Tag Archives: appalachian music

Albert Hash ain’t a bit shy with a fiddle

compiled from My Ashe County Home column by Muncy Gaultney in Ashe County NC newspaper “The Plow” (1960s-1980s) “I like to forgot I was supposed to talk about old time music and I guess Albert Hash and the Whitetop Mountain boys are next on the list. Albert is known far and wide for his woodworking […]

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You can’t make a livin’ at a cotton mill

When you buy clothes on easy terms, The collector treats you like measly worms; One dollar down and then, Lord knows, If you don’t make a payment they’ll take your clothes. When you go to bed, you can’t sleep, You owe so much at the end of the week. No use to collect, they’re all […]

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The Coon Creek Girls play the White House

On the evening of June 8,1939 limousines began to deliver the cream of Washington D.C. society to the East Room of the White House. President and First Lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were entertaining King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England and had arranged a command performance in their honor. Music for the evening […]

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She would stretch on tiptoes to reach the piano keys

A prolific composer, South Carolinian Lily Strickland (1884-1958) published 395 musical works for popular, church, and children’s performances. Her early works displayed the influences of life in the Jim Crow South, incorporating numerous elements of African American spirituals and folk music and the rhythms of Southern speech. Lily was the only daughter of Charlton Hines […]

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This strange music of the dulcimore appeals to the heart of the Mountaineer

Just as there is a vast gap between the poetry of art and the poetry of the folk, so is there a vast difference between the music of the Sourwood Mountain fiddler and the music of art.

This antique musician knows little about Wagner and the musical drama and the Italian melodists, and cares less. His music causes a feeling of ennui to steal over one, but he is giving his hearers something they can understand. His strains are the outbursts from the depths of a being that is sincere, and he fiddles and sings because he feels.

In the words of Svenstrupp, the great Danish authority on folksongs, the words of these canticles of love and woe “talk like a mother crooning to her babe, and have scarcely a kenning.” It is related that when the maidservant used to sing “Barbara Allen’s Cruelty” to little Oliver Goldsmith, he would shed tears; that the recital of “Chevy Chace” moved Sir Philip Sidney as nothing else could move him.

But the transition to a new and enlightened age is inevitable.

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