Sound Recordings

Banjo Player
The Archives houses nearly 85,000 sound recordings. Below is a guide to our major sound collections. Click on the link to iTunesU to hear a selection of traditional ballads, mountain songs, country tunes, folk tales, and much more.


Fred Shoun



MUSIC IN THE ARCHIVES


The music of Appalachia has been adapted and blended into an array of music forms, including old-time, bluegrass, and country.
Nearby Bristol, Tennessee, was the site of the 1927 "Big Bang of Country Music," which launched the careers of Jimmy Rogers and the Carter Family.  To this day, the music of Appalachia remains an integral part of life in the region.

The Archives of Appalachia has built a significant archive of over 75,000 sound recordings of traditional, bluegrass, old-time, and country music. Major collections are highlighted below.

 

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SOUND COLLECTIONS

Click titles to view collection inventories.


Appalachian-Scottish Studies

Contains a number of audio and videotapes of American and Scottish artists performing English and Scottish ballads, and playing such instruments as the dulcimer, banjo and Jew's harp. Among the artists represented are Margaret Bennett, Frank Profitt, Jr., Orville Hicks and Emily Lyle.



Barnicle-Cadle

Includes taped copies and original disc recordings of such artists as Jim Garland, Sara Garland (Sara Ogan Gunning), Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly), the Osborne Family, Aunt Molly Jackson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, and the Ritchie Sisters. The recordings were made by folklorist Mary Barnicle and her husband Tillman Cadle between 1936 and 1951.



William Becker

The Becker collection consists of over 300 commercial recordings of American folk music as well as other related printed material.



Richard Blaustein

Included in the collection are audio and videotapes which document the following types of music: old-time, country, blues, bluegrass, white gospel and revival. Performers recorded include Ralph Mayo, Friday Brothers, Bailes Brothers, Old Joe Clark, Dixie Dewdrops, Victory Quartet, Charlie Bowman, Carter Family, Claude Grant, Uncle Dave Macon, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, and G.B. Grayson. Festivals recorded include: ETSU Homefolks, Ferrum Blues and the Old Time Country Radio Reunion. The collection also contains written documentation on the history of country music and on the Old Time Country Radio Reunion, and photographs of country music performers.



Broadside Television

This collection includes a number of 3/4" video cassettes of musical performances. Performers include the Morris Brothers, Taylor and Stella Kimble, the Fiddlin' Powers Family, Ralph Stanley, Tommy Jarrell, Johnny Cash, and Malcolm Johnson. Types of music represented include: old-time, bluegrass, ballads and mountain blues guitar. The Broadside collection also contains videos on WZAP, a country-music radio station, and on making musical instruments.



Thomas G. Burton

Contains various types of materials on folk music. Included are dub sheets and transcripts of interviews with individuals who sang folk songs. Also contains a songbook written by Delmar Herington of Bristol, Tennessee; and songs sung by Hattie Presnell and Stanley Hicks on cassette audiotape.



Burton-Manning

Includes taped (audio and video) musical performances of local persons from East Tennessee and western North Carolina, as well as such noted performers as Arlie Watson, Doc Watson, Tom Ashley, Horton Barker, the Carter Family, and the Toe River Valley Boys. Types of music played include: ballads (Child and Laws), shape note, bluegrass and old-time. Written documentation includes dub sheets, correspondence on ballads, and clippings on ballads.



Lewis Deneumoustier

A large multi-format collection of bluegrass and early country music. This collection consists of approximately 25,000 sound recordings, which include many local artists and recordings of live performances at concerts and festivals. Also included are song books, sheet music, posters, photographs, and memorabilia.



Charles Gunter, Jr.

Two audiotapes have information on country music: one tape has information on how to make and play dulcimers, while the other includes old-time country and country and western tunes played by various local artists.



Bonnie Lou and Buster Moore

Includes 43 video recordings of the regionally popular television program Jim Walter Home Jubilee, starring Bonnie Lou and Buster Moore. The program featured musical performances by the regular cast and guests, such as Scotty Stoneman. Also included are program audiotapes, production notebooks, and publicity photographs.



David Larry Nave

Contains videotapes of old-time country musicians E.C. and Orna Ball.



Old-Time Dance Conference

Consists of audio and videotapes of two dance conferences held in 1989 and 1990, as well as tapes of non-conference performances. Includes buck, clog, step, and square dancing.



Glenn E. Roberts, Jr.

Consists of 142 audiotapes of the Glenn Roberts Radio Program, the Shriners bluegrass festival (Wise, Va.), home-jamming bluegrass sessions. Tapes date from the 1960s-1980s.



Bernard Rousseau

The Bernard Rousseau Collection contains 187 open reel audiotapes of performances at fiddlers’ conventions, bluegrass festivals, music clubs, and studio sessions, 1957-84; as well as radio broadcasts of bluegrass and country music, 1983-88. The collection also contains two manuscript boxes of printed materials, which focus on the conventions and festivals. Included in the two boxes are tape logs, performer lists, publicity photos, along with convention and festival programs.



Kenneth W. Smith

This comprehensive collection of bluegrass and country music recordings includes 17,000 long-playing records, hundreds of compact discs, video recordings, and related books.



William L. and Gowan Merson Smith

Consists of 83 audio recordings of William and Gowan Smith playing fiddle, organ, and piano, 1957-76.  The Smiths had a life-long interest in Scottish fiddle music. The collection includes recording of live and commercial performances.



Benny and Eula Sims

This collection relates to fiddler Benny Sims who played fiddle for Flatt and Scruggs, as well as for the Bonnie Lou and Buster Moore Show, WJHL-Television, Johnson City, Tennessee. It consists of recordings, songbooks, photographs, awards, and other materials.



Southern Songbirds

Contains seven 30-minute audio cassettes of interviews conducted by Rachel Ann Goodman with women instrumental in the early development of country and old-time music. Musicians represented include Etta Baker, Ramona Jones, the Powers Family, Jean Ritchie, the Carter Family, Martha Carson, Matokie Slaughter, Patsy Montana, Ola Belle Reed, Wilma Lee Cooper and Hazel Dickens.



Stoneman Family

This collection includes the business papers, publicity, photographs, and posters of Ernest Stoneman and his musical family.  Also included are sound recordings and videotapes of performances.



Jack Tottle Bluegrass and Old-Time Music

Included are 61 reel to reel audiotapes (dubbed onto audio cassettes) of bluegrass, old-time, and blues music tapes from live and recorded performances, 1940-76. Artists represented include the Poplin Family, Flatt and Scruggs, Uncle Dave Macon, Etta Baker, Lonesome River Boys, Stanley Brothers, Kentucky Colonels, Bill Monroe, Hylo Brown and Don Reno.



WCYB Radio

Contained in this collection are seven reel to reel audio tapes, dubbed from transcription disks, of 1947-49 WCYB radio programs. Programs include "Farm and Fun Time," and "Thrift Supply Company." Artists represented include Curly King and the Tennessee Hilltoppers (Don Campbell, Leslie Keith, Shorty Morris), Roy Russell and Roy Webb.



WETS-FM

Includes reel to reel audiotapes of different types of country music. Old-time, bluegrass, folk, and revival are among the types of music represented in the collection. Artists represented include Ed Snodderly, the Corklickers, the Dixie Dewdrops, Friday Brothers, Hotmud Family, Bluegrass Ramblers, Whitetop Mountain Band, Guy Carawan, Keith Miles, John McCutcheon, Red Rector, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Bill Clifton, Foggy Bottom String Band, Nanci Griffith, and Mountain Memories.



Duncan and Linda Williamson

Consists of audio recordings of Duncan Williamson and other musicians and storytellers at ceilidhs and community gatherings in Scotland. Included are traditional songs and Jack tales.

 
          
 




SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

For further reading, search the Sherrod Library Catalog.


Artis, Bob. Bluegrass: from the lonesome wail of a mountain love song to the hammering drive of the Scruggs-style banjo. 1975. ML3561.362 A7

Bronson, Bertrand Harris. The traditional tunes of the Child ballads. 1959. ML3650.B82

Burton, Thomas G. Some ballad folks. 1978. ML400.B89

Burton, Thomas, G. Tom Ashley, Sam McGee, Bukka White: traditional Tennessee singers. 1981. ML400.T6

Cantwell, Robert. Bluegrass breakdown: the making of the old Southern sound. ML3520.C36 1986

Cohen, Norm. Long steel rail: the railroad in American folksong. 1981. ML3551.C57

Day, Douglas Turner. In the world of my ancestors: the Olive Dame Campbell collection of Appalachian folk song, 1908-1916. 1994. ML3551 D29 1994a

Donleavy, Kevin. Strings of life: conversations with old-time musicians from Virginia and North Carolina. ML385.D66 2004

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful tunes and spirituals: black folk music to the Civil War. ML3556.E8 1981

Goldsmith, Thomas. The bluegrass reader. ML3520.B54 2004

Jackson, George Pullen. White spirituals in the Southern uplands: the story of the Fasola folk, their songs, their singing, and "buckwheat notes."  ML3551.J2 1964

Jones, Loyal. Minstrel of the Appalachians: the story of Bascom Lamar Lunsford. ML420.L935 J6 1984

Kahn, Edward A. The Carter family: a reflection of changes in society. ML421.C37 K35 1970a

Ledgin, Stephanie P. Homegrown music: discovering bluegrass. ML3520.L43 2004

Lomax, Alan. Folk song style and culture. ML3545.L63 1978

Malone, Bill C. Country music, USA: a fifty-year history. 1968. ML3551.M25

Malone, Bill C. Singing cowboys and musical mountaineers: Southern culture and the roots of country music. ML3551.M26 1993

McGee, Marty. Traditional musicians of the central Blue Ridge: old time, early country, folk and bluegrass label recording artists and discographies. ML106.U4 B66 2000

Montell, William. Singing the glory down: amateur gospel music in south central Kentucky, 1900-1990. ML3187.M66 1991

The new harp of Columbia. M2117.N52 1978

Odum, Howard W. Negro workaday songs. ML3556.O36 1969

Peterson, Richard A. Creating country music: fabricating authenticity. ML3524.P48 1997

Ritchie, Jean. Singing family of the Cumberlands. ML420.R6 A3 1963

Rosenberg, Neil V. Bluegrass: a history. ML3520.R67 1985

Sharp, Cecil James. Early English folk songs from the southern Appalachians. M1629.S53 E4 1968b

Spalding, Susan Eike. Communities in motion: dance, community, and tradition in America's southeast and beyond. GV1624.A7 C65 1995

Strangeways, A. H. Cecil Sharp. ML423.S53 F6 1955

Tribe, Ivan M. The Stonemans: an Appalachian family and the music that shaped their lives. ML421.S8 T7 1993

Wilson, Joe. A guide to the crooked road: Virginia's heritage music trail. ML3551.7.V8 W5 2006

Wolfe, Charles K. A good-natured riot: the birth of the Grand Ole Opry. ML3524.W64 1999

Wolfe, Charles K. The women of country music: a reader. ML394. W65 2003

Wolfe, Charles K., and Ted Olson. The Bristol sessions: writings about the big bang of country music. ML3524.B73 2005

Wolfe, Charles K. Bluegrass 1950-1958, Bill Monroe. ML156.7 .M66 W6 1985