Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Nora Carpenter Traditional Music Collection
 

SAA 108
Nora Carpenter Traditional Music Collection
1920-1972
1 Linear Foot
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Overview
History
Series Description
Series I - Biographical Material and Photographs
Series II - Manuscript Song and Poetry Texts
Series III - Clippings and Other Published Material
Series IV - Reel to Reel Audio Recordings

Access and Use

Provenance: The collection was given to Berea College in October, 2007 by Nora Carpenter’s daughters, Charlotte Thompson and Carolyn Cravens of Lexington, Kentucky.

Access: There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations.

Preferred Citation: Nora Carpenter Traditional Music Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

Related Archives

Overview

This collection consists of song lyrics, poems, and sound recordings authored or collected by Nora E. Carpenter of Magoffin County, Kentucky, mostly during the period 1920 - 1960. It also includes numerous clippings of song lyrics, poetry, and community history from a wide variety of print sources, both loose leaf and pasted in a scrap book. There are also a few song books published by regional country music radio performers during the 1940s and 1950s.

History

Nora Owens Carpenter (1888-1975) was a formidable presence for many years in the Salyersville - Magoffin County area of eastern Kentucky. Married to Morgan Green Carpenter in 1907, she was a mother of five, businesswoman, and onetime postmaster. However for many in her home community, she is best remembered as a talented, traditional musician (banjo and harmonica) and topical song writer. She and her string band, “Big Mamma and the Half Mountain Hotshots,” had a strong following on Paintsville radio station, WSIP during the 1940s and early 1950s. Despite this local appreciation, she seems to have been overlooked by the many folklore scholars who traveled through Kentucky at various times during the 1900s.

Series Description
3 Manuscript Boxes

Series III Clippings and Other Published Material Box 2

This series consists of numerous clippings of song lyrics, poetry, and community history from a wide variety of print sources, both loose leaf and pasted in a scrap book. There are also a few song books published by regional country music radio performers during the 1940s and 1950s.

  1. Clippings from print sources
  2. Clippings from print sources
  3. Song books and sheet music
  4. Half Mountain Hot Shots
  5. Ephemera
Series IV Reel to Reel Audio Recordings Box 3

This series consists of 11 reel-to-reel audio tapes, seven of which were recorded by Nora Carpenter during the 1960s-1970s for the purpose of documenting her repertoire and playing for various family members who no longer lived nearby. Of the four remaining tapes, two contain copies of commercial recordings, one is a WSIP radio program tribute to Nora Carpenter by Hatler Johnson, and the other is an audio letter to Nora Carpenter from relatives in Arizona. The recordings by Nora Carpenter have been digitized for preservation and CD copies are available for listening.

  1. Copies of commercial recordings.
  2. More copies of commercial recordings
  3. Songs and poems recorded 7/8/1972 by granddaughters Karen and Sue.
  4. Nora E. Carpenter - traditional and original songs, n.d.
  5. Nora E. Carpenter - songs and poem recorded 3/6/1961.
  6. Nora E. Carpenter - traditional and original songs, recorded 6/9/1961.
  7. Nora E. Carpenter - original and traditional songs, recorded 7/7/1972.
  8. Nora E. Carpenter - traditional and original songs, recorded 7/7/1972.
  9. Messages from Red and Bureta Owens to their aunt Nora E. Carpenter, n.d.
  10. Radio program tribute to Nora E. Carpenter by Hatler Johnson, n.d.
  11. Nora E. Carpenter - "Mountain Dew" recorded by [Baby Bus?]

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