Here’s a rarity from the SFC stacks- the only commercial recording from the family band Barbara & the Believers, featuring siblings Barbara, Tommy, and notably Joe South, who would win a song of the year Grammy only a few years later for the 1970 hit “Games People Play”. Barbara South’s solo career would never take off, but she would continue to provide background vocals for artists from country great Roy Orbison to the niche R&B/gospel singer Lorraine Johnson. “What Can Happen to Me Now” is a catchy soul/pop tune with an upbeat rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star” on the flipside, listen to it below.
Doc Watson, Live At Club 47 Out February 9, 2018
Pre-order Doc Watson, Live At Club 47 HERE!
Yep Roc Records and the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries announce the release of Doc Watson, Live at Club 47, set for a February 9 release on CD and digital, nearly 55 years to the date of the original recording. The LP release will follow April 27. The album is now available for pre-order.
Recorded live February 10, 1963 at Club 47 in Cambridge, MA, today known as Club Passim, this never-before-heard album features four previously unreleased songs from Doc’s early repertoire, in addition to performances of Doc’s favorite songs of the Carter Family, Frank Hutchison, Charlie Poole, and Merle Travis. Doc is accompanied by John Herald and Ralph Rinzler of The Greenbrier Boys on five of the album’s tracks. Here is the schedule from Club 47 as printed in The Broadside of Boston, volume 1, no. 24, Feb. 8, 1963 from the Southern Folklife Collection Serials (30017)
In celebration of the release, Club Passim, the UNC Libraries’ Southern Folklife Collection and Yep Roc Records present an evening with songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and IBMA guitarist of the year Molly Tuttle February 13. Tickets are on sale and available here.
“This recording documents a pivotal moment in virtuoso Doc Watson’s early solo career,” notes Steven Weiss, director of the Southern Folklife Collection. “This is Doc, paying his dues and playing his heart out, performing two sets of classic, old-time country songs he learned as a child from his family and from old 78 RPM records.”
Following the success of the Club 47 show, Doc was booked at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival and released his debut solo album on Vanguard Records in 1964. He went on to become America’s premier folk guitarist earning seven Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and in 1997 was presented with the National Medal of Arts at the White House by then-President Bill Clinton, who introduced him saying, “There may not be a serious, committed baby boomer alive who didn’t spend at least some of his or her youth trying to learn to pick guitar like Doc Watson.”
Doc Watson, Live at Club 47 Track listing:
- Wabash Cannonball – A.P. Carter
- The House Carpenter — Traditional
- I Wish I Was Single Again** – Traditional
- Little Darling Pal of Mine – A.P. Carter
- Train That Carried My Girl from Town – Doc Watson
- The Worried Blues –Traditional
- Old Dan Tucker** – Traditional
- Sweet Heaven When I Die – Claude Grant
- The Talking Blues – Chris Bouchillon
- Little Margaret** — Traditional
- Sitting on Top of the World – Lonnie Carter and Walter Jacobs
- Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down – Doc Watson
- Blue Smoke – Merle Travis
- Deep River Blues – Doc Watson
- Way Down Town (w/ Ralph Rinzler and John Herald) – Doc Watson
- Somebody Touched Me (w/ Ralph Rinzler and John Herald) – Doc Watson
- Billy in the Low Ground (w/ John Herald) – Traditional
- Boil Them Cabbage Down – Traditional
- Everyday Dirt – David McCarn
- I Am a Pilgrim – Merle Travis
- No Telephone in Heaven – A.P. Carter
- Hop High Ladies the Cake’s All Dough** –Traditional
- Little Sadie – Doc Watson
- Black Mountain Rag (w/ John Herald) – Doc Watson
- Blackberry Rag (w/ John Herald) – Doc Watson
- Days of My Childhood Plays – Alfred G. Karnes
John Herald (guitar and harmony vocals). Tracks 15, 16 (second guitar) 17, 24, 25.
Ralph Rinzler (mandolin and harmony vocals). Tracks 15, 16.
**previously unreleased tracks.
Pre-order Doc Watson, Live At Club 47 HERE!
