The Southern Folklife Collection and UNC University Libraries are thrilled to bring you this Author Talk featuring Deke Dickerson, this coming Wednesday, February 15, from 12-1 PM EST. This virtual presentation and discussion is free to attend, and you can register in advance at go.unc.edu/Dickerson. Dickerson will be presenting on his book Sixteen Tons: The Merle Travis Story.
The Library recently shared some fantastic photos of Merle Travis from the Russell D. Barnard Country Music Magazine Photograph Collection (#20484). There are a few more from this collection on the Library’s Facebook page.
Country music legend Merle Travis was a deeply talented and troubled artist. Join @sfolklife and author @dekedickerson for an exploration of Travis' life during Dickerson's presentation about his new book, "Sixteen Tons: The Merle Travis Story." https://t.co/bIjyYW7cW5 pic.twitter.com/2pHRq0es92
— UNC Library (@UNCLibrary) February 8, 2023
Here are a even more from the Barnard Collection:
In addition to the Barnard Collection, the Ed Kahn Collection (#20360) holds a number of Travis related images and correspondence.
Kahn himself shows up around Travis in the Archie Green Collection (#20002), mentioned in this interview transcript. There is a trove of Merle Travis related items in Green’s papers for the research of his book Only A Miner.
There are also some holdings in Green’s archive around the release of Travis’ Folk Songs album, the first record released on the new Capitol Americana label.
Green had many pieces on Travis’ signature song, and the source for the title of Dickerson’s book, “Sixteen Tons.”
Here is a piece Travis wrote for the United Mine Workers Journal about his composing of the song, reprinted in the Sing Out! journal.
The cover of the issue of United Mine Workers Journal where the article first appeared:
We look forward to having you join us Wednesday the 15th for this event with Deke Dickerson to learn more about the Merle Travis’ life and career, and hope you are inspired to explore our collections for even more Travis treasures. Registration at go.unc.edu/Dickerson.