Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chicago's Chicken Man, a Maxwell Street performer.

The Chicken Man, real name Anderson Punch, who went by Casey Jones and was also called Chicken Charley, was a Jawa. Historically, Jawas were wandering junk men and performers who plied their trades on the street corners of Chicago.

Legend has it that the Chicken Man, who described himself as a show-man, had played the accordion on the streets for many years prior to his chicken phase. When his accordion was broken, he broadened his repertoire to include the chicken act.

Until his death at 104 years old in 1974, he was well-known throughout the South Side, Maxwell Street Market and the Loop for his big white performing rooster. One reporter wrote, “that chicken could do anything but talk.”

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