The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera: The Northern Rim of the Gulf Coast since World War II

Spectators at the Interstate Mullet Toss thirty-one years later, photographed by Harvey H. Jackson III.

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The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera: The Northern Rim of the Gulf Coast since World War II

by Harvey H. Jackson III
Southern Cultures, Vol. 16, No. 1: Spring 2010

"'I'm just here for the beer.'"

It was in 1978 that “Redneck Riviera” first appeared in print. Probably. And in the New York Times no less. That was when Times reporter Howell Raines published a piece that told of how former University of Alabama and then pro-football quarterbacks Richard Todd and Kenny Stabler spent the off-season on a “stretch of beach that some Alabama wags call the redneck Riviera.” Raines, a Birmingham boy who one day would become executive editor of the Times and a popular author in the bargain, could turn a phrase with the best of them, and there are those who think he coined it.