Southern Mountain Music

The Collected Writings of Wayne Erbsen

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About the Book

This work represents a lifetime of research by Wayne Erbsen, professor of old-time and bluegrass music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Over years of research, he managed to interview many of the important pioneers of Appalachian music. In many cases, he was the first and often the only scholar to ever collect their stories. For this alone, this history will remain an indispensable resource for generations to come.
The first part of the book is devoted to stories of many of the pioneers of old-time and bluegrass music. Following that are chapters on brother duets from the 1930s, legendary banjo pickers and fiddle players, plus tales of 19th century songwriters whose songs still populate bluegrass music. Also covered are such wide-ranging whimsical topics as cowboys in bluegrass music, Charlie Cline’s powerful snoring, a near-encounter with Bigfoot, and Hoss Cartwright’s hat.

About the Author(s)

A professor of old-time and bluegrass music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Wayne Erbsen has spent most of his life playing, teaching, researching, publishing, and broadcasting southern Appalachian and bluegrass music. He has written 38 books of songs, folklore, and music instruction. He divides his time between his home in Asheville, North Carolina and his family’s Civil War era log cabin in Elk Creek, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Wayne Erbsen
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 80 photos, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9646-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Book Reviews & Awards

“The many entertaining and informative essays in Wayne Erbsen’s Southern Mountain Music bring the reader up close to the pioneers of Bluegrass music. Erbsen, obviously a good listener, uses a light touch and lets their voices come forward. Jim Shumate talks about playing on Bill Monroe’s baseball team, and Zeke Morris explains how he shaped older bits and pieces into what became ‘Salty Dog Blues.’ Informed by 50 years of playing and studying the music, Wayne Erbsen presents an intimate picture of the beginnings of what came to be known as Bluegrass.”—Tim O’Brien, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter