American Scandal

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Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.

Introducing: How I Built This with Guy Raz

Introducing: How I Built This with Guy Raz

Mon, 12 Sep 2022 08:00

When Guy Raz interviews business leaders from the world’s biggest companies on How I Built This, he’s looking for more than anecdotes of success.

Guy has spoken with the founders of some of the world’s best-known companies about their journey to where they are today. His goal is to inspire you with their stories, to provide you with a roadmap to learn how to think differently and to approach challenges like they’re opportunities, just like an entrepreneur.

In 2016, Fawn Weaver became fixated on a newspaper article telling the little-known story of Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel—yes, that Jack Daniel—how to make Tennessee whiskey. After diving deeper into the story, Fawn and her husband Keith purchased the 300-acre Tennessee farm where Nearest had taught Jack to distill; and Fawn decided the best way to honor Nearest was with a bottle of the best Tennessee whiskey she could make. With no background in distilling, she threw herself into the insular world of spirit-making, and today, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is one of the top-awarded whiskeys in the U.S.

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Certainly by now, you've heard of the podcast How I Built This with Guy Ross. But if you haven't, it's an award-winning podcast which explores the stories of some of the best-known brands in the world and the creators behind them. But How I Built This Isn't Your Average Business Podcast? In each episode, Guy taps into the hearts and minds of his entrepreneurial guests to learn more about how the complex decisions they made years ago paved the way for their monumental success today. His goal for this podcast is to inspire you with relatable stories so you can approach challenges like their opportunities just like an entrepreneur. In a recent episode of the show, Guy talks with Fawn Weaver about how she started Uncle nearest premium whiskey. In 2016, Fawn became fixated on the little-known story of nearest green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel, yes, that Jack Daniel, how to make Tennessee whiskey. Fawn, with no background in distilling, threw himself into the world of spirit-making, and today, Uncle nearest premium whiskey is one of the top-awarded whiskeys in the US. You're about to hear a clip from this episode. And while you're listening, be sure to follow How I Built This On Amazon Music, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen one week early on Amazon Music, or early and at free, by subscribing to Wondry Plus, an Apple Podcast, or the Wondry App. I remember first and foremost the photo, this photo of Jack Daniel, and a lot of people saw it and immediately began wondering who is this black man to the right of Jack. But what I saw when I saw that photo was something a little different, which was Jack Daniel, the most famous whiskey maker of all time, was taking a photo with his team, and he had seated the center position to the black man. That's what you notice immediately. Immediately, because everyone else around Jack is white. This was his leadership team, if you will. And the question was, is this nearest green, this story that had been floating around Lynchburg, Tennessee for so long about this African-American, formerly enslaved man, who was the teacher of Jack Daniel, is this him? That was the question that people were asking, but the headline was, Jack Daniels embraces a hidden ingredient, help from a slave. And I remember my eyes got wide as saucers, and I know that because Keith sitting across from me panics, and I literally flip the paper around to him, and he's like, you've got to be kidding. And for us as African-Americans, until that point in our lives, there was no brain. That was like a quintessential American brand. That was known around the world, that was able to be pinpointed to an African-American being there in the beginning. And that newspaper article flipped everything upside down because I read it and thought, how is it possible that this black man could have been so important and none of us know about it? So were you just as an aside, were you at that point a whiskey drinker? Like, because they're people who are super into whiskey as they're people who are super into wine and beer, like was whiskey a thing for you? Whiskey was my drink of choice, specifically bourbon, high proof and neat. So this article spoke to you on multiple levels, not just the story of a black man who essentially invented Jack Daniels, but as a whiskey drinker. Yeah, it speaks to me not because it was whiskey. It speaks to me because it was a ubiquitous American brand known around the world, that it was very possible that a black man was at the very beginning of it. Right. So I began looking into the story even more and I got on Amazon and I ordered Jack Daniels legacy. It was a biography by a local journalist out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who goes to Lynchburg Tennessee to write the authoritative biography on the most famous whiskey maker in the world. And very early on into the book, it introduces this white preacher and distiller who Jack came to work for him as a chore boy and nearest green was working the still at that time. This preacher, according to this biography, says that he introduces Jack to nearest by saying, this is Uncle nearest. He's the best whiskey maker that I know of. And then every page, it was either nearest green or his son's Eli green and George green. I mean, they were very, very prominent in terms of mentions in this book and they were mentioned more times than Jack's own family. So this was known. This was known for a long time. Oh, it was well known. Yeah, yeah. This was not it. It's the worst kept secret if it was supposed. It was never supposed to be a secret. And that's what I realized when I read his biography is as I believed that it was a story of love, honor and respect. You've just heard a clip from how I built this with Guy Ross. You can listen to more of how I built this on Amazon Music, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen one week early on Amazon Music or early in Add Free by subscribing to the One Re plus and Apple podcasts or the One Re app.