music & videosBack to music & videos
GSMNP: old-time smoky mountain music
The late 1930s were a tumultuous time when hundreds of families were leaving or had left their mountain farms to make way for the creation of the new national park. In 1939 Columbia University graduate student Joseph Hall came expecting to record the speech and stories of these residents and used a borrowed pick-up truck to lug some early recording equipment all around the Great Smoky Mountains. Fortunately for us, many of them wanted to sing and play for him instead, so he was able to capture an amazing variety of music: ballads from the British Isles, American ballads, gospel, folk, country, and blues. Here are recordings of 34 long-buried selections available to the public for the first time. They include: My Home is in the Smoky Mountain, Sourwood Mountain, John Henry, Don't Forget Me Little Darling, On Top of Old Smoky, Mule Skinner Blues, Ground Hog, Up On Big Pigeon, and many more. Also included is a 40-page booklet with all song lyrics, historic photos, and authoritative essays on the history of mountain music. Available exclusively from Great Smoky Mountains Association.