Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hellfire and banjoes

The last two clips from my fieldwork videos from 1988-91:

Excerpt #14: Taped at a revival meeting at the Boiling Springs Baptist Church, Cherokee County. Unidentified preacher. I have many times used this clip as an illustration of oral narrative and what folklorists call "formulaic composition" in traditional southern mountain sermon style. Like African American sermon style, traditional Appalachian "shouted" sermonizing is often misread by the uninitiated as "angry." This style of preaching goes back, in both Black and Anglo traditions, at least to the Second Great Awakening.

Excerpt #15: Banjo player Hobby Whitener, with gospel piano player Ruby Russell. The two are neighbors in Marble, North Carolina. I'm on the far left on guitar, and local tree surgeon Scott Ferguson, on my left, plays fiddle. This is a program we put together for public school teachers from Chattanooga.

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