Saturday, March 22, 2008

long-bow fiddler; culture worker; Leatherwood singers

video
This is the first of several video clips I'll be posting, excerpts from fieldwork I did while folklorist-in-residence at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. All the original documentary materials from those years are archived at the Folk School, which is right on the North Carolina-Georgia-Tennessee border in what used to be called "the Southern Highlands" of Appalachia. I'll gradually add more detailed commentary about each clip.

Segment #1: Ben Entrekin, fiddle, with Sam White, guitar. Ben was a champion fiddler at the Knoxville World's Fair, and was the son-in-law of the legendary Cherokee fiddler, Manco Sneed.

Segment #2: An interview with Margaret Campbell at her home in Gatlinburg, TN. Ms. Campbell was instrumental in the craft revival of the 1930s, helping to start the Brasstown Carvers. Here she shows two carvings in her personal collection, by Tom Brown of Pleasant Hill, Tennessee. These carvings are featured in the Allen Eaton's 1937 survey, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands, which was funded and published by the Russell Sage Foundation. The book also included the iconic photography of Doris Ulmann.

Segment #3: The Leatherwood Singers of Peachtree, North Carolina. This clip includes three generations of the gospel-singing family.

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