Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Search this
The period from July 2002 through July 2003 was declared by Congress the "Year of Appalachia." The year also marked the 75th anniversary of the historically important Victor recording sessions held in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1927. A small museum in Bristol administered by the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA), a non-profit group run by country music enthusiasts and supporters of Appalachian music that is also an affiliate of the Smithsonian, approached the Smithsonian with a proposal to mount a Folklife Festival program in 2003 celebrating Appalachian culture. The year began with a series of regional concerts in Appalachia and culminated with the 2003 Festival program on the National Mall. Smithsonian staff worked closely with scholars and experts in the Appalachian region to help us tell their story, to discover what qualities in the region have made it such a hotbed of musical creativity and cooperation.
Although it was not the first time country music had been recorded for commercial distribution, the 1927 Bristol Sessions are considered the "big bang" that kicked off the country music industry. These were the first recordings of the original Carter Family and the singing brakeman, Jimmie Rodgers, the two most important early country music stars. They began what has since become a multibillion-dollar business. For this reason the area around Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, has been referred to as "the Birthplace of Country Music."
The Festival program focused on the region within a hundred miles of Bristol, although certainly important music was and still is being made in the other parts of Appalachia. What forces converged in this one area of the United States to produce this music? There were various factors: isolation, strength of family, a strong religious faith, a feeling of community, and a sense of innovation. The area's music has influenced subsequent American popular music, but traditional music is still alive and thriving in the region, with younger people learning to play. Traditional music is even being taught in schools, such as the Mt. Rogers Combined School in Virginia and East Tennessee State University, which has a program in bluegrass. Nowadays, the music is also played and loved all over the planet, from Europe to Japan. The Festival program surveyed the different kinds of music one can find in the region. There were older master performers and those just starting out. For every group selected to bring to the Festival there were dozens of other worthy candidates.
Since its founding in 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has maintained a strong interest in the culture of Appalachia, and particularly its music. In 1968, Doc Watson & Family, Jean Ritchie, and Ralph Stanley participated in the Festival; in 1969 Dock Boggs, Maybelle Carter, Bill Monroe & the Monroe Brothers, and Merle Travis were featured. State programs on Kentucky (1973), Virginia (1977), and Tennessee (1986) have been presented on the Mall. Festival co-founder Ralph Rinzler had a great love for the region; besides "discovering" Doc Watson in 1960, Rinzler recorded and produced numerous recordings of Appalachian music and collected and documented Appalachian crafts. He was also responsible for bringing Appalachian musicians to New York and the Newport Folk Festival for concerts. The other Festival co-founder, James Morris, had been the director of the Asheville Folk Festival. Festival audiences in 2003 relished the opportunity to meet old friends again and to encounter new ones.
Jean Haskell and Jeff Place were Curators, and Arlene Reiniger was Coordinator.
This program was produced in collaboration with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance and the Center for Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University. Major contributions were provided by the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Funds, the National Endowment for the Arts, King Pharmaceuticals, the Norfolk Southern Foundation, Tennessee Tourism, and West Virginia Division ofTourism. Additional support was provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Virginia Foundation for Humanities, Eastman Chemical, and The United Company.
Friends of Appalachia
Bill and Mary Aldacushion, Joseph & Maureen Alonso, Valerie Amerkhail, R. Bruce Barritt, Rebecca Bartholomae, David Bearinger, Alan Berg, Barry Bergey, Vernon & Mary Emma Bohl, Florence Ann Bowen, Anne Boynton, Joan Brown, Mukadder Buyukunsal, Martha Christie, Denis Clements, Elizabeth Dahlin, Christine Di Lapi, Yeshi Dorjee, Fleur Duggan, William & Elizabeth Edwards, Carolie Farlee, Laura Feller, Amet Figueroa, Barbara Francisco, Gerald Gaudet, Patricia & Thomas Gibney, Angus Gillespie, Anthony Gittens, Paul D. Gould, William Granik, Milton Grossman, John Guffey, Jeffrey Harwood, Marilyn Hayes, Adam Heller, John Herzog, Jon Hundley, Richard Kaczmarek, Peter Kent, John Kerr, Kathryn Kerr, Richard & Allyn Kurin, Jay Ladin, Geoffry & Terry Lewis, Sarah Lewis, George and Marcia Loeb, Kathy Condon and R. Luftglass, Marian A. Lund, Aaron Joel Markel, Alice Markham, Terry & Sara Miller, Kathy Ann Millholland, Toni Milto, Frederick & Karen Mulhauser, Suzanne Murray, Music from China Inc., Sara Ohlidal, Marvin Nakashima, Angela Olszewski, Jeanne Ormsby, Hassan Oushani, Anthony Palombella, Roland Pytel, Joan N. Radner, Ethel Raim, Grace Rawlins, Roland Roebuck, Sue Rollins, Zelda Jenne Rouillar, Sigmund Shapiro, James Shook, Dr. and Mrs. Milton Shor, Gabrielle Shubert, Daniel Snodderly, James & Anita Steele, Louise Steele, Alan J. Steiner, Diane Strnad, Barbara Stratyner, Aaron Sturgis, Thomas Sukitsch, George Swisko, Teoffy Taganas, Kay Turner, Carlha Vickers, William Vickers, Chuck Wagner, John Shunshieh Wang, Douglas Wonderlic
Jean Haskell, East Tennessee State University, Center for Appalachian Studies, and Ted Olson, East Tennessee State University, Center for Appalachian Studies, served as co-chairs and Research Curators.
