M. Anna Fariello: Folklife Researcher and Museum Curator by Marie T. Cochran Anna Fariello grew up in a small New Jersey town where her first encounter with folklife was as a participant in Italian-American traditions that were part of everyday life. “For the first decade and a half, my life revolved within a small circle […]

Eric Ellis: Wilkes County Banjo Player, Bearer of Bluegrass Traditions, and Teacher by Lisa Baldwin, Leila Weinstein, and Emily Schaad Eric Ellis was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2009—the same year that saw the inductions of Ralph and Carter Stanley, Mike Seeger, and Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith—and today the North […]

Lonnie Ward: Traditional Musician by Trevor McKenzie Born in 1928, Lonnie Ward has been a part of the musical traditions of Watauga County, North Carolina, for nearly seven decades. At 83, Ward is accomplished on a variety of instruments including banjo, dulcimer, mandolin, and guitar. Recently, he took up the fiddle after being inspired by […]

David Lee: Singer, Songwriter, Record-Label and Record-Shop Owner by Brendan Greaves and Jason Perlmutter David Lee was born on May 3rd, 1936, in Shelby, North Carolina. Raised on the Blanton and Yarborough family farms, Mr. Lee began working the land by age twelve, planting and cutting barley, wheat, corn, and cotton. His family was not […]

Neal Hutcheson: Maker of Documentaries on North Carolina Folklife and Language by Thomas McGowan and Walt Wolfram Videographer Neal Hutcheson has produced an extensive collection of important documentaries presenting notable North Carolina folk artists, the folk speech of cultural groups in North Carolina, and the family and community contexts of regional folklife. His documentaries on […]

Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr.: Orchardist and Apple Historian by Tessa Thraves Creighton Lee Calhoun Jr. is an apple historian and retired orchardist who lives in Pittsboro, N.C. At one time he had 450 kinds of heirloom apples growing at his home nursery on Blacktwig Road. There he takes cuttings of old varieties, sent to him […]

Vollis Simpson: Whirligig Artist by Jefferson Currie II Vollis Simpson grew up in Wilson County, near the town of Lucama. His family farmed, and his father moved buildings for a living. Vollis was drafted before World War II, and continued serving during the war in the Army Air Corp stationed on the Island of Saipan. […]