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Handbook for Presenting Mississippi’s Artists

VI. References and Resources


American Folklife Center
Based at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the American Folklife Center manages a large archive of folk culture materials and leads a number of national projects. Their site features extensive resources, including a number of online publications and finding aids for their collection.
American Folklore Society
The national membership organization for folklorists. Their site features information on the Society’s meetings and publications, as well as employment listings and other opportunities for folklore scholars.
Oral History Association
Homepage for the national membership organization. The site includes extensive links to oral history projects and collections throughout the United States.
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
The organizer of the annual folklife festival held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. They also are the home for Smithsonian Folkways Records, a record company that releases recordings of traditional music.
Mississippi Culture
Center for the Study of Southern Culture
Home for the Southern Studies program at the University of Mississippi, as well as the host of numerous southern culture related events, including annual conferences devoted to William Faulkner and southern foodways.
Delta Blues Museum
The premier blues museum in Mississippi. Their site features information on current exhibits, information on local clubs and festivals, and links to other blues related sites.
Junior’s Juke Joint
Follow the adventures of cultural anthropologist and Louisiana native Junior Doughty as he investigates the blues culture of Mississippi. A simple, “home made” site, but lots of firsthand information about Mississippi blues sites and musicians.
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
The tribe’s official website, which includes information on their history and culture, as well as their more recent economic activities.
Mississippi Folklife and Folk Artist Directory
Managed by the Mississippi Arts Commission, this site features information on a wide range of traditional artists currently active in the state. In addition to extensive text descriptions on each artist, the individual artist pages include photo galleries, and audio or video clips.
USM Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage
The Center is the repository for most of the recent oral history interviews done in the state. Their site also features an extensive finding aid for the Civil Rights- related oral history interviews that have been done with Mississippi residents.


General Folklore Studies

Baron, Robert and Nicholas R. Spitzer, eds. Public Folklore. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.

Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Study of American Folklore. New York; W.W. Norton and Company, 1986.

Coffin, Tristram Potter. Our Living Traditions: An Introduction to American Folklore. New York: Basic Books, 1968

Dundes, Alan. The Study of Folklore. Englewood Cliffs, J.J.: Prentice-Hall 1965.

Festival of American Folklife, 1990. Presenter’s Guide. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 1990.

Folklife in the Classroom: A Guide for Florida Teachers. White Springs: Florida Folklife Program, 1983.

Glassie, Henry. Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968.

Loomis, Ormand H. Cultural Conservation: The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the United States. Washington, D.C.: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1983.

Stokes, Samuel N. with A. Elizabeth Watson. Saving America’s Countryside: A Guide to Rural Conservation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1989.

Wilson, Joseph, and Lee Udall. Folk Festivals: A Handbook for Organization and Management. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982.

Yoder, Don, ed. American Folklife. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976.

Mississippi and Southern Culture

All Shook Up: Mississippi Roots of American Popular Music. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1995.

Black, Patti Carr. Mules and Men. Jackson: Department of Archives and History, 1980.

----.Mississippi Piney Woods: A Photographic Study of Folk Architecture. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1976.

Botkin, B.A.  Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945.

Brown, Maurice C. Amen, Brother Ben: A Mississippi Collection of Children’s Rhymes. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1979.

Carawain, Guy and Candie. Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Publications, 1993. (Smithsonian/Folkways has issued a companion 63-minute CD/cassette field recordings made by Carawains.)

Carpenter, Barbara, ed. Ethnic Heritage in Mississippi. Jackson: Published for Mississippi Humanities Council by the University Press of Mississippi, 1992.

Charters, Samuel B. The Blues Makers. New York: Da Capo, 1991.

----.The Bluesmen: The Story and the Music of the Men who Made the Blues. New York: Oak Publications, 1967.

----.The Country Blues. New York: Rinehart, 1959.

Cheseborough, Steve. Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues. Jackon: University Press of Mississippi, 2001.

Cobb, Buell E., Jr. The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1978, 1989.

Dixon, Willie with Don Snowden. I Am the Blues: The Willie Dixon Story. New York: DaCapo, 1989.

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music in the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Evans, David. Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

Ferris, William. Blues from the Delta. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1978.

----.Local Color: A Sense of Place in Folk Art. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.

----.Mississippi Black Folklore: A Research Bibliography and Discography. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1971.

Freeman, Roland L. A Communion of Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories.  Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1996.

Gentry, Linnel, ed. A History and Encyclopedia of Country, Western, and Gospel Music. Nashville: McQuiddy Press, 1961.

Guralnick, Peter. Searching for Robert Johnson. New York: Dutton/Obelisk, 1989.

Hammon, Ann R. Wild Bill Sullivan, King of the Hollow. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980.

Harris, Sheldon. Blues Who’s Who: A Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers. New York: DaCapo, 1979.

Howard, James H. and Victoria Lindsay Levin. Choctaw Music and Dance. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.

Hudson, Arthur Palmer. Folksongs of Mississippi and their Background. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1936.

