Photo of the week: The Shanty Boys

I20239_pf0018a: Roger Sprung, Mike Cohen, and Lionel Kilberg, from their monthly CBS broadcast. Photo by Ray Sullivan of Photo-Sound Associates. From the Ron Cohen Collection (20239). Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

The Shanty Boys (Roger Sprung, Mike Cohen, and Lionel Kilberg), from their monthly CBS broadcast. Photo by Ray Sullivan of Photo-Sound Associates. From the Ron Cohen Collection (20239). Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

In the early 1950s, Roger Sprung spent time in Asheville, NC, meeting and learning from banjo greats Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Samantha Bumgarner. He returned to New York and is often credited with introducing bluegrass banjo style to the northern folk revival through his playing in Washington Square park. For more information on Sprung and the Shanty Boys, see Ron Cohen’s excellent book on the folk revival, Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970 (Culture, Politics, and Cold War), (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).

Southern Folklife Collection Banjo Symposium: Schedule, Saturday August 25

The inaugural event in the Southern Folklife Collection Instrument Series, The Banjo: Southern Roots American Branches is coming up in just three days. Many people have asked for a schedule of the daytime symposium in Wilson Library.  Please see below.  Tickets are still available for the free concert, Saturday August 25 in Memorial Hall on UNC’s campus, featuring master pickers Tony TrischkaDom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Riley Baugus with Kirk Sutphin. This is a free but ticketed event. Contact the Memorial Hall Box Office, 919.843.3333 for information.

Banjo Symposium – Pleasants Family Assembly Room, 2nd Floor, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill

9:30am:  Reception

10:00am:  Phillip Gura, UNC Professor of American Studies; Author of America’s Instrument: The Banjo in the 19th Century

10:45am:  Coffee break

11:00am:  Bob Carlin, Musician and Author of The Birth of the Banjo & Jim Mills, musician (Ricky Scaggs, Vince Gill) Six time winner of IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Award.

11:30am:  Robert Cantwell, UNC Professor of American Studies; Author of Bluegrass Breakdown

12:15pm – 2:00pm:  lunch

2:00pm:  Stephen Wade, Musician and Author of The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience

2:45 – Coffee break

3:00pm:  Panel discussion–Laurent Dubois, Duke Professor of Romance Studies and History; Cecelia Conway, Appalachian State University Professor of English; Author of African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia; Dom Flemons, musician (Carolina Chocolate Drops)

4:00pm – End

7:30pm: Concert in UNC Memorial Hall

 

 

The Banjo: Southern Roots, American Branches

BILL BIRCHFIELD OF THE ROAN MOUNTAIN HILLTOPPERS, PHOTO BY ALICE GERRARD.

The Southern Folklife Collection is pleased to announce The Banjo: Southern Roots, American Branches, Saturday, August 25, 2012. This exhibit, symposium and concert is the first of the three-part Southern Folklife Collection Instrument Series. Panels, exhibits, and concerts in 2013 will feature the pedal steel guitar and the fiddle. The series seeks to provide an opportunity for music lovers to learn from leading musicians and scholars about the music, history, and culture of the American South.

Please join us first for the banjo symposium Saturday, August 25 from 10am to 4pm in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-CH, followed by a free concert in UNC’s Memorial Hall including master pickers Tony Trischka, Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Riley Baugus with Kirk Sutphin. This is a free but ticketed event. Tickets are now available at the Memorial Hall Box Office, 919.843.3333.

The symposium features lectures and panel discussions on the history of the banjo with:

  • Robert Cantwell, UNC Professor of American Studies; Author of Bluegrass Breakdown
  • Bob Carlin, Musician and Author of The Birth of the Banjo
  • Cecelia Conway, Appalachian State University Professor of English; Author of African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia
  • Laurent Dubois, Duke Professor of Romance Studies and History
  • Dom Flemons, musician (Carolina Chocolate Drops)
  • Phillip Gura, UNC Professor of American Studies; Author of America’s Instrument: The Banjo in the 19th Century
  • Jim Mills, musician (Ricky Scaggs, Vince Gill) Six time winner of IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Award.
  • Stephen Wade, Musician and Author of The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience

Don’t miss the accompanying exhibit tracing the history and development of the banjo, featuring instruments, photographs, recordings and ephemera from the Southern Folklife Collection.The exhibit opens August 25th and runs through Dec 31, 2012. on the 4th Floor, Wilson Library. Follow the Southern Folklife Collection on facebook or come back to Field Trip South for updates.

And now a couple more photos from the same roll as the one featured above from the Alice Gerrard Collection (#20006). These photos feature Joe and Bill Birchfield of the great family stringband from Carter, Tennessee, The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers. Bill is demonstrating his unique banjo style, playing backwards, upside-down, and left-handed.