Music from the Lost Provinces: A Guide to Traditional Music in Ashe County, North Carolina, Grayson County, Virginia, and the Surrounding Area

Scope: 

The traditional music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains have a legendary place in the history of American music.  This pathfinder is designed to help people locate information on Old Time and Bluegrass music and musicians from Ashe County, North Carolina, and Grayson County, Virginia, known hotbeds for traditional music in the Southern Appalachian Region.  It is important to note that sometimes the most useful resources in researching this particular topic are often found in the form of notes accompanying sound recordings and articles written in magazines focusing on traditional music.

Introductory Text: 

A good introduction to the traditional music and musicians of Ashe County, North Carolina, and Grayson County, Virginia, is:

McGee, Marty.  Traditional Musicians of the Central Blue Ridge:  Old Time, Early Country, Folk and Bluegrass Label Recording Artists, with Discographies. Jefferson, North Carolina:  McFarland & Co., 2000.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 106. U4 B66.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant

Bluegrass Music—North Carolina—Ashe County

Bluegrass Music—Virginia—Grayson County

Country Music—North Carolina—Ashe County

Country Music—Virginia—Grayson County

Folksongs, English—Appalachian Region—Southern

Music—Blue Ridge Mountains—Bio-bibliography—Dictionaries

Old Time Music—North Carolina—Ashe County

Old Time Music—Virginia—Grayson County

String Bands—North Carolina—Ashe County

String Bands—Virginia—Grayson County

Also Relevant

Bluegrass Music

Country Music festivals—North Carolina     

Country Music festivals—Virginia

Country Music—Discography

Dance Music—Appalachian Region—Southern

Fiddlers Convention—North Carolina—Ashe County

Fiddlers Convention—Virginia—Grayson County

Folk Music—North Carolina—Ashe County

Folk Music—United States—Discography

Folk Music—Virginia—Grayson County

Mountain People—Southern States—Music

Old Time Music

More General

Banjo Music

Bluegrass Music—North Carolina

Bluegrass Music—Virginia

Buffalo Community

Fiddle Tunes

Folk Dance Music—United States

Folk Music—United States

Folk Songs—United States

Music—Southern States

Old Fiddler’s Convention—Periodicals

Old Time Music—Virginia—Periodicals

Popular Music—United States

Clipping Files Subject Headings - W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 

Ashe County, North Carolina

Music—Appalachia

Music—Banjo

Music—Fiddles

Musical Instruments—General

Musicians—Appalachia

Library of Congress Call Numbers: 

ML 1

ML 106

ML 156

ML 421

ML 3545

ML 3551

Helpful Hint, when researching, keep in mind the names of key musicians such as:

Albert Hash

Alec (Alex) Campbell

Bill Williams

Bob Paisley

Carolina Night Hawks

E.C. and Orna Ball

Emily Paxton

Emmett Lundy

Ernest “Pop” Stoneman

Fields Ward

Frank Blevins

G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter

Glenn Neaves

Kilby Snow

Lyle Spencer

Martha Spencer

Michelle Spencer

New River Ramblers

Ola Belle Reed

Otis Burris

Pennington Spencer

Spencer Moore

Tar Heel Rattlers

Ted Lundy

The Mountain Ramblers

Thornton Spencer

Wade Ward

Wayne Henderson

Whitetop Mountain Band

Books: 

McGee, Marty.  Traditional Musicians of the Central Blue Ridge:  Old Time, Early Country, Folk and Bluegrass Label Recording Artists, with Discographies.  Jefferson, North Carolina:  McFarland & Co., 2000. ASU APP COLL STACK ML 106. U4 B66.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Erlewine, Michael, ed., et al.  All Music Guide to Country:  The Experts’ Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music.  San Francisco, California:  Miller Freeman, 1997.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 156.4. C7 A45.

McCloud, Barry, with Ivan M. Tribe.  Definitive Country:  The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers.  New York, New York:  Berkley Pub. Group, ASU APP COLL STACK ML 102. C7 M33.

Bibliographies: 

Appalachian Outlook.  Morgantown, West Virginia:  West Virginia University Library, 1968, 1972, and 1980.  ASU APP COLL STACK Z 1251. A7 A6. 

Cohen, Norm.  Traditional Anglo-American Folk Music:  An Annotated Discography of Published Sound Recordings.  New York, New York:  Garland Pub., 1994.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 156.4. F5 C64.

Lornell, Kip.  Virginia’s Blues, Country & Gospel Records, 1902-1943:  An Annotated Discography.  Lexington, Kentucky:  UP of Kentucky, 1989.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 156.4 B6 L87.

Tallmadge, William H.  A Selected and Annotated Discography of Southern Appalachian Mountain Music.  Berea, Kentucky:  Berea College Appalachian Center, 1985. ASU APP COLL STACK ML 156.4. F5 T35.

