Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Collection
 

Accession Number: 29
The Bascom Lamar Lunsford Collection
Span Dates, 1874-1985
Bulk Dates, 1971-1978
Online Catalog Record (BANC)


Overview of the Collection

These are correspondence, writings, song texts, journals, diaries, photographs, sound / video recordings, and other material relating to the life of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, North Carolina folk music collector and festival promoter. The material was compiled by Loyal Jones in the process of writing his Lunsford Biography, Minstrel of the Appalachians.

Lunsford was particularly noted for his memory collection of 300 ballads, tunes and tales and the establishment in 1927, of the Ashville, North Carolina based Mountain Dance and Folk Festival which has continued to the present time. During his long career, Lunsford practiced law, published a song collection, and made several documentary recordings, while continuing to perform (vocal, banjo, and fiddle) collect songs, and write a few of his own (including “That Good Old Mountain Dew”). He traveled to Europe, and in 1939, along with other North Carolinians, performed for the Roosevelts and the King and Queen of England at the White House.

Series Description
Seven Manuscript Boxes

Series I Personal / Biographical Box 1

This series consists of correspondence, family documents, writings, photographs, and memoirs relating to Bascom Lunsford, and his family. Materials relating to Lunsford’s life are found mainly in Loyal Jones’ correspondence with Lunsford’s children and acquaintances (1971-1978). Among the acquaintances are Amos Abrams, Scott Wiseman, Jim Wayne Miller, Pete Seeger and Kenneth Goldstein.

Genealogical materials date mainly from 1971-1978, but some are from the 1890s. Included is a family tree, copies of family correspondence and documents, various writings and diaries. The diaries are those of Jennie and Isabell Lunsford, two of Bascom’s sisters, and ancestor, Squire Osborne Deaver. There are also history writings by Bascom’s father, James Bassett Lunsford.

Series II Writings Box 2

This series consists of published writings by Bascom Lunsford about festivals, balladry, and dancing, a book review, poems, interview transcripts, and personal reminiscences.

Series III Photographs Box 2

This series consists of both family and performer related photographs.

Series IV Music Box 3

This series consist mainly of texts and music notations for many of the ballads and songs associated with Lunsford. Included is a list of Lunsford’s memory collection, notations on sources, and transcriptions produced by Columbia University, the Library of Congress and Loyal Jones. There is also a list of Lunsford’s documentary sound recordings.

Series V Printed Materials Box 4

This series consists mainly of magazine articles, pamphlets and newspaper clippings dated from 1939 to 1984 relating to Lunsford’s various activities and interests. Included as well are administrative forms relating to the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and material relating to square dancing, games, and rhymes.

Series VI Manuscript Boxes 4-7

This series consists of materials relating to the writing and publication of Loyal Jones’ Lunsford biography, Minstrel of the Appalachians. Included are correspondence relating to final research and publishing (n.d., 1972-1985), four draft manuscripts in various stages of revision, and pre-publication reader comments. There is some manuscript material that was not included in the final draft.

Series VII Sound/Video Recordings Boxes 8-10

This series consists of sound and video recordings including Lunsford’s memory collection recordings, interviews of Lunsford, his family, and associates, as well as documentary film and video productions about Lunsford. Contents are searchable via an in house database or print index.


Box List

Series I Personal / Biographical Box 1

Box 1

  1. Correspondence, n.d.; June 1971-Aug 1973
  2. Correspondence, Sept 1973-Apr 1978
  3. Correspondence, acquaintances, n.d. 1973; 1974; 1978
  4. Family Tree
  5. Genealogical correspondence and related papers
  6. Florida Belle (Isabell Lunsford 1889-1935)
  7. Jennie Louise Lunsford, 1903-1907
  8. James Bassett Lunsford
  9. Squire Osborne Deaver, 1874-1896
  10. Sir Thomas Lunsford

Series II Writings Box 2

Box 2

  1. Miscellaneous writings by / kept by Bascom Lunsford
  2. Southern Exposure correspondence and publication (re: Bascom memoir)
  3. Memoir
  4. It Used to Be: The Memoirs of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, copy 1
  5. It Used to Be, copy 2
  6. Interview transcript - John Lair recorded by Loyal Jones, 4/30/1974
Series III Photographs Box 2

Box 2, cont.

