"Every Sincere Wish" from Hank Snow, Ralph McGee and the SFC

“Every Sincere Wish,” a rather open ended valediction, is what Hank Snow wanted for the recipient of this autographed photo, call no. P1600 from the John Edwards Memorial Foundation Collection (#20001). Perhaps he hoped that all their wishes might be granted, that all their dreams might come true? We like to think that Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow was offering to grant the wishes himself, but with the caveat that they must be “sincere,” and pity the fool who tried to get one over on the “Singing Ranger.” Despite the lack of specificity, we agree with the sentiment and we extend it on to you via this great Canadian-American country music star from his Rainbow Ranch in Tennessee.
It’s been a busy fall at the SFC and we want to offer our thanks to all the participants–musicians, speakers, audience members, students, and staff–who contributed to the great success of the Southern Folklife Collection tribute concert and symposium in honor of blues legend Reverend Gary Davis. Stay tuned for upcoming information on our third concert in the SFC blues tribute series, this one dedicated to the legendary Son House.
Since many will be celebrating this coming holiday with a roasted bird, we thought it only appropriate to offer a version of “Turkey in the Straw” for your listening pleasure. This recording by the great King, NC fiddler Ralph McGee comes from open reel tape FT-12000, Tape 3 recorded at the 8th Annual Blue Grass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Veteran’s Park, Mount Airy, NC, 2 June 1979. Part of the Ralph Epperson Collection (#20401), this recording features fiddler McGee bowing with a toothpick. Maybe some of you fiddlers out there want to give it a shot this weekend after a good meal. Let us know how it works out.

Turkey in the Straw_Ralph McGee_Mount Airy Blue Grass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention_2 June 1979 Call no. FT-12000, “Turkey in the Straw” by Ralph McGee at the 8th Annual Mount Airy Blue Grass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention, 2 June 1979



Christmas Recordings From WPAQ

WPAQThe Holiday Season is upon us again. The SFC’s Ralph Epperson Collection holds several recordings from WPAQ Radio that are related to, or were recorded on, Christmas Day.
FT-8006 “Christmas Time is Coming”, WPAQ Merry-Go-Round Jam Session. (Glen McPeak, Rex Hodges, Walter McMillian, Amos Dawson, and Clyde Johnson.)    December 19, 1981:
FT-8006 Christmas Time is Coming WPAQ Merry Go Round Jam Session. Glen McPeak, Rex Hodges, Walter McMillian, Amos Dawson, and Clyde Johnson December 19, 1981
FT-9745 “Ballad Of The Lawson Family”, WPAQ Merry-Go-Round, Kinney Rorrer and Sweet Sunny South from April 21, 1984:
FT-9745 Ballad Of The Lawson Family WPAQ Merry-Go-Round Kinny Rorrer and Sweet Sunny South April 21, 1984
Other notable recordings include FT-8074-FT-8076 – the WPAQ Merry-Go-Round on Christmas Morning  Jam Session that took place December 25, 1982, with a variety of WPAQ area favorites:
FT-8075 Merry-Go-Round on Christmas Morning Jam Session December 25, 1982

Clyde Johnson On WPAQ

Recently found in the Ralph Epperson Collection, from the recordings of WPAQ Radio in Mount Airy, NC, was a delightful tape of Clyde Johnson and the Stringdusters from the June 15, 1985 broadcast of the WPAQ Merry-Go-Round, a weekly live radio program for local musicians. The Stringdusters had a rotating membership that always included Clyde Johnson, host of the Merry-Go-Round for 47 years (until his death in 2007). Highlights include two songs sung by Rafe Brady, “Take A Drink On Me” & “Waltz Across Texas With You”. Rafe’s unique blend of character and warmth in his aging voice helped give the  program it’s usual down home feel.

The entire Ralph Epperson Collection has now been digitized for preservation and access. This work was made possible though support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“Take A Drink On Me”: take-a-drink-on-me

“Waltz Across Texas”: waltz-across-texas