Traditional Musicians of the Central Blue Ridge

Old Time, Early Country, Folk and Bluegrass Label Recording Artists, with Discographies


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About the Book

The Central Blue Ridge, taking in the mountainous regions of northwestern North Carolina and southwestern Virginia, is well known for its musical traditions. Long recognized as one of the richest repositories of folksong in the United States, the Central Blue Ridge has also been a prolific source of commercial recording, starting in 1923 with Henry Whitter’s “hillbilly” music and continuing into the 21st century with such chart-topping acts as James King, Ronnie Bowman and Doc Watson. Unrivaled in tradition, unequaled in acclaim and unprecedented in influence, the Central Blue Ridge can claim to have contributed to the musical landscape of Americana as much as or more than any other region in the United States.

This reference work—part of McFarland’s continuing series of Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies—provides complete biographical and discographical information on more than 75 traditional recording (major commercial label) artists who are natives of or lived mostly in the northwestern North Carolina counties of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Surry, Watauga and Wilkes, and the southwestern Virginia counties of Carroll and Grayson. Primary recordings as well as appearances on anthologies are included in the discographies. A chronological overview of the music is provided in the Introduction, and the Foreword is by the celebrated musician Bobby Patterson, founder of the Mountain and Heritage record labels.

About the Author(s)

Marty McGee is a writer and researcher who previously had an award-winning career in journalism. He lives in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Marty McGee

Foreword by Bobby Patterson

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 245
Bibliographic Info: 67 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2000
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0876-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0045-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fans and scholars of old-time music will find plenty to delight…an excellent index”—Choice; “valuable”—Classic Images; “important”—Against the Grain
  • “Library collections for music, American studies, popular culture, folk culture, and cultural history as well as regional studies can benefit from this tidy book”—ARBA
  • “Important…valuable”—Appalachian Journal
  • “Informative…well-written…a welcome addition”—Bluegrass Unlimited
  • “Solid and comprehensive…extensive bibliography and thorough index”—The Old-Time Herald
  • “[A] remarkable who’s who of Blue Ridge musicians and their recordings”—Our State
  • “Covers a time period from the late 20’s to the late 1990’s…profusely illustrated”—North American Radio Archives
  • “A handy book”—In the Groove Magazine