  1. Photographs - Lunsford Portraits
  2. Photographs - Lunsford with Others-Nonmusical
  3. Photographs - Lunsford Performing
  4. Photographs - Dancers
  5. Photographs - Performers
    • Buzzy Leming
    • Pleas Mobley
    • Alter “Red” Parman
    • Obray Ramsey
    • Byard Ray
    • Rilla Ray
    • Virgil Sturgill
    • Cas Wallin
  6. Photographs - Copies of Print Material
Series IV Music Box 3

Box 3

  1. Song transcriptions recorded at Columbia University
  2. Song transcriptions recorded at Columbia University
  3. Music notation for Loyal Jones’ Book on Lunsford
  4. Music notation for Loyal Jones’ Book on Lunsford
  5. Miscellaneous song texts
  6. Library of Congress song texts recorded by Lunsford and other North Carolina singers
  7. Personal memory collection list
  8. Liner notes from Lunsford’s Riverside LP Album, Minstrel of the Appalachians (RLP 12-645)
  9. Lunsford discographies
  10. Cassette tape indexes
  11. Photocopies of several pages from 30 and 1 Folk Songs by Lunsford and Lamar Stringfield

Series V Printed Materials Box 4

Box 4

  1. Lunsford Article Draft by David Whisnant
  2. Lunsford Article Draft by Loyal Jones
  3. Lunsford Biography - Typescript by John Angus McLeod, 1973
  4. Thesis Re: Lunsford’s Folksong Collection by Anne Winesmore Beard, 1959
  5. Newspaper and Magazine Articles
  6. Newspaper Clippings 1939-1972
  7. Newspaper Clippings 1973-1984
  8. Mars Hill Mountain Music and Dance Festival
  9. Square Dance Figures and Calls
  10. Ozark Folk Festival 1934 (Preliminary for the first National Folk Festival)
  11. Miscellaneous Printed Material

Series VI Manuscript Boxes 4-7

Box 4, cont.

  1. Correspondence n.d.1972-1977
  2. Correspondence 1978-1985

Box 5

  1. Manuscript
  2. Manuscript, part I
  3. Manuscript, part II
  4. Manuscript, part I
  5. Manuscript, part II
  6. Manuscript, part I
  7. Manuscript, part II

Box 6

  1. Manuscript, Ch. 6 “Of Songs and Dances and Tales and Such”
  2. Manuscript, index
  3. Manuscript, tales
  4. Manuscript, chapter and notes
  5. Manuscript, interviews and sources
  6. Manuscript, fragments
  7. Manuscript, notes about
  8. Manuscript, research notes
  9. Manuscript, research notes
  10. Manuscript, research notes

Box 7

  1. Manuscript, research notes
  2. Manuscript, research notes
  3. Manuscript, research notes
  4. Manuscript, research notes

Series VII Sound/Video Recordings Boxes 8-10

Box 8
  1. Fourteen reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of Lunsford’s memory collection made by Columbia University in the mid 1930s.

Box 9

  1. Six reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of Lunsford’s memory collection made by Columbia University in the mid 1930s.
  2. One reel-to-reel audio-tape recorded interview of Lunsford by Duncan Emrich of the Library of Congress in 1949.
  3. One reel-to-reel audio-tape recorded interview of Lunsford by Loyal Jones, 7/27/1971.
  4. One reel-to-reel audio-tape recorded interview of Lunsford by Joan Moser, 12/29/1959.
  5. One 16mm commercial newsreel and VHS video copy of Lunsford and others performing,1930s.
  6. One VHS documentary, Our House to the Whitehouse, documenting Lunsfords role in the development of western North Carolina square dancing, 1920’s-1930s.
  7. One VHS documentary, Complete Bascom Lamar Lunsford Story - Originally titled, Ballad of a Mountain Man [American Experience TV series 1990s]
  8. One VHS ducumentary, Bluegrass Roots - Originally titled, Music Makers of the Blue Ridge

Box 10

  1. Thirty six audiocassette recordings including recordings Lunsford made for the Library of Congress in 1949, and interviews of Lunsford’s associates by Loyal Jones.

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