Abstracts and Indices: 

Only a limited amount of material was found for time spent, but this resource may be used for an exhaustive search. 

International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), online: http://music.chadwyck.com/

MLA Bibliography, online: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/

RILM Abstracts of Musical Literature, online: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/

Note:  When using these electronic databases it is helpful to search names of particular musicians.  (Do not limit to, but remember that the list of musicians provided is a good place to start.) 

Other Sources: 

Biographies

Tribe, Ivan M.  The Stonemans:  An Appalachian Family and the Music That Shaped Their Lives.  Urbana, Illinois:  U of Illinois P Music in American Life, 1993.  ASUAPP COLL STACK ML 421. SB T7. 

Wolfe, Charles.  The Devil’s Box:  Masters of Southern Fiddling.  Nashville, Tennessee:The Country Music Foundation and Vanderbilt UP, 1997.  See Chapter 5, “Mr. Grayson’s Train” p. 61-65.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 3551.7. S68 W65.

Wolfe, Charles.  The Devil’s Box:  Masters of Southern Fiddling.  Nashville, Tennessee:The Country Music Foundation and Vanderbilt UP, 1997.  See Chapter 5, “Mr. Grayson’s Train” p. 61-65.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML 3551.7. S68 W65.

Gazetteers (to help locate communities in Ashe and Grayson Counties)

Gannett, Henry.  A Gazetteer of Virginia and West Virginia.  Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1975.  ASU APP COLL STACK F 224. G19. 

Hanson, Raus McDill.  Virginia Place Names.  Verona, Virginia:  McClure Press, 1969. ASU APP COLL STACK F 224. H3.

Powell, William S.  The North Carolina Gazetteer.  Chapel Hill, North Carolina:  U of North Carolina P, 1968.  ASU APP COLL STACK F 252. P6.

Specialized Magazines

Bluegrass Unlimited.  Monthly publication.  1967-present.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML1. B68.

The Devil’s Box.  Quarterly publication.  Vol. 10, 1976-Spring 1999.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML1. D325. 

Old-Time Herald.  Monthly publication.  1987-present.    ASU APP COLL STACK ML1. O35.

Old Time Music.  Quarterly publication.  1971-1989.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML1. O53.

Pickin.’  Monthly publication.  Vol. 2, 1975-Vol. 6, 1979.  ASU APP COLL STACK ML1. P43. 

American Music. Champaign, IL: Sonneck Society and the University of Illinois Press,, Quarterly 1983-present. ASU MUSIC JRNL/BND Vol. 1-Vol. 23

John Edwards Foundation Quarterly. Los Angeles, CA: John Edwards Memorial Foundation, Quarterly 1972-present. ASU APP COLL ML1 .J55

The Journal of American Folklore. New York, NY: Published for the American Folk-lore Society by Houghton, Mifflin, and Co., Quarterly 1988-present. ASU PERIODICALS

Reviews

None found pertaining to the subject area; however, there are album (recording) reviews pertaining to artists from the area in the specialized magazines listed above. 

Other Relevant Material

Often much valuable information is published in liner notes that accompany sound recordings.  Also, there is one video that gives an excellent overview of the traditional music community of the area. 

Davidson, Eric, and Jane Rigg.  A Memorial to Wade Ward, Old Time Virginia Banjo Picker 1892-1971.  Folkways Records 2380, 1973.  ASU APP COLL REC # 134. 

Goldstein, Carl.  Ted Lundy and the Southern Mountain Boys: The Old Swinging Bridge. Rounder Records 0020, 1972.  ASU APP COLL REC # 338.

Lornell, Kip, et al.  E.C. Ball and Orna:  Through the Years 1937-1975.  Copper Creek CCCD 0141, 1997.  ASU APP COLL CD # 133.

Martin, Wayne.  Round the Heart of Old Galax Volumes 1, 2, 3.  County Records 533, 534, 535, 1980.  ASU APP COLL REC # 487, Volumes 1, 2, 3.

Music in the Old Time Way: Traditional Music and Musicians from the Southern Appalachians.  Videotape.  Dir. Philip S. Morgan.  With Enoch Rutherford, Benton Flippen, and various musical groups.  1986.  60 minutes.  ASU APP COLL VC 142.

Reed, Ola Belle.  Ola Belle Reed.  Rounder Records 0021, 1972.  Author of liner notes not named.  ASU APP COLL REC # 339.

Wolfe, Charles.  G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter: Early Classics Volume 1 and 2.  Old Homestead Records OHCS 157, 165, 1984.  ASU APP COLL REC # 637.

Wyatt, Marshall.  Music from the Lost Provinces:  Old-Time Stringbands from Ashe County, North Carolina & Vicinity.  Old Hat Enterprises CD 1001, 1997.  ASU APP COLL CD # 236.

Compiled by: 

Trish Kilby

November 1, 2001

Updated by: 

Jordan Laney

October 6, 2011

Subject: