SFC Preservation Reaches 10,000 Recordings

John Loy in the Rivers Studio
SFC Audio Engineer John Loy in the Rivers Studio

This month the Southern Folklife Collection is celebrating the preservation of our 10,000th recording. Over the years the SFC staff have spent many hours restoring and preserving all types of media in a wide variety of conditions, transferring at risk recordings to digital preservation masters. These preservation masters are created under optimal playback conditions in our Rivers Studio (pictured), and transferred according to best archival practices. We hope that our efforts will provide access to at risk recordings for years to come.

Listen to a clip from our 10,000th preservation master, Billy Faier singing “Wreck of the Old 97”, from the Billy Faier Collection: wreck-of-the-old-97

The Strange Case Of The DeAutremont Brothers

Here’s an interesting song we came across recently in the Ed Kahn Collection: “The Strange Case of the DeAutremont Brothers”, recorded in 1928 by banjo and guitar duo The Johnson Brothers. It dramatized a sensational train robbery that took place outside of Medford, Oregon in 1923. The would-be robbers (brothers Hugh, Ray, and Roy DeAutremont) badly botched the job, murdering four innocent men in the process. The DeAutremont brothers escaped the scene with their lives, leading authorities on a international manhunt until they were finally apprehended, tried, and sentenced to life in prison in 1927. The Johnson brothers recording no doubt sought to turn some of the recent trial publicity into record sales.
Listen to a clip of “The Strange Case of the DeAutremont Brothers”:

Ray DeAutremont (L), with Gary Williams, 1973
Ray DeAutremont (L), with Gary Williams, 1973

The clip below is from a tape made in 1973 by Eugene area journalist Gary Williams (tape FT-12658, Ed Kahn Collection), including an interview with the by-then paroled Ray DeAutremont. Ray is reluctant to speak about the murders, but does offer a few interesting (though self-serving) words on the subject of regret.

Listen to Ray DeAutremont  in 1973:
You can read more on the strange case of the DeAutremont Brothers in Oregon’s Great Train Holdup: The DeAutremont Case No. 57893-D.

Hold The Date!

The SFC is happy to announce three events on our Fall 2009 schedule. More details to follow. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

Mick Moloney

Mick Moloney Lecture
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Reception at 5:00pm, Talk at 6pm
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, 2nd Floor, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
Lecture by folklorist and Irish musician Mick Moloney on the connections between Jewish and Irish musicians and lyricists in Tin Pan Alley.
We are co-sponsoring the event with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for the Study of the American South, American Studies Dept., Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and the Friends of the Library.
George Stoney Film Screening
George Stoney
George Stoney

Friday, October 16, 2009
Location Stone Center Theater, Stone Center, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Reception at 5:00pm, Talk at 6pm
Film Screening and Q&A with documentary filmmaker George Stoney.
Event co-sponsored with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and the Friends of the Library.
Archie Green Memorial Symposium
Archie Green with Dock Walsh, 1963
Archie Green with Dock Walsh, 1963

Saturday November 21, 2009
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, 2nd Floor, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.
A symposium in honor of folklorist Archie Green. The event will include panel discussions, reminiscences and performances.
Event co-sponsored with UNC-Chapel Hill Folklore Program, American Studies Dept.