Childlore Task Force: David Winship, chair; Roberta Herrin, East Tennessee State University
Dance and Narrative Traditions Task Force: Susan Spalding, Berea College, chair; Katy Brown; Angelyn DeBord; Barbara Duncan, Museum of the Cherokee Indian; Betty Fine, Virginia Tech University; Phil Jamison, Warren Wilson College; Bob Leonard, Virginia Tech University; John Lilly, Goldenseal Magazine; Richard Rose, Barter Theater; Sparky Rucker; Jimmy Neil Smith, International Storytelling Foundation; Joseph Sobol, East Tennessee State University
Foodways Task Force: Phyllis Deel, Virginia Tech University, chair; Jon Lohman, Virginia Folklife Program, chair; Fred McClellan, Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, chair; Jeannie Mullins, Virginia Tech University; Mark Sohn, Pikeville College
Material Culture Task Force: Anna Fariello, Virginia Tech University, Curatorial InSight, chair; Kathleen Curtis Wilson, visiting scholar, University of Ulster, chair; Sandra Bennett, Thistle Cover Farm; Donia Eley; Tim Glotzbach, Dean, Kentucky School of Craft; George Hiller, Virginia Economic Development Partnership; John Huron; Allison Kaiser, Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; Tess Lloyd, East Tennessee State University; Dian Magie, Center for Craft, Creativity and Design; Rex McCarty; Jeannie Mullins, Virginia Tech University; Kim Parker; Ruth Summers, Southern Highland Craft Guild; Blair White, East Tennessee State University
Media Task Force: Greg Wallace, Wallace Video, chair; Bill Hartley, Birthplace cf Country Music Alliance; Rich Kirby, Appalshop; Jamie Ross, James Agee Appalachian Film Project; Wayne Winkler; Stephen Wade
Music Task Force: Katie Doman, Tusculum College, chair; Richard Blaustein, East Tennessee State University; Ed Cabbell; Ron Carson, Appalshop; Cecilia Conway, Appalachian State University; Steve Fisher, Emory and Henry College; Rita Forrester, Carter Family Memorial Music Center; Pamela Foster; Cary Fridley; Bruce Haney; Bill Hartley, Birthplace of Country Music Alliance; Eddie Huffinan; Rich Kirby, Appalshop; John Lilly, Goldenseal Magazine; Raymond McLain, East Tennessee State University; Gerry Milnes, Augusta Heritage Center; Ted Olson, East Tennessee State University, Center for Appalachian Studies; Jeff Place, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; Cassie Robinson; Sparky Rucker; Mike Seeger; Tim Stafford; Jack Tattle, East Tennessee State University; Tim White, Birthplace of Country Music Alliance
Tourism Task Force: Matt Bolas, Bristol Tennessee/Virginia Chamber of Commerce, co-chair; Geneva O'Quinn, Heart of Appalachia Tourism, co-chair; Kitty Barker, Blue Ridge Travel Association of Virginia; Judy Donaghy, North Carolina High Country Host; Steve Galyean, Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau; Amy McDougal, First Tennessee Development District; Leesa Sutton, North Carolina Division ofTourism
Charlie Camp, Dudley Connell, Phyllis Deel, Lee Michael Demsey, Katie Doman, Jean Haskell, Rich Kirby, Jon Lohman, Fred McClellan, Ted Olson, Barry Lee Pearson, Susan Spalding, Stephen Wade, Joe Wilson
John Dee Holeman, guitar, Durham, North Carolina
Melvin Alston, 1943-, guitar, Durham, North Carolina
Nat Reese, 1924-, guitar, Princeton, West Virginia
James "Sparky" Rucker, 1946-, guitar, Maryville, Tennessee
Joe Thompson, 1918-2012, fiddle, Mebane, North Carolina
Bob Carlin, 1953-, banjo, Lexington, North Carolina
