Winners Of The JCCFS Fall Festival Giveaway & A Question

Exciting news-at the last minute the Folk School decided there should be 2 lucky winners instead of 1. In case you didn’t know-they’re nice like that. So who wins 4 free passes to the festival?

The First winner is-Number 8-Dillie

The Second Winner is-Number 16-Karen Adams.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway-and I hope all of you make it out to the Folk School’s Fall Festival-I know you’ll be glad you came.


Now for my question. The Spotlight on Music in Appalachia is winding down. I knew from the start I wanted to discuss the importance of Gospel music in Appalachia-but it seems I’m struggling with the subject. So how about it-do you have anything to say about Gospel music in Appalachia-past or present?


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  • Reply
    tony foster
    September 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

    i started singing, as many musicians do, in church. when i was only 8 yrs. old, someone taught my self and two female friends, about the same age, the old hymn “just a little talk with jesus”. after that for at least two years, we could not go to church without some older church member testifying that it would just make her service if those young’uns could get up and sing their song. mind you, this particular song has a bass part which yours truly belted out at the lowest end of my 8 yr. old register. i was no statler brother, but i gave it my all. still play music and sing to this day, and i know that early experience had something to do with the continued joy of music of which i have.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    So, Tipper, I made a big boo-boo, and forgot to mention the Gospel Summit up in Richwood KY. http://gospelmusicsummit.com/ My uncle Mike runs the RIchwood Flea Market (http://www.richwoodfleamarket.com/), and they often have Bluegrass and other musical events throughout the year. Plus, it is a ball to shop there! Anyway, maybe folks can catch it next year.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    September 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I remember the tent meetings that came to our valley and the beautiful harmony singing which was almost as important as the preaching. I always went because I liked the music and we had a next door neighbor who had a little girl, only about five or six and she could sing like a little angel and they always got her up on the platform and with the amplifiers you could hear her all up and down the river.
    I went to hear the singing, and I’ll admit that the jumping and shouting and caniptions and the speaking in tongues, all were like a side show attraction to a nine-year old.
    The entertainment made the ultimate exposure bearable. The exposure was the glare of the preacher’s eye as he screamed at the sinner and chastised the unsaved, the drunkard, the gambler, the womanizer, and all who hadn’t found the narrow gate.
    I wasn’t any of those things, but I did use a lot of bad words and smoked rabbit tobacco and played marbles for keeps. So, when the preacher was admonishing the sinners to come up front, I know he was talking to me, sure felt like it and I was shaking, and his eyes seemed solidly transfixed on me and I would duck in my seat, and slink behind the fat woman in front of me and if he started to come out into the tent I would sweat like a warm rock on a cold morning and pray for the singing to start so he would get back up on the platform.
    But the gospel singing brought me back, and I found an even fatter man to sit behind the next night.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    One thing I’m interested in is the splitting off of southern/Appalachian religious music into (generally) black and white traditions, and how the subject matter/focus of the songs are the same or different. Why did some hymns/traditions appeal to each group? How did the traditions mix/split? etc.

  • Reply
    Cheryl soehl
    September 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    My mama learned music by shape notes. I still have her shape note hymnal and can hear her playing the piano and singing. This was the theme music of our young lives and the glue that held us together. Love to remember the singing…

  • Reply
    September 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t have much to ad, except that I love southern gospel music. The kind that you can’t help but sing along with.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 26, 2010 at 9:25 am

    It sure was nice of the Campbell Folk School to share those tickets with us!!
    All I know about gospel music is that it was the beginning point.
    What is shape note singing?

