Thumbs up for Mother Universe, UNC welcomes Lonnie Holley

UNC-Chapel Hill is fortunate to be welcoming performance-, recording-, and visual artist Lonnie Holley to campus from September 29 through October 3, 2014.
On Tuesday, September 30, the Southern Folklife Collection will provide materials for Mr. Holley to engage participants in an interactive, public art-making event at The Wilson Library from 9:30 AM to Noon and from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
The SFC also pleased to announce that over 1500 slides documenting Lonnie Holley’s art work are now processed and will soon be available for viewing through the finding aid for the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Photographic Collection (20491). The finding aid currently provides access to the digitized images documenting artists Ronald Lockett and Asberry Davis.
lonnie_holleyOver the last four decades, Lonnie Holley has created countless sculptures, assemblages, and multimedia performances, working primarily with found objects, “scrap,” and recycled materials. Holley is one of several African-American vernacular artists to emerge from the Birmingham-Bessemer area of Alabama in the last quarter of the twentieth century, along with Thornton Dial, Joe Minter, and Ronald Lockett. Although he has recently been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post, his work has largely lived outside art museums and, therefore, critical reviews.
During his week-long visit to campus, Holley will visit classes in the Departments of Art, Folklore, and American Studies, create new artworks with found and recycled materials, engage in public conversations, and give a musical-spoken word performance.

Public Programs

Monday, 29 September, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Lonnie Holley: The Golden Belt Project
Stop by Room 100 in Building 3 of Golden Belt Studios in Durham and see artist Lonnie Holley making art in collaboration with Golden Belt artists.
The work created will be on view through Friday, 3 October.

Tuesday, 30 September, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM:
Public art-making with Lonnie Holley in front of Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
and again from 3:00-5:00 PM, when Holley will complete the project and will be interviewed by Steve Weiss, Curator, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Wednesday, 1 October, 5:00-7:30 PM:
Music on the Porch at the Center for the Study of the American South
Lonnie Holley will offer a public musical-spoken word workshop performance, “Thumbs Up For Mother Universe,” on the porch at CSAS. Learn more!

“Thumbs Up for Mother Universe” is made possible by:
NCAC_LogoColor-241x300UNC-Chapel Hill Southern Studies Fund
North Carolina Arts Council
Department of American Studies
Ackland Art Museum
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 

Calling all country music fans

meade_countryDick Spottswood is preparing to update the reference book COUNTRY MUSIC SOURCES, first published by the John Edwards Memorial Forum and the Southern Folklife Collection in 2002.  Anyone with corrections, additions or updates is invited to contact him online at dick@wamu.org. UPDATE: Joe Hickerson has generously signed on to expand and update bibliographic entries; contact him at jhick@starpower.net 

The book provides information on some 14,500 recordings of 3,500 old-time folk and country songs recorded between 1921 and 1942. Each performance receives a full citation, including the date and place of recording, original and variant artist, and title credits. Whenever possible, songs are traced back to their original lyricists and composers or to major published and unpublished folksong collections. Entries are grouped into broad subject categories: ballads, popular songs, religious songs, and instrumentals.

Based on 35 years of research in public and private collections of recordings, broadsides, pamphlets, and sheet music, this valuable resource allows a fresh understanding of pre-World War II country music and its intricate connections to the blues, old world folk music, and the broad spectrum of American popular song.

“One of the most impressive accomplishments in the history of country music scholarship. It is a big, juicy mother-lode that contains more new, hard data than anyone in this field has seen in years. . . . A definitive reference book that should be on every library shelf and in the hands of any serious student of American music.” –Journal of Country Music

2003 Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Country Music, Association for Recorded Sound Collections

 
 

In memory of George Hamilton IV

20410_folder35_SFC_George Hamilton IV Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV with Mary Dabney Hamilton, Back cover of George Hamilton IV, souvenir book edited by Bob Powell, folder35, George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

20410_p4985_SFC
George Hamilton IV at Grandfather Mountain, 1973, P4985 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410)

We were saddened to hear that George Hamilton IV passed away on September 17, 2014. In memoriam of Mr. Hamilton, we pulled some items The George Hamilton IV Collection (20410) in the Southern Folklife Collection to highlight his remarkable career and contributions to the canon of Country music. A native son of North Carolina born and raised in Winston Salem, Hamilton started his singing career while a student at UNC Chapel Hill, recording for Orville Campbell’s Colonial Records. By the late 1950s, Hamilton had moved to Washington, D.C., and became a regular performer (with Patsy Cline, for a time) on Jimmy Dean’s “Town and Country Jamboree” show. He toured with Bobby Darin, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and the Everly Brothers, along with many other well-known pop stars, and made numerous national television appearances.