Sheila Kay Adams, 1953-, banjo, Marshall, North Carolina
Jim Taylor, 1952-, guitar, Marshall, North Carolina
Laura Boosinger, 1957-, banjo, Asheville, North Carolina
Ginny Hawker, 1940-, vocals, Coxs Mill, West Virginia
Tracy Schwarz, 1938-, fiddle, guitar, Coxs Mill, West Virginia
Bobby McMillon, 1951-, Lenoir, North Carolina
Jean Ritchie, 1922-2015, Port Washington, New York
Randy Wilson, 1952-, banjo, Big Creek, Kentucky
Hazel Dickens and Friends -- Hazel Dickens and FriendsHazel Dickens, 1925-2011, Washington, D.C.Richard UnderwoodJack LiebermanMarshall WilbornDudley Connell, Silver Spring, MarylandBarry Mitterhoff, Scotch Plains, New Jersey
The East Tennessee State University Student Bluegrass Band -- The East Tennessee State University Student Bluegrass BandRaymond McLain, fiddle, Johnson City, TennesseeDaniel Boner, 1981-, guitar, Bridgeton, New JerseyJosh Goforth, 1981-, mandolin, Marshall, North CarolinaJenny Lyn Harper, 1983-, bass, Simsboro, LouisianaJ.P. Mathes, 1980-, banjo, Elizabeth, Tennessee
Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys -- Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia BoysJesse McReynolds, 1929-, mandolin, vocals, Gallatin, TennesseeMatthew Allred, guitarKent Blanton, bassDonny CatronDaniel Grandstaff, banjoBobby Hicks, fiddleLuke McKnight
The O'Quinn Brothers & the Bluegrass Travelers -- The O'Quinn Brothers & the Bluegrass TravelersFred O'Quinn, 1934-, banjo, Birchleaf, VirginiaJoe Arrington, 1938-, bass, Haysi, VirginiaHerb Bowman, 1929-, fiddle, North Tazewell, VirginiaKeith O'Quinn, 1959-, mandolin, Bee, VirginiaKyle O'Quinn, 1962-, guitar, Birchleaf, Virginia
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys -- Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain BoysRalph Stanley, 1927-2016, banjo, vocalsRalph Stanley IIRalph Stanley IIIJack CookeJames PriceJohn RigsbyJames Alan SheltonSteve Sparkman
The VW Boys -- The VW BoysTim White, 1956-, banjo, Blountville, TennesseeLarry McPeak, 1947-, bass, Wytheville, VirginiaDave Vaught, 1952-, guitar, Bristol, Tennessee
CONTEMPORARY APPALACHIAN MUSIC
The Celtibillies -- The CeltibilliesJack Hinshelwood, 1956-, fiddle, guitar, Shawsville, VirginiaBecky Barlow, 1957-, hammered dulcimer, keyboard, bodhran, Christiansburg, VirginiaJeff Hofmann, 1971-, bass, Roanoke, VirginiaTim Sauls, 1956-, banjo, bouzouki, and guitar, Roanoke, Virginia
Appalachian Reggae Musician Ras Alan with Brother Bob -- Appalachian Reggae Musician Ras Alan with Brother BobRas Alan Childres, 1959-, guitar, kickbox, Zionville, North CarolinaBrother Bob Franklin, 1962-, bass, Weaverville, North Carolina
Dorothy "Fountain" Myles, 1947-, vocals, Appalachia, Virginia
Pastor Stanley D. Almon, 1966-, keyboard, Lynch, Kentucky
Michael DeFosche, 1949-, guitar, Whiteyville, Tennessee
Dwight Diller, 1946-, banjo, Hillsboro, West Virginia
Rayna Gellert, 1975-, fiddle, Asheville, North Carolina
Joe Fallon, 1952-, banjo, guitar, Charlottesville, Virginia
Bruce Greene, 1951-, fiddle, Burnsville, North Carolina
Wayne Henderson, 1947-, guitar, Mouth of Wilson, Virginia
Will Keys, 1923-, banjo, Gray, Tennessee
Doug Dorschug, 1946-, guitar, Mountain City, Tennessee
Lester and Linda McCumbers, and Jake Krack -- Lester and Linda McCumbers, and Jake KrackLester McCumbers, 1921-, fiddle, Nicut, West VirginiaLinda McCumbers, 1921-, guitar, Nicut, West VirginiaJake Krack, 1984-, fiddle, Orma, West VirginiaKim Johnson, 1952-, banjo, Clendenin, West VirginiaDara Krack, 1953-2014, guitar, Orma, West Virginia
