A Hot-bed of Musicians: Traditional Music in the Upper New River Valley-Whitetop Region
In the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Virginia–North Carolina border, an extraordinarily rich musical heritage survives and flourishes. Even before the legendary Bill Monroe coined the term “bluegrass” in the mid-1950s, the traditional music of this area was coming into its own as a distinctive style. Early performers from the 1920s through the 1950s, many of whom migrated northward during the Great Depression, popularized the music they had grown up hearing, thereby preserving and celebrating the cultural legacy of their home region.
In A Hot-Bed of Musicians, Paula Anderson-Green tells the stories of several of these legendary performers and instrument makers from the Upper New River Valley–Whitetop Mountain region, including Ola Belle Campbell Reed, Albert Hash, and Dave Sturgill. These men and women began to bring the music of Appalachia to a wider audience well before Nashville became the center of country music. Making extensive use of interviews, the book reveals the fascinating experiences and enduring values behind the practice of old-time music. This musical heritage remains an indispensable component of Appalachian culture, and Anderson-Green traces the traditions down to the present generation of musicians there.
Written for anyone with an interest in mountain music, this book focuses on performers from Alleghany and Ashe Counties in North Carolina and Carroll County and Grayson County in Virginia. It includes a comprehensive appendix of place names and music venues as well as annotated lists of musicians and the songs they have performed.
The Author: Paula Hathaway Anderson-Green is an adjunct professor of English at Kennesaw State University and does research in Appalachian studies.
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Early Years 19111945
Musical Examples 1 Melody I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day measures 18
Charlottown measures 5565
Melody I Have a Mother in the Heavens measures 116
Melody The Promised Land measures 116
Ballad of the Harp Weaver measures 18999
Introduction and Goin Over Jordan theme second movement White Spiritual Symphony measures 127
Hoedown measures 114
1 790 measures 2836
These Are the Times from From the Textbooks measures 7077
Melody See Me Cross the Water measures 18
Fireflies measures 110
Fugato from Singin Billy measures 1621
Quilt Song from Singin Billy measures 110
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American Folk Music American Music Appalachian folk music Appalachian Mountain Appalachian Mountain dulcimer arts audience Ballad Bell Witch Billy Birmingham Suite Bradley Bryan Collection Bryan diary Bryan wrote Bryan's music C. F. Bryan cantata career Charles Bryan Charles F Charles Faulkner Bryan Charles Seeger Charlottown chorus compositions concert Cookeville Copyright curriculum Date unknown Davidson example Florida Aflame Folksingers and Folksongs folksong Folksongs in America George Pullen Jackson Grandstaff Guggenheim Fellowship Harp Weaver high school Hindemith hymn Ibid included Indian Springs School instruments interview John later Lawless McDowell McMinnville melody Mountain dulcimer music education music teachers musicians Nashville Conservatory Nashville Tennessean opera performance piano accompaniment played premiere published recorded Robert sang SATB Sept singers Singin singing solo songs soprano Southern teaching themes TTBB tunes Univ University unpublished paper vocal voice White Spiritual Symphony writing York