CoastLine: Cleve Callison's Confederate History

Jul 13, 2017

Cleve Callison is probably a name you associate with WHQR fundraising -- whether it’s the signature at the bottom of a donation request letter or the voice singing Super Chicken when an hourly goal is reached during an on-air pledge drive.  When you hear the name Cleve Callison you might think about HQR’s weekly segment featuring your calls and emails – Friday Feedback.

Or you might be vaguely aware that he’s retiring as station manager after turning around the station’s fortunes and he’s now off to greener, possibly European, pastures. 

But on this edition of CoastLine, we meet Cleve Callison in a completely different light.  He was raised in Gaffney, South Carolina in a culture framed by Southern Baptists – despite his upbringing in the Episcopal church.  His great-great-grandfather, James Callison, served as an officer in the Confederate Army.  And his father owned a copy of the book, “Red Shirts Remembered”, described by one book vendor as “A thoroughly unrepentant look at Reconstruction, Scalawags, and the fight for votes in South Carolina.  Rifle Brigades of Wade Hampton's 'Red Shirts' take control of South Carolina from Grant's greedy carpetbaggers and begin 'Home Rule'”.  Whether Cleve Callison’s father ascribed to the ideas in that book – well, we explore that question.

We also explore how he views his family’s Confederate history in light of his own experience as a politically moderate Baby Boomer, and what he thinks about the recent trend in the South to take down monuments honoring those who fought on the Confederate side.

UPDATE July 14, 2017: Near the end or after this program aired, several comments came in, either to coastline@whqr.org, or to feedback@whqr.org. Since it is not our practice to continue CoastLine discussions on Feedback, these comments have been added below. See below for the comments.

First, some references: