Appalachian Music Fellowship 20

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay Last, June 29, 2009 Today I am finishing up my month-long residency as an Appalachian Music Fellow in the Special Collections & Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College. I am homesick, but I don’t want to leave Berea either. I could tell I was homesick (and tired) when I watched anContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 20”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 19

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 19, June 25, 2009 Girl Singers Today I gave my Music Fellowship research presentation at the Hutchins Library. Posted below is the beginning, a little autobiographical statement. . . When I was a little girl, I used to wake up every work-day morning to the smell of bacon, fried eggs,Continue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 19”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 18

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 18, June 24, 2009 The Barn Dance Costumefor Linda Parker a.k.a. The Little Sunbonnet Girl and The Red-Headed Rascal Reject the lace petticoats, the ric-rachems. Reject the gingham bonnet’sstranglehold, the myth of calicofor righteousness sake. Forsakethe man whispering backstageyour fate, his eyes greenas dollar bills. Step outyour high-topped shoes andankleContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 18”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 17

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 17, June 23, 2009 “I would leave them as they are and not meddle.” Maybe the reason I keep coming back to Cecil Sharp’s musical journeys into the Southern Appalachian mountains is because he tended to be the most open-minded ballad collector about his subjects who gave so freely ofContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 17”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 16

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 16, June 22, 2009 Breathing One Unlettered Atmosphere I’ve been bugging the archivists at the Special Collections & Archives about whether any African-American mountain people were ever ballad singers and/or if their songs were ever collected by the “ballad-mongers” at the turn of the last century. We can’t find anyContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 16”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 15

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 15, June 19, 2009 Goldie Hill: The Golden Hillbilly . . . and “Little Gal” In a file of miscellaneous published song books this morning, I found the 1954 Scrapbook of Hillbilly & Western Stars (pictured above); obviously a money-making endeavor that featured photographs and short biographies of current countryContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 15”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 14

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 14, June 18, 2009 Here is one last note on the ballad collecting craze I’ve been writing about recently. From about 1900 through at least the next 50 years, Berea College had several faculty members who were avid ballad collectors. Berea’s third President, William Goddell Frost (1893-1920), encouraged faculty andContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 14”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 13

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 13, June 17, 2009 The Song Catcher Competition My colleague in the Special Collections & Archives, Penny Messinger, suggested “The Song Catcher Competition” phrase to describe the ballad-collecting craze that went on in the mountains (particularly in Kentucky) during the early decades of the 20th century. Yesterday’s post indicated someContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 13”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 12

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 12, June 16, 2009 Stereotype: “a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.” –Random House Dictionary. Yes, and so is the southern Appalachian, as I’ve been aptly reminded today while studyingContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 12”

Appalachian Music Fellowship 11

Berea College Appalachian Music FellowshipDay 11, June 15, 2009 “The house our foreparents left had a song, had a story.We didn’t care.We said:them old love songsthem old balletsthem old stories and like foolishness.” from Jim Wayne Miller, “Brier Sermon—You Must Be Born Again,” in The Mountains Have Come Closer, 1980. I’m reading about “them oldContinue reading “Appalachian Music Fellowship 11”