William Devereux Zantzinger, whose six-month sentence in the fatal caning of a black barmaid named Hattie Carroll at a Baltimore charity ball moved Bob Dylan to write a dramatic, almost journalistic song in 1963 that became a classic of modern American folk music, died on Jan. 3. He was 69.
Obviously, the song and the six months he served had a major impact on Zantzinger
In 1991, The Maryland Independent disclosed that Mr. Zantzinger had been collecting rent from black families living in shanties that he no longer owned; Charles County, Md., had foreclosed on them for unpaid taxes. The shanties lacked running water, toilets or outhouses. Not only had Mr. Zantzinger collected rent for properties he did not own, he also went to court to demand past-due rent, and won.
He pleaded guilty to 50 misdemeanor counts of deceptive trade practices, paid $62,000 in penalties and, under an 18-month sentence, spent only nights in jail.
Information on Mr. Zantzinger’s survivors was unavailable. Though he long refused interviews, he did speak to the author Howard Sounes for his book “Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan” (2001) , telling him of his scorn for Mr. Dylan.
“I should have sued him and put him in jail,” he said.
A tip of the Fez to Avedon Carol at the Sideshow for catching this
In case you can't be bothered with waiting for it to come up on the playlist on Radio Woodshed, here's the Dylan song with some other primo protest music.
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crossposted from The Woodshed