A Roots of Fiddle Symposium starts tonight at Nightlight featuring a number of friends of the Southern Folklife Collection. The symposium features three nights (over 4 days) of old time fiddle music at the Nightlight organized by folklorist Cece Conway. We’re excited to be able to enjoy and learn from so many excellent musicians in 3 stacked shows. The final night features CRAVER HICKS WATSON & NEWBERRY who are 3 former RED CLAY RAMBLERS (piano player Mike Craver, fiddler Bill Hicks, Jim Watson on mandolin) and award winning songwriter Joe Newberry on banjo. We pulled some items from the Dave Robert Papers (20504) in honor of this rare event. Dave Robert was the owner of the Cats Cradle when it existed at 405 1/2 West Rosemary, the current location of Nightlight. As the Ramblers were something of a house band at that venue, the symposium is an opportunity for a welcome homecoming celebration.
Above is the Red Clay Ramblers page from a unique calendar of “Chapel Hill Stars” (Red Clay Ramblers were February, in case you are curious). We also found this monthly calendar from the Cradle, which shows the Ramblers playing at the venue virtually the same days almost 40 years ago. (Also check out that four night run of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee! WOW!). Details on the Roots of Fiddle Symposium are below.
Thursday, September 21
7:30-8:45 round robin featuring: JON NEWLIN, PETER WHITE, JOSEPH DECOSIMO, BOB HERRING, CARY MOSKOVITZ, ANDREW SMALL, and ASHLEE WATKINS
8:45-10:30 ANDREW SMALL and ASHLEE WATKINS with BOB HERRING – Presenting a range of traditional dance music from North Carolina and Virginia, mountain ballads, and early country songs, the New Macedon Rangers offer a fresh and compelling take on classic repertoire. The duo, comprised of Ashlee Watkins and Andrew Small, taps into the essence of traditional mountain music while also moving the tradition forward with original songs and instrumentals. Performances feature stirring vocal harmonies accompanied by driving fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and guitars.
Friday, September 22
7:30-9:30 – round robin featuring JOSEPH DECOSIMO, PETER WHITE, BOB HERRING, CARY MOSKOVITZ, JAKE BLOUNT, and TATIANA HARGREAVES.
9:30-10:30 fiddle and banjo duo TATIANA HARGREAVES & JAKE BLOUNT. Their “Reparations” CD presents tunes from Black and Native American communities as stripped-down duets for banjo, fiddle, and voice. In 2016, Jake became the first African American to win in the traditional band category at Clifftop, WV and in 2009, Tatiana was the second woman to win the Clifftop Fiddle contest.
Sunday, September 24
We’ll start with a round robin of fiddlers:
7:00-7:20 – PETER WHITE – “Native American Roots & Spanish Influences on Fiddle.” Peter teaches fiddle making at the University of New Mexico. In 1989 in Albuquerque, Peter’s fiddle shop had a shrine to NEA Heritage Fiddler Tommy Jarrell. He has a fascinating theory that New Mexico Native Americans, taught by Jesuits, may have been the first makers and players of the fiddle in this country.
7:20-7:30 – JON NEWLIN
7:30-8:10 – fiddle and banjo duo TATIANA HARGREAVES & JAKE BLOUNT. Their “Reparations” CD presents tunes from Black and Native American communities as stripped-down duets for banjo, fiddle, and voice. In 2016, Jake became the first African American to win in the traditional band category at Clifftop, WV and in 2009, Tatiana was the second woman to win the Clifftop Fiddle contest.
plus: CARY MOSKOVITZ and FIDDLIN’ AL McCANLESS !!!
8:30-10:00 – CRAVER HICKS WATSON & NEWBERRY featuring 3 original members of the RED CLAY RAMBLERS (piano player Mike Craver, fiddler Bill Hicks, Jim Watson on mandolin) and award winning songwriter Joe Newberry on banjo!!! Do not miss!!!
Before I head off to see Run the Jewels and Kaytranada this evening at Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival, we at the SFC thought we’d mark the occasion by sharing an aptly-titled tune from another funk disciple – Charles Rouse’s “Hopscotch” from his 1974 album Two is One (FC-24141). “Hopscotch” has its own link to hip-hop history in its brief appearance in the Beastie Boys’ “B-Boys Makin With the Freak Freak” from their 1994 classic Ill Communication.
Check it out here –
FC_24141_Southern Folklife Collection_Charles Rouse_Two is One_Hopscotch
Despite what the name might suggest, holdings in the Southern Folklife Collection span the globe, including Japanese imports like today’s featured record (FC-21963). This the fifth volume of a rare Japanese 21-record box set released on Nippon Phonogram in 1986. The set compiles all of the jazz ever recorded for the Manhattan-based Keynote label, spanning from 1941 to 1947. This LP presents the recordings of the Charlie Shavers Quintet featuring Earl “Fatha” Hines, one of the most influential jazz pianists of his time. Among the recordings are three takes of the tune “Rosetta,” a Hines original.
