Ballads

The State of Things
11:15 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Guidebook

    

The Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina are the center of a rich history of music and dance, from musicians like Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs, to traditions like ballad singing and square dancing. 

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley

Tom Dooley sign as seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Credit Jan Kronsell, 2002 / Wikipedia, Wikicommons

On June 18, 1866, the body of 21-year-old Laura Foster was found in a shallow grave in Wilkes County, NC. Thomas C. Dula (Tom Dooley), a veteran of the Civil War, was tried, convicted and hanged on May 1, 1868, in Statesville, NC, for the murder.  Dula had fled to Tennessee before the discovery of the body.

Controversy surrounded the trial and conviction. The trial was covered widely in national papers including The New York Times. Dula is reported to have said on the gallows, “Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I didn’t harm a hair on the girl’s head.” 

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Arts & Culture
2:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

NC Ballad Singer Sheila Kay Adams Named National Heritage Fellow

Sheila Kay Adams
Credit Kim Dryden, courtesty of Sheila Kay Adams

Mention the name Sheila Kay Adams to any traditional old time musician and you’re likely to elicit a reverent response.  In the world of American ballad singers, Adams remains one of the pillars of tradition, drawing on her Madison County roots to perform and teach the old style of singing and banjo playing passed down in her family for generations.  This week, her lifetime of nurturing and sharing traditional music earned her a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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