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Folk and Music Festivals
The Berea Sound Archives collections document audio recordings of folk and music festivals directed at celebrating and preserving traditional vernacular American culture. They also promote newer tradition-based forms, such as Bluegrass, newgrass, and cont
Nancy and Harvey McClellan started this festival in the early 1970s with some encouragement from members of the Ashland (KY) Community College. The festival also filled a void left by Jean Thomas' recently defunct American Folk Song Festival. After several different locations at state parks in Carter County, KY, the festival ceased operation in the mid-1970s.
Holdings: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976.
The festival began as a Fraley family reunion in the early 1970s but soon grew to encompass an extensive extended musical family. Now called the "Fraley Festival of Traditional Music," it is held every year at Carter Caves State Resort Park.
Holdings: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977
Founded in 1932 by Jean Thomas, "The Traipsin' Woman", in Boyd County, KY outside of Ashland. By 1938 it attracted over 20,000 people and had become more pageant than a festival. Thomas personally ran the event until her retirement in 1972.
Holdings: 1966, 1967, 1968
McLain Family Band Festival - Renfro Valley / Big Hill, KY
For 13 years, in the late 1970s through the 1980s, the McLain Family Band hosted the internationally recognized annual McLain Family Festival showcasing family bands from the US and abroad. The 1st festival was at Renfro Valley, with the remaining years held at the McLain's Big Hill farm near Berea, KY. Holdings: 1978, 1979, 1981.
Short for 'Ohioans from Kentucky,' O'Tucks was founded in 1959 at Hamilton, OH by Kentucky-born educator Stanley Dezarn after he moved there. Originally an annual homecoming picnic for Kentucky migrants, it grew into a celebration of Appalachian heritage. The organization still sponsors an annual banquet and funds scholarships at nearby Miami University. Holdings: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996.
Held at the Carter Family Fold since 1975, this festival was originally a memorial to A.P. Carter. The 1977 festival marked the 50th Anniversary of the Carter Family's historic 1927 recording session at Bristol, TN, considered by many to be the "Big Bang of Country Music."
Holdings: 1975, 1976, 1977.
The Celebration of Traditional Music (CTM) began in 1974 as an outward manifestation of the Berea College Appalachian Center's traditional music committee. The CTM continues part of the Appalachian Center’s overall mission of encouraging and coordinating many of the Berea College’s special Appalachian programs, involving students and faculty, serving the region, and documenting the region’s culture.
Holdings: 1974 - present.
Appalachian Festival - Cincinnati, OH
The Appalachian Festival began in 1970 as a project of the Junior League of Cincinnati. Since 1975 it has been produced by the Appalachian Community Development Association (ACDA) and has grown to be one of the largest urban-based Appalachian festivals in the United States. Holdings: 1978.
Bascom Lamar Lunsford founded the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in 1928 as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions. It continues to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the United States.
Holdings: 1959, 1974.
Founded by writer, educator, and activist Don West, a series of concerts and workshops promoting the traditional mountain folk music and crafts of Appalachia, and highlights the transfer of traditions to younger generations.
Holdings: 1974, 1978, 1979
Indian Springs Bluegrass Festival - Hagerstown, MD
From 1972 through 1980, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine produced 17 major bluegrass festivals at a campground near Hagerstown, Maryland. The Indian Springs Bluegrass Festival is remembered for several “firsts.” These include Bill Clifton’s first U.S. appearance after several years abroad, and the only festival appearance by Clarence White before his untimely death. Holdings: 1974, 1976.
Since 1950, the West Virginia State Folk Festival has focused on old-time music, traditional square dancing, and Appalachian arts and crafts. The West Virginia State Folk Festival was initiated in 1950 by Dr. Patrick Gainer "to preserve the remnants of West Virginia traditional life and culture to the end that citizens may appreciate and respect the achievements of their forbearers."
Holdings: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967.