20410_p4939_SFC005_George Hamilton IV Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV and Patsy Cline, P4939 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

p4866 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillHamilton became a teen pop sensation in 1956 with his recording of John D. Loudermilk’s tune “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” but Hamilton’s heart was in country music and in 1959 he moved to Nashville, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1960. Listen to Hamilton’s performance of “A Rose and A Baby Ruth” from one of his first appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, introduced by the one and only Ernest Tubb. From open reel tape, FT12086 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (201410):FT12086_George Hamilton IV Grand Ol Opry_LC

Later that year, he began recording for RCA Records, having been signed by Chet Atkins. In 1963, John D. Loudermilk’s “Abilene” became a number-one hit for Hamilton on the country charts and reached the top 20 in pop.

20410_p4953_SFC001_George Hamilton IV Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillChet Atkins, John D. Loudermilk, Bobby Moore, George Hamilton IV, P4953 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

He toured Canada and across Europe, developing a devoted fan base. He would eventually tour around the world, performing multiple times in Japan, South Africa, the former Soviet Union, and India. His performance at Moscow University in 1974 was the first for an American country music performer. Other “first” performances on this tour were in Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Later that year, Billboard Magazine began to refer to Hamilton as the “International Ambassador of Country Music.”

George Hamilton IV in Bangalore, India, 1986. P5034 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV in Bangalore, India, 1986. P5034 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Hamilton’s recording career highlights a mutual admiration for Canadian and European songwriters. In 1965, Hamilton was the first American singer to record a hit penned by Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot and in 1967, he also became the first to record “Urge for Going,” a song by another Canadian songwriter, Joni Mitchell. In 1969, his first record of all Canadian music was released and he hosted a variety show on the CBC for six years.

George Hamilton IV and others on the set of Up Country at the Elizabethan Barn, early 1970s, P4821 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV on the set of “Up Country at the Elizabethan Barn,” early 1970s, PHOTO BY DOMINIC MCKENZIE P4821 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410),                    Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

His long-standing involvement with the annual International Festival of Country Music, held at Wembley (UK) led to an association with the BBC where Hamilton hosted many programs–variety and documentary–that showcased country music.

George Hamilton IV, Rolf Harris, an unidentified woman, Frank Ifield, Olivia Newton-John, Slim Whitman, Miki & Griff, an unidentified man, and Mervyn Conn, at Wembley, 1974, b&w print, roughly 8x10, photo by Dominic McKenzie, P4920 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV, Rolf Harris, an unidentified woman, Frank Ifield, Olivia Newton-John, Slim Whitman, Miki & Griff, an unidentified man, and Mervyn Conn, at Wembley, 1974, b&w print, roughly 8×10, photo by Dominic McKenzie, P4920 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

In 1971, Hamilton left Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry for Charlotte, N.C., to join the broadcasts of Arthur Smith’s country music televison show. He continued to work overseas while also maintaining a busy touring schedule in the United States

20410_OP_4_SFC007 20410_OP_1_SFC008

                                                                    In the 1990s, he became involved with several musical theater and concert productions that featured the work of Patsy Cline, with Irish singer Sandy Kelly playing the title role. Hamilton has continued to record country, folk, and gospel albums, including two with his son, George Hamilton V . In 2006, he celebrated his 50th year as a recording artist, which included a special reception hosted in London by the United States Ambassador to Britain. Hamilton died on Wednesday at the age of 77. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite recordings by Hamilton,Break My Mind,” arranged by his longtime collaborator and fellow North Carolinian John D. Loudermilk, from Hamilton’s 1967 LP, Folksy, call number FC 17005.FC17005_Break_My_Mind

0410_folder35_SFC_001_George Hamilton IV Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel HillGeorge Hamilton IV by Bud Powell, Folder 35 in the George Hamilton IV Collection (20410), Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Thank you, from the Southern Folklife Collection

 

Rebirth Brass Band lead the second line down the steps of Wilson Library. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Rebirth Brass Band lead the second line down the steps of Wilson Library. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.

All of us at the Southern Folklife Collection extend our most sincere gratitude to all the people that worked to make our 25th anniversary celebrations a wild success. To all the musicians, writers, library staff, volunteers, and especially to our researchers, patrons, and all those that attended our concerts and programs, we thank you. These photos by Mark Perry Photography are just a glimpse into the weekend events and we’ll have more to share in the future. The SFC 25th Anniversary exhibit detailing the history of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation and the birth and growth of the SFC will be open to visitors to Wilson Library through December 2014 so please do stop by for a viewing. Also, if you haven’t had a chance, our exhibit “Lard Have Mercy!: 30 years of Southern Culture on the Skids” has extended for three more weeks. It’s going to be a great Fall so keep in touch. 
Los Texmaniacs at the Cat's Cradle for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Los Texmaniacs at the Cat’s Cradle for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.

Peter Guralnick at the Cat's Cradle for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Peter Guralnick at the Cat’s Cradle for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.

Dumpstaphunk at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Dumpstaphunk at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.

Tift Merritt at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Tift Merritt at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.

Merle Haggard at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.
Merle Haggard at Memorial Hall for SFC25. Photo by Mark Perry Photography.