Why You Need To See The Video About The “King” Of Stinnett
The Texas panhandle is an interesting place. While many people not from here may think we're only wide open spaces and empty fields, there is plenty going on if you know where and how to look. There are a lot of interesting characters running around out here.
Like the "King" of Stinnett. Here's why you need to see the short documentary about him on YouTube.
Part Bubba Ho-Tep; Part Steel Magnolias. Small Town Elvis Impersonator.
The documentary, which I need to thank my editor for sharing with me, is a snapshot of everything I loved about living in a small town when I was younger. From the outside, it looks comical and ridiculous.
Once you take the trip, though, you get attached and see things in a different light.
The Ballad Of Smokey Binion, Jr.; Elvis Of Stinnett
Having never heard of Smokey, or the "Elvis" of Stinnett, I went in blind; watching a video about a man who had apparently built quite the reputation as an Elvis impersonator.
The thumbnail of the video featured a man with a cartoonishly loud shirt, vest, sunglasses, and haircut that was a good attempt at pulling off a "do" like the King's. I thought I was in for one of those weird attempts at Internet fame that we've all seen far too often.
Instead, what I got was a story about a man who spread joy to everyone who crossed paths with him. He was famous, in a way, from Pampa to Spearman and back again.
The individuals interviewed for the documentary told stories of a man who liked to perform, and liked to make people smile.
Assuming...we all know what it does. I went in looking for cheap laughs, and came away hearing a story of a man with a passion who brightened everyone's day.
Unfortunately, I'll Never Get To Meet Smokey Binion Jr.; "King" of Stinnett
In the comments of the documentary, I noticed a couple of posts mentioning that Smokey had died. Surely, this couldn't be the case. Right?
Unfortunately, it's true. Smokey Binion Jr. died in 2021. In fact, it's been almost a year to the day. I never met the man, and somehow I feel a piece of the greater whole is missing.
I've always been drawn to those who see the world through their own lens. They experience the gift of life on their own terms, in their own way, with no care to how the rest of us feel about it. He loved Elvis, performing, and making people smile, and he set out to do just that.
I hate that I never got to see him perform, or snag a few questions for a piece about life as the "King" of Stinnett, TX.
Rest high on that mountain, King.