Susan Massingale Collection, 1987-1995

Creator: Massingale, Susan.
Collection number: 20278
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Abstract: The Susan Massingale collection consists of 243 videotapes from four documentary productions, 1987-1995. Massingale co-produced and co-directed one of the productions, Step It Up and Go: Blues in the Carolinas, with Glen Hinson. The other productions are Boogie in Black and White, a film about the Cherokee Indians, and another film about Black Mountain College. Massingale’s connection to these three documentaries is unclear, but they appear to related to UNC-TV and are chiefly about North Carolina. Videotape formats include Betacam, Umatic, and VHS. Step It Up and Go: Blues in the Carolinas traces the development of blues music in the Carolinas through interviews with musicians and still photographs of them. North Carolina musicians talk about how they learned to play and perform different styles on the banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano, bottle, and spoons. Performers include Odell Thompson, Nate Thompson, Joe Thompson, Etta Baker, Cora Phillips, Junior Thomas, Thomas Burt, Guitar Slim, Moses Roscoe, and Anthony Pough. The UNC-TV documentary Boogie in Black and White is a film about the making of Pitch a Boogie Woogie, a film shot in Greenville, N.C., in 1947 by John W. Warner, then owner of Greenville’s Plaza Theatre. Pitch a Boogie Woogie, released by Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc., in 1948, was the first movie made by a production company based in North Carolina. It had an all-African American cast of mostly local Greenville musicians and actors and enjoyed success in the Carolinas, but was never shown outside that area. The Cherokee Indian production appears to be mostly about Joyce Dugan, who was elected Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in 1995. She was the first woman to hold that position. The Black Mountain College production appears to be about the history of Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, N.C. Black Mountain College was founded in 1933 and guided by the principle that the study of art was central to a liberal arts education. Black Mountain College closed in 1957.

Repository: Southern Folklife Collection

Collection Highlights: Series 1 contains video of the documentary Step It Up and Go: Blues Music in the Carolinas

Series 2 contains video from the documentary Boogie In Black & White, about the making of the 1947 film Pitch A Boogie Woogie, featuring a primarily African American cast of musicians mostly from Greenville, N.C.

Series 3 contains video from a documentary about Joyce Dugan, who was elected Principle Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in 1995.