-only Kindle version is available on Amazon for $2.99. A small percentage of your money goes to Creatavist or Amazon; the vast majority is divided evenly between the author and the publisher. You are directly supporting good journalism.

How to buy, read and listen

To access the full multimedia version—which we recommend—follow these instructions:

1. Go to This will work with your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

2. Click the button that says “Read Now.”

3. A box will pop up. Type your email address, choose a password, and click “Signup.” Remember the password. You’ll need it to return to the story.

4. A second box will pop up, prompting you for credit-card payment. Once you pay the $3.99, the full story will appear.

5. When you return on another day, click “Read Now,” then type the email address and password, and “Login.” The story should pop right up.

6. The story appears with the soundtrack on—it’s a field recording of King singing his “Pauger Street Boogie” in his living room. To turn it off (or on again), click “Soundtrack” at the top.

7. To see the photo captions, hover your mouse over the photos.

8. Remember to click the links. There are all sorts of buried treasures.

9. Even though the story lives in the cloud, you can come back as often as you’d like. When you return to the same link, just click “Read Now” again. Type your email address, password, and “Login.”

The multimedia version also allows you to download files for reading on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks or ePub devices. To do this:

1. Go to the Creatavist home page (

2. At the top right of the home page, sign in using the same email and password you entered to access the story. If you are already signed in, your email address will appear there.

3. Click on your email address and a menu will appear. Click on “My Library.”

4. Under the icon for “The Gutbucket King,” you’ll see a button that says “Read.” Hover over that button and a list of e-reader versions will appear. Click on the one you want and it will automatically download to your computer.

Thanks to New New South publisher Andrew Park for bringing this project to fruition, to Richard Ziglar for recording the audio, and to the 150-plus people who donated to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Special thanks to major donors Carol Anderson, Kate Bell, Thomas Fisher, David France, Pam Gutlon, The OpenNMS Group, Rebecca Skloot & David Prete, and Wendy Collin Sorin & Steven Sorin, and to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for funding the radio documentary that spawned this story.