Sharyn McCrumb has meticulously researched and brought to life the stories behind many songs of love, betrayal, murder and loss in her Ballad series of Southern lore. Many are rooted in myth and legend, but the real execution of Tom Dula for the murder of Laura Foster was a well-publicized scandal of a romantic triangle in 1868. Its familiarity lingers today, not because of the actual crime, but because of the No. 1 Billboard hit by the Kingston Trio, which topped the charts in 1958.
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