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    September 26, 2010 at 1:50 am

    tipper: youve hit on my greatest weakness in this life . its what i call bluegrass gospel, i know the gospel came first,but when the bluegrass groups started recording gospel, thats when the fiddling began as they say. when bill or charlie monroe sang i saw the light,well it was lights out for me , i play these albums while i work on old watches and its like magic those old rascal,just start ticking. love the subject. your friend k.o.h

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    September 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    All I know about gospel music is that I like it.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I forgot to congratulate the winners of the tickets…Yea!!!
    Dillie and Karen…Yea!!
    Wish I could be there..but other obligations…have fun for all of us!
    Jim your rememberance of “Down Yonder” and “Under the Double Eagle” stoked my mind…as my Mother played piano and “Down Yonder” She had the old 78 records of both and played them often when I was a youngster..
    I have searched high and low for them since clearing the estate…found other records but naught for those….
    Tipper our Gospel music when we left NC..changed as I grew up…
    But, I found shape note singing more mindful of the past heritage..even though my parents for the most part were not raised in a church that sang shape note harmony…

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    September 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Tipper, The Blind Pig and the Acorn is still the number one best Appalachian Blog Site.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    Are you a shaped note singer?…Did any of your family grow up in a church that used shaped notes to sing Gospel music and or hymns…I love the sound and wish I could learn…
    It is as you know a traditional way of singing and learning harmony in Appalachian churches…
    If you have commented on shape note singing before, I am sorry I missed it…

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Most of our Appalachian music came
    from old gospel songs. Our parents
    and grandparents came from a culture of deep faith in God, and
    gave Him reverence through their
    songs. We should always honor that
    too. Also, congradulations to the winners…Ken

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for the tickets… can’t wait to get off the mtn for a little bit and winning these leaves the manthing no choice but to get out and about..
    Back in the 80s and very early nineties I lived in Asheville area and one night a week or more there would be a gathering at the bluegrass store where I worked and there would be a jam session and lots of bluegrass gospel singin… was awesome and met so many talented people I couldnt name them if i tried, including many famous around the world folks. there was also a barn/ rec center pickin out of town that we would go to once a month or a bit more. would have a potluck dinner and lots of jam sessions there too.. very special moments in my young adult life.. as to the roots, i dunno i am a dang yankee 🙂

  • Reply
    Grandma Sallie
    September 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    There used to be a all night gospel singing in the Asheville Auditorium. This was in the 1940’s and I do not know if the tradition continued.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Congratulations Dillie and Karen!!!
    I wish I could go, but right now I just don’t have the time or money. But one day I’ll be there!
    To me, gospel music is the core of music. I think it’s where music began.
    I love the old gospel hymns the most.
    A good friend of our family sings in a gospel trio. I love to listen to them. He also sang at both of my parents funerals.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

    About 38 years ago, my Mom and Dad took my new hubby and me to hear “The Country Store Opry” close to Franklin, W.Va. They played in an old country store and it was packed every Sat. night. We attended regularly.
    The memebrs were a lady, several men and the Heckel Family from Elkins, W.Va. They played and sang some old time gospel and lots of country.
    I’ve looked them up on the internet and they are much bigger and popular now. I don’t recognize any of the performers now. They play mostly at the new cultural center in Petersburg,W.Va and the Bottling Works in Romney, W.Va. I haven’t been able to get there for a performance yet, but am hoping to. None of them were professional (although one Heckel sister tried to go professional in Nashville), but they sure could pick and sing!!!
    I bet there are groups like this throughout Appalachia and the South. Just not here where I live close to a city. I miss it!!!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Tipper–Gospel music, in its many variants, has always been at the heart of Appalachian culture. I recall, as a boy, going to someone’s home every Friday night (Saturdays were reserved for square dancing) and listening to folks “make music.” Invariably, a goodly portion of the songs would be gospel.
    Beyond that, I grew up in close contact with the original members of the Inspirations, especially Archie Watkins. He was a couple of years younger than me, but I dated his older sister and have seen him from time to time over the years since (most recently when the group sang at the funeral of a cousin a few years back).
    Also, my Dad’s closest hunting and fishing buddy, Claude Gossett, was a member of a gospel quartet (I can’t remember their name to save me, but they were “the” group in Swain County prior to the Inspirations), and the Parton woman who accompanied them on the piano also often played for squared dances. She could flat-out tear up “Down Yonder.”
    My point, although not particularly well stated, is that I think the links between gospel music and mountain culture are extensive and indeed integral to the old ways of Appalachia. Just think of how many songs have gospel overtones even though they aren’t necessarily thought of in that way; e. g., “Life Is Like a Mountain Railway.”
    Jim Casada

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