Presented here is a portion of the second take, featuring portions of both Hines’ and Shavers’ solos
Explore the complex cultural history of American folk music with a free lecture and concert on March 9 from the Southern Foklife Collection at Wilson Library.
Ronald D. Cohen, author and professor emeritus of history at Indiana University Northwest, will deliver the talk “Depression Folk: Grassroots Music and Left-Wing Politics in 1930s America.” Cohen will discuss how the interplay of musicians, government agencies, and record companies had a lasting impact on the decade and beyond.
Following the lecture, old-time string band The Down Hill Strugglers will perform. The trio—Walker Shepard, Jackson Lynch, and Eli Smith—uses folk instruments to bring old rural America to listeners.
The talk will begin at 5 p.m in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room. The concert will follow immediately at 6 p.m
Depression Folk: Grassroots Music and Left-Wing Politics in 1930s America
Thursday, March 9, 2017
5 p.m. — Book Talk by Ronald D. Cohen
6 p.m. — Concert by the Down Hill Strugglers
Wilson Special Collections Library, Pleasants Family Assembly Room
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203
As people across the country participate in actions for “A Day Without Immigrants,” we welcome all to visit “More Than One Story | Más que una historia,” an exhibit created by Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), on view in the Davis Library gallery on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus through December, 2017.
Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1992 with the mission: “to bring students and farmworkers together to learn about each other’s lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change.”
SAF accomplishes this mission in part through the sponsorship of Into the Fields, a ten-week summer internship program for students at North and South Carolina universities, targeted especially to those from families of farmworkers. All interns come with at least a working knowledge of Spanish. They then go on to work full-time in migrant health centers, legal services, education programs, policy agencies, and labor organizing groups in the Carolinas. As a means of reflecting upon their summer’s experience, interns complete documentary projects, collecting oral histories and recording the folklife, art, music, celebrations, and events of farm working communities.
As the UNC campus community delves deeper into the “Food For All” theme during the 2015-2017 academic years, the lives and stories of farmers and farmworkers in The Wilson Library and the work of organizations like SAF must be central to the conversation.
“More Than One Story | Más que una historia” features twenty-five years of narratives from farmworkers mostly in the Carolinas, telling “stories of struggles and dreams, why people come and what they miss about home, what they like about farm work, and what they want to change, how they carry on and how they resist. The stories don’t have borders; they follow the workers from crop to crop, state to state, and country to country.”** This bilingual exhibit also includes edited oral history interviews that can be listened to as you tour the exhibit.
Please join us for an opening reception at Davis Library on March 29 for a chance to hear their stories in person.
- 5 – 5:45 p.m. Reception and exhibition viewing, Davis Library gallery, 1st floor
- 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Talk, Davis Library Research Hub, 2nd floor
“More Than One Story | Más que una historia” is curated by Joanna Welborn and Lucia Constantine along with the SAF staff, interns and volunteers. The exhibit is sponsored by the Public Art Committee and Friends of the Library of UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries. Translation by Alejandra Okie Hollister. SAF’s documentary and community education work is supported by the Duke Endowment and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
For 25 years, SAF has been improving the lives of farmworkers with young activists, the majority of whom are from farmworker families. For more information: www.saf-unite.org. SAF’s material is archived by the Southern Folklife Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, Student Action with Farmworkers Collection (20317).
member of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, holding “¡Hasta La Victoria!” sign at the Mount Olive Pickle Protest, July 1999. Photo by Lori Fernald Khamala and Mendi Drayton. Student Action with Farmworkers Collection (20317), Southern Folklife Collection.
** from “More Than One Story | Más que una historia” exhibit panel
Jimmy Martin Fan Club Newsletter, December, 1972, in Folder 78, Southern Folklife Collection Fan Club Newsletters (30023)
Please join us at UNC Chapel Hill on November 11 and 12, 2016 for the Carolina Bluegrass Summit. Sponsored by the UNC Department of Music and the Southern Folklife Collection. All events take place on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill except for the closing social (which is at Linda’s Bar and Grill, just across Franklin street from campus). We are extremely excited to welcome musicians, scholars, writers, industry leaders, and especially bluegrass fans to celebrate the first year of the UNC Bluegrass Intiative.
Exhibit and symposium are free and open to the public. Steep Canyon Rangers concert is a ticketed event. Concert tickets on sale via Carolina Performing Arts.
