Tommy Edwards Performing Tuesday, Oct. 5

Please join us on Tuesday, Oct 5, from Noon to 1:00 PM in the Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room for free, live bluegrass music with Tommy Edwards and Friends.

This event is co-sponsored by UNC’s Departments of History and American Studies,Folklore, and Music, the Southern Folklife Collection, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and Center for the Study of the American South.

Wade Mainer Event On Tuesday

Please join us on Tuesday, September 21, for Banjo On The Mountain: A Tribute To Wade Mainer. The event, to be held in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room in UNC’s Wilson Library, will begin with a catered reception at 5:00 PM. At 5:45, writer Dick Spottswood will be reading from his book Banjo on the Mountain: Wade Mainer’s First Hundred Years.

At 6:30 the tribute concert kicks off, featuring performances by Joe Newberry, The Happy Valley Pals (Gail Gillespie, Margaret Martin, Dwight Rogers and Wayne Martin), Andy Cahan, Joseph DeCosimo, and other area musicians. As always, the event is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by the Old-Time Herald, the North Carolina Folklife Institute, Pinecone, and the Southern Folklife Collection.

Two New Radio Streams: North Carolina and Memphis

Continuing the musical tour of the South begun with our “New Orleans” stream, the Southern Folklife Collection presents two brand new radio streams:

North Carolina, featuring the classic old-time, folk, and blues of our home state. Including tracks from North Carolina greats like Charlie Poole, Doc Watson, and many other musicians who have called NC home.


Memphis, featuring rockabilly, country,  blues and R&B from the Sun and Stax labels, plus other Memphis-based country, blues and R&B classics.

Click links to listen (the streams work best with iTunes, Winamp, or VLC media players): you can always find the links at their permanent home at the “Streaming Radio” tab at the top of this page. The purpose of our radio stream is to make our holdings available for educational use. As always, happy listening!

“Carolina Soul” Lecture September 10

On Friday, September 10, the Southern Folklife Collection will be hosting a lecture by DJ and collector Jason Perlmutter, founder of the website

A UNC-Chapel Hill graduate (and former WXYC station manager) Perlmutter has been collecting soul recordings from the Carolinas since 2002, and compiled the 2008 Jazzman Records/Now-Again release Carolina Funk: First in Funk, 1968-1977.

Please join us in the Wilson Library Pleasants Family Assembly room (directions here) on September 10 for a reception at 5:00, to be followed by the lecture at 5:45.  The event is free and open to the public (click to enlarge the flyer above for more details).

Photo of the Week: Ed Haley

West Virginia fiddler Ed Haley (1883-1951), photographed ca. 1930s. Though a professional musician, Haley never made a commercial recording due his suspicion that record companies would take unfair advantage of his blindness. Home recordings made late in his life were issued on Rounder Records’ 1976 LP Parkersburg Landing and 1997 CDs Forked Deer and Grey Eagle. Photograph from the Guthrie T. Meade Collection.

New Addition: The D.K. Wilgus Collection

The SFC’s D.K. Wilgus Collection is now available, containing the correspondence, writings, research, and teaching materials of D.K. Wilgus (1918-1989), longtime professor of English and Anglo-American Folksong at UCLA. Dr. Wilgus was one of the first scholars to engage in the serious study of “hillbilly music” and was an original member of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation board of directors.

The D.K. Wilgus Collection contains a vast amount of ballad material, including sheet music, songbooks, hymnals, subject files, and over 1,000 items related to ballads about the sinking of the Titanic. The collection also includes Wilgus’ field recordings of ballad singers and musicians in Ireland, recordings of Anglo-American ballad singer Sara Cleveland and steel-guitar player Jimmie Tarlton, and interviews with Ernest Tubb and Ernest V. Stoneman.

Also of interest are thousands of items related to folk music festivals in the United States and Europe, including numerous photographs of the 1964 and 1965 UCLA folk festivals.