Allice Gerrard collection, 1954-2000.

Creator: Gerrard, Alice, 1934-
Collection number: 20006
View finding aid.

Abstract: From the 1950s through the 1990s, collector, folklorist, and traditional music performer Alice Gerrard recorded interviews and performances of many legendary old-time and bluegrass musicians. The collection consists of audiocassette and open-reel tape recordings from 1954 to 2000, along with supporting logs and card files. The audio recordings include both live performances and Gerrard’s interviews with many notable bluegrass and old-time musicians; master tapes from LP recording projects; and recordings of several of Gerrard’s own bands, including the Strange Creek Singers, Tom, Brad, and Alice, the Harmony Sisters, the Barn Dance Band, and her partnerships with Andy Cahan, Hazel Dickens, and Mike Seeger. Of particular interest are live concert recordings featuring such musicians as E.C. Ball, Dock Boggs, Kahle Brewer, Otis Burris, Alex Campbell, Elizabeth Cotten, Cousin Emmy, Clyde Davenport, Luther Davis, Bert Dickens, Hazel Dickens, Norman Edmonds, Cathy Fink, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Gail Gillespie, Tommy Jarrell, Grandpa Jones, the Lilly Brothers, the Louvin Brothers, Marcus Martin, Sam McGee and Kirk McGee (the McGee Brothers), Bill Monroe and Charlie Monroe (the Monroe Brothers), the Osborne Brothers, A.C. Overton, Roscoe Parish and Leone Parish, Ola Belle Reed, Don Reno, Enoch Rutherford, Matokie Slaughter, Red Smiley, Kilby Snow, the Stanley Brothers, Ernest V. Stoneman, J.C. Sutphin, Robert Sykes, Wade Ward, Melvin Wine, Mac Wiseman, and many others. Performances were recorded at large and small venues, including New River Ranch near Rising Sun, Md.; Sunset Park, Pa.; the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention in North Carolina; the Bean Blossom Festival; the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention; and musicians’ homes. Gerrard recorded fiddle lessons and in-depth interviews with many of these musicians, including Tommy Jarrell, Luther Davis, Elizabeth Cotten, Hazel Dickens, and Roscoe and Leone Parrish. Other recordings of interest include raw tracks and master tapes for several of Gerrard’s albums with Hazel Dickens; live recordings at folk festivals, colleges, and other venues; and three interviews Gerrard conducted with Bill Monroe. Supporting documentation includes Gerrard’s logs for all of the¬†audio recordings and card files created by Gerrard to index a portion of the recordings. The Addition of January 2012 contains images created by Alice Gerrard throughout her career depicting music festivals and gatherings, including the National Folk Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and events relating to the Old Time Herald; musicians; and musical instruments. There are also two videotapes of the Strange Creek Singers at a performance in 1973.

Repository: Southern Folklife Collection

Collection Highlights: Over 300 reels of audiotape featuring recordings of several well-known African-American folk musicians including Elizabeth Cotten. There are also images of Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten in the collection from the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife in 1969. [Image Folders PF 20006/ 76 ¬†& 79].