Listen, watch and learn about North Carolina folk musicians, from 19th century ballad singers to 20th century performers. Discover the North Carolina origins of folk music classics like Freight Train, Tom Dooley, Foggy Mt. Breakdown, and Orange Blossom Special. The North Carolina folk musicians of the early 20th century included fiddlers, banjo pickers, bluegrass bands, gospel singers, and blues musicians. Learn their names and hear their music, men and women, Black and white. Though these folk performers are deceased, there is a wealth of remaining video and audio recording. As a young man, the teacher met and worked with many of them and formed friendships with a few of them. There is a thin line between the old authentic “folk” music and the emerging popular commercial music. Please be aware that a course on folk music inevitably includes some “cornball” silliness, and much of the course explains how eager some traditional folk musicians were to get into commercial music. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 60.
Class sessions are recorded.
After graduating from Duke with a B.A., Bill Phillips taught high school and administered a federal grant related to school integration in Orange County, North Carolina. He later promoted folk music in North Carolina schools under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and at the same time did field research and folk music recordings now archived in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC. He also built guitars, banjos and dulcimers. Eventually, he became a licensed homebuilder.