Johnny James Young was descended from Susan Scott, a Monticello slave who was brought to northern Alabama by Jefferson's great-grandson William Stuart Bankhed in 1846. When Young was growing up, his family was still closely tied to Bankhead's descendants and some family members lived on and farmed their land. Johnny James Young helped with the cotton crop as a child and raised cotton as an adult. "I've been a farmer all my life," he said. The church and music were important to him and for years he performed with a successful family gospel quartet, the "Young Memorial." Today, many of Susan Scott's descendants carry on a vibrant gospel music tradition.
1996 Nov. 11, Courtland, AL Interviewees: Lester B. Diggs, Johnny James Young