See more details and schedule below. We look forward to seeing you at UNC!
Friday, November 11, 2016
3pm: WORKSHOP w/ Steep Canyon Rangers, Person Hall, UNC-CH.
5pm: EXHIBIT OPENING Folk Music on Overdrive: Bluegrass Music in the Southern Folklife Collection.
4th Floor, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-CH. Music performance by Emily Kirsch and Bailey Coe.
7pm: LECTURE Concerts in Context: A Pre-Concert Lecture Series with Dr. Jocelyn Neal, Associate Chair of the Department of Music, and Dr. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Chair of the Department of History. Gerrard Hall, UNC-CH.
8pm CONCERT Steep Canyon Rangers w/ special guest the Carolina Bluegrass Band. Memorial Hall, UNC-CH. (Ticketed)
Saturday, November 12, 2016. BLUEGRASS SYMPOSIUM
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, 2nd floor, Wilson Special Collections Library. UNC-CH.
9-10am RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Jordan Laney (Virginia Tech): “What’s Cooking in Kathleen’s Kitchen? Exploring Feminized Performances and Spaces in Bluegrass Festivals,” and
Erica Fedor (UNC Chapel Hill): “Sounding Out Against HB2: Music and Protest in Local North Carolina Perspectives”
Respondent: C. Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor of Music (Pomona College)
10-10:30am: Joseph Decosimo (UNC Chapel Hill) “‘This Train Has Got Two Tracks, and We’re Just on One’: Navigating Bluegrass/Old-Time Boundaries in Southeast Tennessee”
10:45am-12pm: BLUEGRASS ON RECORD: Dave Freeman (County and Rebel Records), Marian Leighton Levy and Ken Irwin (Rounder Records), and Barry Poss (Sugar Hill Records), with Allison Hussey (Associate Music Editor, INDY Week), moderator
12-1:15pm: LUNCH on your own
1:30-2:15pm: C. Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor of Music, (Pomona College) “Acousticism’s Electric Roots”
2:15-3:45 pm: WRITING BLUEGRASS/BLUEGRASS WRITERS: Fred Bartenstein, Jack Bernhardt, Tommy Goldsmith, and Penny Parsons, with Art Menius, moderator.
4-5pm: KEYNOTE: Robert S. Cantwell. Professor Emeritus, Department of American Studies (UNC Chapel Hill): “‘Folks, Don’t Try this at Home:’ Bluegrass and the Liberal Arts”
6-8pm: CLOSING SOCIAL Grass Cats Bluegrass Band. Linda’s Downbar, 203 E Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.
Loudermilk in the Studio, in Image Folder P-20418/1, JOHN D. LOUDERMILK COLLECTION (20418), SOUTHERN FOLKLIFE COLLECTION
John D. Loudermilk, Jr. composing, recording, and working in his project studio is how we like to remember the North Carolina born singer, songwriter, performer, and producer. We scanned the image above from the John D. Loudermilk Collection (20418) after spending some time looking through the photographs documenting Loudermilk’s remarkable career in country and pop music. Loudermilk died on September 21 at his home in Tennessee at the age of 82.
Born and raised in Durham, and a cousin of Ira and Charlie Loudermilk (better known as the Louvin Brothers), John D. Loudermilk started his music career under the pseudonym Johnny Dee (the “D” in his name does not stand for anything). Loudermilk’s mother learned to play the guitar while serving as a missionary in Cherokee and taught her young son how to play so that he could join her with the Salvation Army band gatherings at Durham’s Five Points. By age 13, Loudermilk appeared weekly on the “Little Johnny Dee” radio show on WTIK singing country hits. After graduating from Durham High School in 1954, Loudermilk attended Campbell University and was known as an adept local musician performing with with a variety of different groups playing across popular music styles. He recorded novelty songs under the name of “Ebe Sneezer” with “The Epidemics,” sharpening his songwriting skills while finding a niche with sugary teen pop like “A-plus in Love,” released on Colonial Records, a Chapel Hill label owned and operated by Orville B. Campbell. Loudermilk is backed by some of Colonial’s best session musicians, Asheboro’s Bluenotes with Joe Tanner on the Guitar, A-Plus In Love_Johnny Dee
1954 Durham High school graduation program, in Folder 250, John D. Loudermilk Collection (20418), Southern Folklife Collection
While working as a set painter at Durham television station WTVD, another rising country music star, George Hamilton IV, heard a sacharrine sweet pop number penned by Loudermilk, “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” and recorded it for Colonial Records in 1956. The song was a hit for Hamilton and for Loudermilk, launching both of their careers.
