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<em>Smoky Mountain Magic</em>

Smoky Mountain Magic

SMOKY MOUNTAIN MAGIC--Horace Kephart's fictional adventure set in the Deep Creek watershed, Cherokee Indian Reservation, and Bryson City in the summer of 1925. Written in 1929 and never before published. The original manuscript was passed down for 3 generations recently surfaced during the park's 75th anniversary celebration. "What better topic than a journey into a forbidden realm, complete with witches, robber barons, noble savages and a winsome lady, all wrapped in a cloak of mystery and myth?" asks reviewer Gary Carden. Kephart is featured in Ken Burn's PBS series on our national parks. He is the author of "Our Southern Highlanders", "Cherokees of the Smokies", and "Camping and Woodcraft". Available in hardcover and softcover. Read More >


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Reviews of Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music CD

"This 70-minute anthology collects 34 songs from the archives of Joseph S. Hall, a linguist and anthropologist who, in the summer of 1939, documented the music, speech, and folklore of the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a revealing look into the mountain traditions of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, at least on a par with Alan Lomax's Appalachian field recordings.  . . .  Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music is a far more accurate representation of Appalachian music than Harry Smith's influential Anthology of American Folk Music . . . .  For all of Hall's measured scholarship and the sober presentation here, there's no way to obscure the weird thrill of this music.  It's alien and familiar at the same time." Metro Pulse

"One of the lesser-known of the field recorders who were at work in 1939 was Joseph S. Hall.  In East Tennessee and western North Carolina, a huge cultural upheaval was taking place as entire communities were displaced to make way for the development of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The National Park Service recognized that a trove of heritage would inevitably be lost as the result of the federal government's decision to preserve and recreate wilderness at the expense of local community life.  To mitigate some of the loss, the NPS engaged Hall, a Sorbonne-educated Californian who was studying linguistics at Columbia, to set off into the Smokies and record the speech of the region's inhabitants.  . . . And although the main purpose of his research was to document speech, Hall found that music was an integral part of community life in the Smokies, which necessarily found its way onto the recordings as well.  This CD, Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music, provides a sampling of those musical performances." The Old-Time Herald

Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music "is both a slice of musical history and fine music in its own right.  Lovers of old-time mountain music need to have it in their collections." Bluegrass Unlimited

"Recorded in 1939 by linguist Joseph S. Hall, these tunes, songs, hymns, and ballads had previously only been available to researchers at the archives at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or East Tennessee State University.  Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park eventually comprised nearly a half-million acres and displaced thousands of individuals and families. The park service commissioned Hall to document the language, stories, customs, and culture of these residents before they left.  When they heard Hall was from California, many of the locals volunteered to perform musical numbers, thinking erroneously that Hall could help get them 'discovered.' The discovery has been a long time coming, but it is good that these marvelous performances are finally available to the general public.  . . . [T]his CD is as down-home and authentic as it gets."  Goldenseal

"As the record unfolds, one immediately hears the crackle and snap of history coming alive through the speakers. You hear voices and musical instruments — sounds uncovered and dusted off after several decades lying dormant. They are faces and names long gone from everyday life, but here and now, a reawakening occurs. Your thoughts begin to drift. Those abandoned barns and quiet fields you wander by each day start to peak your interest in what was, and how it translates to today. The ground below your feet exposes its many rich and sacred layers, each footstep moving across the depths of history in your own backyard." Smoky Mountains News