‘Dean of storytelling’ Davis returns to Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Donald Davis and the Grand Canyon. Enough said.

Those who have heard Donald Davis tell the hilarious story of his trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the back of a mule beg to hear it again.

On Saturday night, the nationally acclaimed storyteller, will tell the Grand Canyon story at the 6:30 p.m. concert of the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival at the Trojan Center Theater. But Davis, the Dean of Storytelling, will also be a teller at the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. storytelling concerts Saturday at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University.

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Donald Davis is “the Dean of Storytelling,” said David “Doc” Kirby of WTBF-Radio. “No one who has ever heard him will contest that title.

“I have been a fan of Donald Davis for 25 or 30 years and there is nobody who can tell a story and make you cry and laugh, back to back like him,” Kirby said. “I have read most all of Donald Davis’ books and there is not a story that he tells that I don’t like.”

However, Kirby said seeing Donald Davis tell his stories takes you right where he is and doing right what he is doing. And, it’s an amazing journey.

“The emotion with which he tells his stories is incredible, whether it’s a humorous story or a poignant one, the emotion is there,” Kirby said. “It takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy to be a great storyteller and Donald Davis’ stories are always packed with energy.”

Kirby said, as much as he enjoys Davis’ “funny stuff,” it’s his poignant stories that “stay with you.”

“I still remember the emotion that I felt when he told the sweet story of a father and son that took place during the Vietnam war era. Anyone, but especially any father and any son, would have been deeply moved by that story. I’ll long remember it.”

Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich with stories. The stories he tells are nourishing, true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.

The New York Times said of Davis, “I could have listened all morning to Donald Davis … his stories often left listeners limp with laughter at the same time they struggled with a lump in the throat.”

Davis will join Michael Reno Harrell, Sheila Kay Adams and Kevin Kling at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Saturday at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University.

Tickets are $10 and are available for the 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday storytelling concerts at the Trojan Center Theater.

The Friday night and Saturday 2 p.m. concerts are sold out.

For tickets and information, call 334-685-5524. Tickets are available at The Messenger.

The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival is sponsored in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with support for the National Endowment for the Arts.