We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with a letter written by one Turner H. Trippe, who was a Solicitor General for the West Circuit, in Habersham County, GA. He sent it to South Carolina Governor James Hamilton, Jr. on March 8, 1831. Trippe writes on the subject of several citizens involved in counterfeiting.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
In Eagle Rock, VA, in northern Botetourt County, a little church is coming back to life. Parishioners from St. Mark’s Episcopal, in Fincastle, are taking an interest in this rural community (about ten miles away) and have decided to try to restore the beautiful white frame church that once housed the Emmanuel Episcopal Chapel congregation.
“There were only four kinds of country music,” explains Frank Buckley Walker (1889–1963), who was the Artist and Repertoire (A & R) talent scout for Columbia Records’ Country Music Division during the 1920s and 1930s. “One is your gospel songs, your religious songs. The others were your jigs and reels, like we spoke of a while ago at fiddler’s conventions. Your third were your heart songs, sentimental songs that came from the heart, and the fourth, which has passed out to a degree today and was terrific in those days, were the event songs.”
We’ll wrap things up with an excerpt from a 1991 oral history interview with Preston, KY farmer John Botts (b. 1932), conducted for the Family Farms of Kentucky Oral History Collection. “I always heard my dad say, ‘The farm is the backbone of the country–the farmer is the backbone of the country,’ says Botts. “But the backbone is getting mighty weak. The way things is going, you produce stuff and you can’t get nothing for it.”
And, thanks to the good folks at Rounder Records, “Old Originals Vol. 2,” we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from John Patterson in a 1978 recording of Did you ever see the Devil, Uncle Joe?
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.