Don Pedi, 1947-, dulcimer, Marshall, North Carolina
Doug Rorrer, 1951-, guitar, Eden, North Carolina
Taylor Rorrer, 1984-, guitar, Eden, North Carolina
Lee Sexton, 1928-, banjo, fiddle, Cornettsville, Kentucky
The Buckingham Lining Bar Gang -- The Buckingham Lining Bar GangCharles W. White, 1930-, leader, Buckingham, VirginiaFrank Austin, 1925-, Buckingham, VirginiaFrank Cottrell, 1928-, Arrington, VirginiaRobert Jones, 1924-, Prospect, VirginiaAsbury Laury, 1936-, Buckingham, VirginiaJohn H. Laury, 1931-, Buckingham, VirginiaDaniel McKinney, 1931-, Dillwyn, VirginiaSamuel Mosley, Buckingham, VirginiaWilliam Eddie Neighbors, 1916-2006, Buckingham, VirginiaIsaac W. Pankey, 1923-, Green Bay, Virginia
Elaine Purkey, 1949-, guitar, Ranger, West Virginia
Carl Rutherford, 1929-2006, guitar, Caretta, West Virginia
OLD-TIME MUSIC STRING BAND
The New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters -- The New Ballard's Branch BogtrottersDennis Hall, 1953-, guitar, Galax, VirginiaEddie Bond, 1971-, fiddle, Fries, VirginiaDallas Hall, 1958-, mandolin, Galax, VirginiaJesse Morris, 1979-, bass, Elk Creek, VirginiaWayne Watson, 1947-, banjo, Galax, Virginia
The New Southern Ramblers (with Ralph Blizard) -- The New Southern Ramblers (with Ralph Blizard)Ralph Blizard, 1918-2004, fiddle, Blountville, TennesseeJohn Herrmann, 1943-, bass, Asheville, North CarolinaGordy Hinners, 1955-, banjo, Weaverville, North CarolinaPhil Jamison, 1953-, guitar, Asheville, North CarolinaJohn Lilly, 1954-, mandolin, Charleston, West Virginia
Lloyd Arneach, 1943-, Asheville, North Carolina
Bonnie Collins, 1915-, Fairmont, West Virginia
Orville Hicks, 1951-, Boone, North Carolina
Bil Lepp, 1970-, South Charleston, West Virginia
Frank Proffitt, Jr., 1946-2005, Todd, North Carolina
Carcassonne Community Dancers, square dance -- Carcassonne Community Dancers, square danceJon Henrikson, 1942-, Blackey, KentuckyJames Boggs, 1983-, Big Laurel, KentuckyRachel Boggs, 1981-, Big Laurel, KentuckyLoretta Henrikson, 1949-, Blackey, KentuckyBeverly Johnson, 1961-, Amsterdam, New YorkDale Johnson, 1954-, Amsterdam, New YorkRay Slone, 1932-2007, fiddle, guitar, Hindman, KentuckyBobbie J. Whitaker, 1934-, Cromona, KentuckyCharles Whitaker, 1928-, Cromona, KentuckyCharlie Whitaker, 1929-, Blackey, Kentucky, callerJoyce Whitaker, Blackey, Kentucky
The Green Grass Cloggers, clog-dancing -- The Green Grass Cloggers, clog-dancingPhil Jamison, 1953-, Asheville, North CarolinaKaren Bartlett, 1950-, Asheville, North CarolinaWanda Davidson, 1953-, Swannanoa, North CarolinaGordy Hinners, 1955-, Weaverville, North CarolinaCarol Mallett, 1953-, Asheville, North CarolinaHunt Mallett, 1955-, Asheville, North CarolinaTrina Royar, 1959-, Asheville, North CarolinaRodney Sutton, 1950-, Marshall, North Carolina
Susan Bridges, 1954-, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
Kim Carroll, 1972-, Clintwood, Virginia
Linda Childress, 1947-, Clintwood, Virginia
Harvey Christie, 1964-, Romney, West Virginia
Lacey Griffey, 1928-, Benham, Kentucky
Gerald Hawkins, 1942-, Knoxville, Tennessee
Greg Golden, Treadway, Tennessee
Marie Junaluska, Cherokee, North Carolina
Bennie Massey, 1949-, Lynch, Kentucky
Fred McClellan, 1953-, Abingdon, Virginia
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or email@example.com for additional information.
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.