Entries

Acuff, Roy
Country singer, fiddler, bandleader, and music publisher. Continue Reading »
Adams, Sheila Kay
Sheila Kay Adams is a ballad singer from Madison County, North Carolina. Continue Reading »
African American Influences
African American musical tradition has all influenced all American music, including that of Appalachia. Continue Reading »
Alabama
Country music group. Continue Reading »
Alternative Country/Americana Music Movements
Americana is an umbrella term used to categorize a variety of hybrid musical styles incorporating elements of genres considered native to America, including American folk, country, rock, blues, and jazz. Continue Reading »
Ashley, Clarence “Tom”
Banjo player and early country singer. Continue Reading »
Atkins, Chet
Guitarist and record producer. Continue Reading »
Autoharp
Many American singers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found the autoharp, a modification of the zither, to be an easy-to-use accompaniment instrument. Continue Reading »
Baker, Etta
Blues guitarist. Continue Reading »
Baker, Kenny
Bluegrass fiddler. Continue Reading »
Ballads
A ballad is a narrative song in which each stanza of text is sung to the same melody. Brought to the American colonies by the earliest British settlers, the ballad form has remained in oral tradition through the present day, particularly in rural parts of the southeastern United States. Continue Reading »
Banjo
A four- or five-string instrument with a head of hide or plastic stretched over a gourd sound box or a circular wooden rim, the banjo evolved in America from a related family of variously named instruments—banjar, bandora, banza— brought from Africa by slaves. Continue Reading »
Bare, Bobby
Country singer and songwriter. Continue Reading »
Bass
The string bass (also called the upright bass, double bass, or stand-up bass) and its recent relative, the electric bass guitar, provide the rhythmic and harmonic foundation for much Appalachian music. Continue Reading »
Battle, Kathleen
Classical singer. Continue Reading »
Blake, Norman
Multi-instrumentalist, old-time singer, and songwriter. Continue Reading »
Blue Highway
Blue Highway is a bluegrass band from Kingsport, Tennessee. The band was founded in the mid-1990s. Continue Reading »
Blue Sky Boys
Early country singing duo. Continue Reading »
Bluegrass
Born of the traditions and experiences of the people of Appalachia and neighboring regions, bluegrass is an ensemble music placing equal emphasis on heartfelt vocals and instrumental virtuosity. Continue Reading »
Blues
Blues is a musical genre that developed among African Americans in the lowland South during the late nineteenth century. Continue Reading »
Boggs, Dock
Early country banjo player and singer. Continue Reading »
Bolick, Bill
SEE Blue Sky Boys»
Bolick, Earl
SEE Blue Sky Boys»
Boyens, Phyllis
SEE Workman, Nimrod, and Phyllis Boyens»
Bristol Sessions
The Bristol sessions were among the earliest and most successful attempts to make field recordings of rural musicians in Appalachia. Continue Reading »
Burns, Kenneth C. “Jethro”
SEE Homer and Jethro»
Burnside, R. L.
Rural L. (“R.L.”) Burnside was born November 23, 1926, in Lafayette County, in north Mississippi near the university town of Oxford. Living for much of his life in and near Holly Springs in Marshall County, Mississippi (with a stint in Chicago during the 1950s), Burnside worked as a sharecropper, fisherman, and part-time musician. Continue Reading »
Calhoun, Walker
Cherokee singer and ceremonial leader. Continue Reading »
Carson, Fiddlin’ John
Early country fiddler and singer. Continue Reading »
Carter Family
Singers. songwriters, and folk song collectors. Continue Reading »
Carter, Alvin Pleasant (A.P.)
SEE Carter Family»
Carter, Maybelle Addington
SEE Carter Family»
Carter, Sara Dougherty
SEE Carter Family»
Celtic Influences
The traditions of the Celtic peoples together constitute the single most dynamic ethnic influence on Appalachian music. Continue Reading »
Cherokee Music
Cherokee music, like other Cherokee art forms, was and continues to be an integral part of special ceremonies as well as of daily life. Continue Reading »
Chesney, Kenny
Country singer and songwriter. Continue Reading »
Civil War Music
With the Southern states’ secession from the Union in 1860–61, excitement spread through the Appalachian region as young men reported for induction into the Union and Confederate armies amid a festive atmosphere. Continue Reading »
Classical Composers
In the late nineteenth century, classical music composers initiated a movement (based on late-eighteenth-century European antecedents) to create a distinctively American national music, often incorporating traditional melodies. Continue Reading »
Cline, Patsy
Country singer. Continue Reading »
Coal-Mining and Protest Music
In the decades following the Civil War, technological advances and industrial modernization accelerated through- out Appalachia as the New South creed became the dominant ideology of the region’s political and economic elite. Continue Reading »
Cockerham, Fred
Traditional banjo player and fiddler. Continue Reading »
Coe, Kenton
Classical composer. Continue Reading »
Contests and Conventions
Although often thought of as an isolated place populated with stubbornly self-sufficient people, Appalachia has in fact produced a human culture that has long valued harvest celebrations, barn raisings, camp meetings, political rallies, community singings, dances, and family-oriented play parties. Continue Reading »
Cooper, Stoney
SEE Cooper, Wilma Lee and Stoney»
Cooper, Wilma Lee
SEE Cooper, Wilma Lee and Stoney»
Cooper, Wilma Lee and Stoney
Country husband-wife duo. Continue Reading »
Country Music
Although long associated with rural America, country music continues to thrive in an urbanized, postindustrial society. Continue Reading »
Cousin Emmy
Early country banjo player and singer. Continue Reading »
Creed, Kyle
Banjo player, fiddler, and instrument maker. Continue Reading »
Crumb, George
Classical composer. Continue Reading »