Allen Tullos collection, 1973-1985.

Creator: Tullos, Allen, 1950-
Collection number: 20043
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Abstract: Allen Tullos graduated in 1976 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Masters degree in folklore; he also earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. His research interests have centered on American popular culture, the South, cultural geography, biography, and documentary forms. Recordings on cassette and reel-to-reel tapes and documentation about many of the recordings. The cassette tape contains an interview with Cas Wallin of Madison County, N.C., known for his ballad and gospel songs, with Tullos as the chief interviewer. The material was used in a radio program for the North Carolina Broadcast Series. Reel-to-reel tapes include Wallin singing with Edison Ramsey and Evelyn Ramsey and an interview with Virgia Wallin and Dellie Norton that includes information about Cas Wallin. Other recordings document Tullos’s travels in Alabama and Virginia, where he recorded guitar and banjo tunes of Felix Blackwell, Bryon York, and Fred Beckett in Mooresville, Ala. He also interviewed Norman Smith, a potter from Chilton County, Ala., and shape-note singers at two Alabama churches, the Oak Hill Baptist Church and the Little Vine Primitive Baptist Church. He spoke with Frank Staton, an African American blues performer from Marion, Ala., who sings and plays acoustic guitar, and Frank Pickett from Mooresville, who sings self-composed songs. Also included are recordings of the 1975 Hollering Contest at Spivey’s Corner, N.C.; Morris Norton and Evelyn Ramsey, a father and daughter duo who sing traditional Appalachian folk songs; the Gospel Jubilators, a Durham, N.C., gospel group; blues guitarist Furry Lewis; and Alabama herbalist Tommie Bass. Documentation consists of cover sheets, tape indices and content notes for many of the recordings.

Repository: Southern Folklife Collection

Collection Highlights: Interview with Frank Pickett, an African American musician in Mooresville, Limestone County, Alabama (1975), recorded by Allen Tullos. Topics covered include sharecropping and World War I; also, Mr. Pickett sings gospel songs and tells the story of how the expression “unh-huh” came about. [1 reel, FT1285] Interview with Pickett and Frank Staton of Marion, Alabama, both recorded by Tullos in 1975. Mr. Staton performs songs with guitar accompaniment. [1 reel, FT1295]