Inspiration For "A Boy Named Sue"
Hicks' oddly feminine first name may have inspired the song, "A Boy Named Sue", which Johnny Cash first performed in 1969. The song's author, Shel Silverstein, attended a judicial conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee— at which Hicks was a speaker— and apparently got the idea for the song title after hearing Hicks introduced. While Cash said he was unaware that Silverstein had any one person in mind when he wrote the song, he did send Hicks two records and two autographed pictures signed, "To Sue, how do you do?"
While his name may have inspired the song's title, Hicks pointed out that the character in the song's lyrics— who seeks revenge against his father after a lifetime of teasing— bore little resemblance to his own life. Hicks' father named him after his deceased mother, who had died from complications with Hicks' birth, rather than, as the song suggests, to make him "strong". Hicks also claimed to have always had a sense of humor about his name, and didn't consider it a source of derision. In 1970, Hicks noted: "It is an irony of fate that I have tried over 800 murder cases and thousands of others, but the most publicity has been from the name 'Sue' and from the evolution trial. ... I was named Sue for my mother, who died after childbirth."
Read more about this topic: Sue K. Hicks
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