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McComb’s Will Price Taught Hollywood How to Speak Southern (then Married Maureen O’Hara at Chatawa)

Mac Gordon

Donuts on Cake

Will Price, we no longer need your services.

Price was a native of McComb who taught Hollywood actors and actresses how to speak southern as needed for their films, including “Gone With the Wind.”

He must’ve had an awful time teaching his wife to talk like us. She was the famed actress Maureen O’Hara, a native of Ireland. Price married her in a lavish ceremony at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa in 1941.

Mr. Price, the son of a local judge, grew up in a house at the corner of Burke and Aston streets in McComb. He died in 1962, so his services actually have long been unnecessary.

Today, or in the not too distant future, Will would indeed be out of a job because — attention please, roll the drums – the southern accent is disappearing and we southerners will be talking like yankees and Americans from everywhere. Thus, there will be no need for voice mentors in filmdom like Price.

This has all come to light In a perhaps surprising article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper on Sept. 21 by reporter Bo Emerson, who chronicled a collaborative study on our beloved accent conducted by linguists at the University of Georgia and Georgia Technological Institute, aka Georgia Tech.

The study “tells us that the Southern accent is disappearing. Baby Boomers still sound similar to their parents. But among Gen Xers, they discovered, the accent ‘fell of a cliff,’” wrote Emerson.

He added: “Bid farewell to the Southern twang. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But Georgians are high-

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