The story of Earlywine “Earl” Jackson.
Earlywine “Earl” Jackson was born in eastern Oklahoma in the early 1900s. although the exact timeframe of his birth has been debated for decades (thanks to the fact that earl never looked a day under 42, even as a child), the summer of 1909 seems to be the closest guesstimation.
What can’t be debated is that over the course of his illustrious life and career, Earl perfected his own style of BBQ and smoked it up to the delight of dignitaries, heads of state, movie stars, outlaws, and common folk alike.
Earl’s most famous admirer was none other than The King himself. Even though his BBQ is said to have single-handedly defused the Great Texarkana Uprising of 1947, Earl took great pride in the fact that while traveling as The King’s personal chef, the rock-n-roller gained over 50 pounds. Earl considered it his greatest life’s work!
It was widely rumored that because of their close friendship, The King was the only living soul ever to learn Earl’s secret BBQ recipes. A secret he took to his throne… and his grave. (That is if you believe he actually died.)
In 1978, on the one-year anniversary of The King’s demise, Earl hung up his BBQ-spattered apron for the last time. Following his death, Earl (and his secret recipes) became a legend. In fact, Earl’s recipes were sought after by chefs and collectors from around the world.
Despite what numerous tabloid stories and conspiracy theories suggested, his secret BBQ handbook of recipes, notes, and preparation directions was locked away, far from where anyone might be able to steal it.
That is until 1996, when the family felt it was time to bring Earl’s famous BBQ back to the people of Oklahoma and the world!
On June 20, 1996, exactly 87 years after Earlywine “Earl” Jackson was born, his great-grandson, Merle Jackson, bequeathed the sole copy of Earl’s Official & Unabridged Handbook of BBQ Recipes, Sides & Such to two young BBQ aficionados from Oklahoma City.
They opened Earl’s Rib Palace on Western Avenue that same day to ensure his spirit and authentic Oklahoma BBQ recipes live on.
So if you ever feel like the eyes on Earl the Pig are following you around, don’t worry—that’s just Earl keeping his eye on things.