Loudermilk continued to sing and record his own songs throughout his career; however, he is primarily known for his work as a songwriter. After scoring another hit in 1956 when Eddie Cochran sang Loudermilk’s tune “Sitting on the Balcony,” his musical path was set. In 1958, Loudermilk moved to Nashville, where he was hired as Chet Atkins’s assistant. After a brief period with Cedarwood Publishing, Loudermilk spent the 1960s writing for the publishing behemoth Acuff-Rose, founded by country star Roy Acuff and songwriter Fred Rose in 1942.
One of his most popular songs and a 1964 hit for British band the Nashville Teens, is the semi-autobiographical “Tobacco Road.” It has been recorded by a huge range of artist including Lou Rawls, Hank Williams Jr, David Lee Roth, Shawn Colvin, and many more. We particularly love thisunexpectedly funky 1978 version by Richie Lecea (SFC 45-5754)richie_lecea_tobacco_road Over 300 Loudermilk songs have been recorded by over 1,000 artists in the last 60 years. His song “Abilene” was another hit for George Hamilton IV in 1963 and became a country music staple. Listen to the recording by Sonny James with his Tennessee State Prison Band from a 1977 Columbia 45 rpm disc, call number 45-5543 in the Southern Folklife Collection:45_5543_Abilene_Sonny James_Southern Folklife Collection
Another hit, “Indian Reservation,” originally recorded by Marvin Rainwater in 1959, the went to the top of the charts when released by Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1971. The song laments the forced removal of Native Americans from tribal lands to reservations and Loudermilk was honored with the first Cherokee Medal of Honor in 1999.45_5644_indian_reservation_Paul Revere and the Raiders_Southern Folklife Collection
45 RPM discs from the JOHN D. LOUDERMILK COLLECTION (20418), SOUTHERN FOLKLIFE COLLECTION
During the 1960s and 1970s, Loudermilk became one of the most prolific of the Nashville songwriters; his songs were recorded by Roy Acuff Jr., Ernie Ashworth, Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, Marianne Faithfull, George Hamilton IV, Stonewall Jackson, Robert Mitchum, the Nashville Teens, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Sue Thompson, Johnny Tillotson, Tracey Ullman, Bobby Vee, Porter Wagoner, and others.Here’s a favorite Chet Atkins tune, written by Loudermilk, from SFC 45-5570. 45_5570_boo_boo_stick_beat Loudermilk was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Hall of Fame in 1976. As a sign he had truly made it in country music, Loudermilk appeared on Hee Haw in 1981.
In addition to maintaining his songwriting career, Loudermilk also actively supported folk and country music through his participation in folk festivals. He participated in a number of tours as part of Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, an organization created by Anne Romaine and Bernice Johnson Reagon dedicated to presenting black and white traditional musicians together on stage. He produced albums by a number of artists recording traditional music, including a 1980 album by Chet Atkins and Doc Watson.
Throughout his career, Loudermilk also worked with young artists, providing opportunities to record as well as support of musicians he saw as unique. In 1966, he saw a young group called the Allman Joys, led by brothers Duane and Greg, perform at a small Nashville club called the Briar Patch. He invited the group to the studio to cut some sides, one of which “Spoonful” became a regional hit.
Loudermilk and Duane Allman, from P20418/2_John D. Loudermilk Collection (20418), Southern FOlklife COllection, UnC Chapel Hill
As the 1980s wore on, Loudermilk turned his attention to other interests including ethnomusicology and meteorology. The John D. Loudermilk collection (20418) includes papers, photographs, audio recordings, posters, and artifacts, including a paper dress with from 1957 with the Baby Ruth printed on the side. Papers consist of sheet music, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia, correspondence, and other printed materials. Besides those included in this post, photographs include images of John D. Loudermilk alone or with others, as well as a few images related to album covers. or venues at which Loudermilk made appearances. Audio recordings in the collection include 45s, 78s, LPs, acetate discs, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, and a reel-to-reel tape.
While he moved to Nashville early in his career, Loudermilk always kept North Carolina close to his heart. We leave you with his celebration the trials and tribulations of life on I-40 from his 1965 album, John D. Loudermilk Sings a Collection of the Most Unusual Songs. Remember be careful out there out on Interstate 40, we’ll see you on the road. fc16654_interstate40