The Story of Legendary Moonshiner – Popcorn Sutton – A Tribute to the American Pursuit of Freedom

A story of prohibition, freedom; and the federal gov’t. If the government can not tax it, and/or have/and/or find a way to control it and tax it; you simply are NOT going to be allowed to have it.

Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton

Marvin Sutton

Born October 5, 1946

Died March 16, 2009 (aged 62)

Charge(s) Repeat offender of liquor laws, possession of an unregistered still, having distilling apparatus and untaxed liquor, felony drug offense, and weapons charge.

Penalty 18 Months in federal penitentiary

Conviction status Deceased

Occupation moonshiner, bootlegger

Spouse Pam Sutton

Popcorn Suttan, Moonshiner, the Legend (of freedom)

Legendary Moonshiner: Popcorn Sutton (the day before he died by suicide). This short film by international award-winning photographer, Andy Armstrong shows images of legendary moonshiner, Popcorn Sutton the day before his death in 2009. Armstrong was hired to capture marketing images of the moonshiner and recounts the events of that day in this film. To see more of Andy Armstrong’s work, visit

“Thank you, the damned federal government and the IRS”!

Popcorn Sutton Music Video


In 2009, legendary mountain moonshiner Popcorn Sutton sold an undercover ATF agent hundred of jars of moonshine. When the agent returned to buy more, he brought a posse of state and federal agents with him. Popcorn was sentenced to prison for making and selling his illegal “likker.” But instead of serving time in a penitentiary, he chose to end his own life. Singer-songwriter Ali Randolph immortalized Popcorn’s life in a song that she first performed at his memorial service. Later she recorded the song at Hollow Reed Studio in Asheville with the Outta Luck Band. For the video, we shot on location at Popcorn’s home and grave, and the site of his last moonshine operation.



5 Responses to “The Story of Legendary Moonshiner – Popcorn Sutton – A Tribute to the American Pursuit of Freedom”

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  5. Joy Udy

    A story of prohibition, freedom; and the federal gov

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