Congratulations to our friends and neighbors at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s nonprofit educational partner, Great Smoky Mountains Association, has been nominated for a Grammy Award for best historical album for their CD Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music. The CD includes 34 historic songs, ballads, and instrumentals recorded in 1939 by “song catcher” Joseph S. Hall. The little-known Smoky Mountain recordings were collected when Hall was a young graduate student on a project to collect genuine Smokies speech and music. Songs featured on the CD include “My Home is in the Smoky Mountains,” “Don’t Forget me Little Darling,” “Mule Skinner Blues,” “Ground Hog,” “On Top of Old Smoky,” and “Up on Pigeon River.” As part of the association’s effort to produce the CD and preserve the cultural history of the area, the producers issued news releases throughout the region to track down any surviving musicians featured on the recordings or their descendants. At least 18 relatives of the original musicians featured on the CD responded enthusiastically and sent photographs and anecdotes about their relatives. Two of the musicians who were recorded in 1939 were still alive. The photos and information received were incorporated into the 40-page liner note booklet that accompanies the CD.
Story credit: Leesa Brandon, Blue Ridge Parkway.