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Folk Visions and Voices

Traditional Music and Song in North Georgia

Art Rosenbaum

Publication Year: 2013

Sampling virtually all of the old-time styles within the musical traditions still extant in north Georgia, Folk Visions and Voices is a collection of eighty-two songs and instrumentals, enhanced by photographs, illustrations, biographical sketches of performers, and examples of their narratives, sermons, tales, and reminiscences.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

Pete Seeger

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pp. vii-

WHAT WILL HAPPEN to this fine collection of old songs remembered in the northern counties of the State of Georgia U.S.A.? Will it gather dust on library shelves? No. Folk Visions and Voices reads like a good historical novel. One gets immersed in the "collecting," in the people and their families, and in their lives. It's an invitation to learn more...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I MUST START by crediting my wife and collaborator, Margo N. Rosenbaum, with the overall conception of Folk Visions and Voices: the combining in exhibition and ultimately in book form a photographic, audio, graphic, and painted presentation of the sounds, faces, and stories of the people who were carrying on the musical traditions of north Georgia in the late 1970s and early...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xiv

NORTH GEORGIA begins at the edge of the old rolling cottonbelt plantation country, along a line running roughly east and west through Atlanta; it extends up through the red clay hills, piney woods, and textile-mill towns of the Piedmont, into the Blue Ridge Mountains up to the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee. This varied landscape has given rise to and...

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Transcriber's Comments

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pp. xv-

THE TRANSCRIPTIONS in this anthology were produced with performance in mind. It is hoped that they reproduce the nuances and ornamentation of the original without making them useless for performance. In the language of ethnomusicology, these transcriptions contain elements of both descriptive and prescriptive notation...

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Goiri to Georgia: The Eller Family and Ross Brown: Music Makers of Towns County

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pp. 1-22

A small road turns north off the highway between Hiawassee and Clayton in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the northernmost edge of Georgia. Pavement gives way to dirt as you head up into increasingly beautiful country. The place is known as Upper Hightower, because Hightower Creek arises here, and the mountain called Hightower Bald dominates...

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My Number Will Be Changed: Doc and Lucy Barnes, Family and Friends, and the Living Spiritual in Athens

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pp. 23-54

DOC AND LUCY BARNES live in a small house on a rise of ground up a red-clay road from the junction of South Lumpkin Street and the Macon Highway on the south side of Athens. Theirs and a few other houses are all that is left of a once extensive black community there; now condominiums and apartment complexes for University of Georgia students...

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Farewell, Sweet Jane: Maude Thacker, Ballad Singer of Tate

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pp. 55-72

THE STARK old classic British ballads, carrying their stories of love, jealousy, and murder on haunting modal melodies, are the oldest stratum of the folk-song tradition in the north Georgia mountains. They, and the romantic broadside ballads that went along with them, were widely known and sung a generation or two ago, but they have faded from the...

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I Used to Do Some Frolickin': Jake Staggers, Black Banjo-Picker of Toccoa

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pp. 73-86

DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY the five-string banjo developed from a crude plantation instrument of African descent, through a period of popularization in traveling minstrel and tent shows, into a favorite of southern musicians, black and white, for playing song accompaniment and dance tunes. Jake Staggers was born in the last year of the century...

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Down Yonder: The Tanners of Dacula, Smoky Joe Miller, Uncle John Patterson: Skillet Licker Music of the Piedmont [Contains Image Plates]

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pp. 87-112

GORDON TANNER welcomed his old friend Smoky Joe Miller and Uncle John Patterson, the "Banjo King" from Carrollton, into the "oblong concern of a chicken coop" back behind his home on the outskirts of Dacula, Georgia. He had converted it into a music room, and he explained, "We run the...

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Lets March Around the Wall: Mr. Hgt and Doc Barnes: The Last of the Old Work Songs

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pp. 113-124

THE HARD PHYSICAL LABOR of the Old South proceeded to the cadence of black voices singing surging and powerful work songs: the timber-stowing and cotton-screwing shanties of the seaports, the cotton-chopping songs of the plantations, and the hammer songs and track-lining songs of the railroads, all of which followed...

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Shout, Lulu: W. Guy Bruce of Screamersville

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pp. 125-142

W. GUY BRUCE NEVER DREAMED that at the age of eighty-five he would be leaving his little house and watch-repair shop out in the country near Trion, Georgia, to fly up to Washington, B.C., to pick banjo, pai some 1001," and sing "Shout, Lulu" for the crowds at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife. It was not that he had...

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I Don't Know How We Made It Over: The Brown's Chapel Choir of Bishop

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pp. 143-156

BROWN'S CHAPEL is a country church outside Bishop, Georgia; its members are in large part the descendants of slaves who worked on the cotton plantations around. When it meets on the fourth Sunday of every month, the old "Dr. Watts" hymns are lined out and sung in the surge-singing style that black singers adapted from the whites long before blacks were...

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I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground: Chesley Chancey, George Childers, and Mabel Cawthorn: Banjo Picking and Family String Bands

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pp. 157-178

IN HIS LAST YEARS Chesley Chancey had to get around on a wooden leg and one good leg; yet he managed to do some traveling with his younger brothers, Joe and Ralph, playing the mountain music they had learned as boys in Gilmer County. Chesley and Eva Chancey lived up a holler in the Boardtown section, several...

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Leavin' Here, Don't Know Where I'm Goin': Neal Pattman, Cliff Sheats, Willie Hill, Joe Rakestraw: Bluesmen and Songsters of the Piedmont

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pp. 179-204

EARLIER IN THIS CENTURY the blues emerged as a distinct and enormously popular Afro-American musical form, defined and proliferated by the compositions of W. C. Handy and the recordings of innumerable blues men and women, rural and urban. The Piedmont of the South, stretching...

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He Could Fiddle His Wiy Out of Jail: Ray Knight of Dahlonega

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pp. 205-216

RAY KNIGHT, singer and guitar picker of the old gold-mining town of Dahlonega, is just turning forty; yet he is proud to classify himself an old-timer. He will ask you if you know what an old-timer is and toss back the answer: "In between an antique and a living legend." Full of jokes, stories, and songs...

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Man of Visions: Preacher Howard Finster of Pennville

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pp. 217-233

A LONG HORIZONTAL PAINTING in tractor enamel from Howard Finster's Paradise Garden shows a landscape of flood and devastation: trees uprooted, boats sinking, and cars overturned, their tiny human occupants reaching for help; and out of this rises a great head of Albert Einstein, labeled...

Bibliography

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pp. 235-236

A North Georgia Discography

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pp. 237-238

Index of Titles and First Lines of Songs

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pp. 239-240


E-ISBN-13: 9780820346496
E-ISBN-10: 0820346497

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 4 color and 50 b&w photos and illus.
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: First Edition, Reissue