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FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS | Chapter 1

Updated: Aug 25

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Welcome to the IN THE RED CLAY Podcast blog! Here, you'll find exclusive content that pairs with each episode of IN THE RED CLAY every week. Stories told in the show will have documentation showing that the story is true and has been told exactly as it happened when possible. Dixie Mafia hit man Billy Sunday Birt's son, Stoney, provides insight and clarification on the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How these events unfolded. The first-hand knowledge he shares has never been heard before.


Archival photo of investigators posing w/ a moonshine still bust

Making Moonshine and bootlegging were a way of life in the South.


It was a common thing in the American South to make and sell illegal whiskey. In the post-depression-era, it was the only way for some people to keep food on the table. It was not uncommon for lawmen, politicians, judges and high society types to be customers of these moonshiners. Billy Sunday Birt learned the tricks of the trade from his grandfather, Pink Hegwood, when he was young, and the recipe and method Hegwood used, and taught Birt, have been passed down in the family since before the Civil War began. Stoney carries on that same tradition today at his Rock Solid Distillery in Winder, Georgia.


Bootlegging busts - The Winder News - 1971
Billy Birt as a toddler ©Birt Family Archives
Young Billy Birt ©Birt Family Archives
Billy Birt circa 1964 ©Birt Family Archives

Billy Birt's Grandparents ©Birt Family Archive

From Left: Billy Birt, Pete Phillips, Bobby Birt ©Birt Family Archives

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