Music legends and traditions of the North Carolina mountains and foothills.
The Bascom Lamar Lunsford Mountain Music Festival Carries on a Legacy
The Bascom Lamar Lunsford Mountain Music Festival is the only one that Lunsford allowed to carry his name. In 1928, Lunsford started the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville as part of the annual Rhododendron Festival. The festival was such a hit that the local newspaper declared it should be an annual event. The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is the oldest continuing festival in the nation and became a model for the National Folk Festival and other festivals that followed.
The Tom Dula Legends Lives On
Do you know the legend of Tom Dooley? Do you know he was a real person and lived in Western North Carolina? Do you know he was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang? The ballad “Tom Dooley”, originally recorded by Frank Proffitt in the 1930’s or 1940’s became a nationwide success in 1958 when The Kingston Trio released their recording of the song.
Storytelling on the Blue Ridge Music Trails
Everybody and everything has a story. What is her story, what is his story? Did you ever wonder about the cautionary messages in the fairy tales? Folklorists will tell you that story plays a very important role in human culture. Stories were used to preserve history, to teach the young important cultural lessons, and to provide entertainment.
What is a D.O.G.
As soon as the crops are canned, frozen and laid by for the fall, communities in Western North Carolina gather to sing shaped-notes from the Christian Harmony songbook. Now, over 129 years since the first shaped-notes were sung in the Dutch Cove, singers still gather to heist a tune and enjoy the riches of a D.O.G.
Step it Up and Go is David Menconi’s Love Letter to North Carolina Music
Step It Up & Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music was released by David Menconi in 2020. Taking its title from one of the signature songs of Durham blues artist Blind Boy Fuller, the book explores the musical history of the state and examines the impact North Carolina music has had on the rest of the world. Menconi writes that North Carolina “has only rarely been home to the biggest stars on the charts, and yet the contributions of North Carolina artists are deeply embedded in the DNA of some of the most important strands in American popular music. That is the story at the center of this book.”
The Green Grass Cloggers
Dance is an essential part of the musical traditions of Western North Carolina. Dancing and music go hand-in-hand, and for many years, dances with live music were a central meeting point for communities. One dance team that has been a fixture in Western North Carolina for almost 50 years is the Green Grass Cloggers. Clogging is a distinct form of dancing that borrows from the step dancing of the British Isles, the dance traditions of West Africa, and Native American dance, clogging is a dynamic form, a dance that is alive, well, and evolving.