Jones, Bessie, and Bess Lomax Hawes. Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage. New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

Loewen, James W. The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Lomax, Alan. Lands Where the Blues Began. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

----.Folk Songs of North America. New York: Doubleday, 1960.

Lornell, Kip. “Happy in the Service of the Lord”: Afro-American Gospel Quartets in Memphis. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

Malone, Bill C. Country Music, U.S.A. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.

McKee, Jesse O. and John A. Schlenker. The Choctaws: Cultural Evolution of a Native American Tribe, 1980.

Mitchell, George. Blow My Blues Away. Louisiana State University Press, 1971.

Napier, John Hawkins, III. Lower Pearl River’s Piney Woods: Its Land and People. University, MS: Center for the Study of Southern Culture, 1985.

Oliver, Paul. The Story of the Blues. London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1978.

Palmer, Robert. Deep Blues. New York: Penguin, 1981.

Persistence in Pattern in Mississippi Choctaw Culture. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1987.

Polk, Noel, ed. Mississippi’s Piney Woods: A Human Perspective. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.

Porterfield, Nolan. Jimmie Rodgers; The Life of America’s Blue Yodeler. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1979.

Quan, Robert Seto. Lotus Among the Magnolias: The Mississippi Chinese. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982.

Rankin, Tom. Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

Reeves, Carolyn Keller, ed. The Choctaw Before Removal. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.

Schweid, Richard. Catfish and the Delta. Berkeley, CA: Ten-Speed, 1992.

Scott, Frank and staff of Down Home Music, The Down Home Guide to the Blues. Pennington, NJ: A Cappella, 1990.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: Norton, 1971.

Spitzer, Nicholas R. The Mississippi Delta Ethnographic Overview. New Orleans: Jean Lafitte National Historic Park, 1979.

Taulbert, Clifton. Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored. Tulsa: Council Oak, 1992.

Thompson, Carole. Strangers in their Own Land: A Choctaw Portfolio. Jackson: Mississippi State Historical Museum, 1983.

Titon, Jeff Todd. Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Vlach, John Michael. The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.

----.”Black Creativity in Mississippi: Origins and Horizons.” In Made by Hand: Mississippi Folk Art. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1980.

Wahlman, Maude Southwell. Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts. New York: Studio Books, 1993.

Wells, Samuel J. and Roseanna Tubby, eds. After Removal: The Choctaw in Mississippi, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.

Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

Young, Alan. Woke Me Up This Morning: Black Gospel Singers and the Gospel Life. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.

Young, Stephen Flinn and D. C. Young. Earl’s Art Shop: Building Art with Earl Simmons. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.

Oral History Guides

Baum, Willa K. Oral History for the Local Historical Society. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1971.

----.Transcribing and Editing Oral History. Nashville: American Association of State and Local History, 1977.

Colman, Gould P. “Oral History-An Appeal for More Systematic Procedures.” American Archivist 28 (1965), pp. 79-83.

Curtiss, Richard D., Gary Shumway, and Shirley E. Stephenson, eds. A Guide for Oral History Programs. Fullerton: Oral History Program, California State University, 1973.

Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman’s Introduction to Field Techniques. Washington: Library of Congress, Publications of the American Folklife Center, no. 3, 1990.

Gorden, Raymond L. Interviewing: Strategy, Techniques, and Tactics. Rev. ed. Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press, 1975.

Hartley, William G. Preparing a Personal History. Salt Lake City: Primer, 1976.

Ives, Edward D. The Tape Recorded Interview: A Field Manual for Field Workers in Folklore and Oral History. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1980.

Langlois, William J. A Guide to Aural History Research. Victoria, BC: Aural History Program, Provincial Archives of British Columbia, 1976.

Moss, William W. Oral History Program Manual. New York: Praeger, 1974.

Rosenberg, Neil V., ed. Folklore and Oral History. St. John’s, Newfoundland: Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Publication Series, Bibliographical and Special Series No. 3, 1978. Papers from the Second Annual Meeting of the Canadian Oral History Association, October 3-5, 1975.

Shumway, Gary L. and William G. Hartley. An Oral History Primer. Salt Lake City, 1973.

Vansina, Jan. Oral Tradition. Chicago: Aldine, 1965.

Waserman, Manfred J. Bibliography of Oral History. Rev. ed. Denton, Texas: Oral History Association, 1975.


Living Blues (bimonthly)
Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677. This magazine offers extensive interviews with major blues performers as well as lesser-known artists. It also features current blues news, festival listings, and an extensive record review section.
Mississippi Folklife (annually)
Offers articles, photo essays and other about a wide range of aspects of traditional culture in Mississippi.

Recordings, Films, and Videos

Black Delta Religion. Video. Wide range of religious experiences filmed in variety of Mississippi Churches.

Blues Maker. Video. Fred McDowell plays, sings, and talks about the Mississippi Country blues.

Bottle Up and Go. Video. Captures the simple, deliberate lifestyle of a rural black couple in southern Mississippi.

Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel Singer. Centers on a gospel singer, faith healer and family leader from Centreville, MS

Give My Poor Heart Ease. Video. Interviews and performances by B.B. King and James Son Thomas, Parchman Penitentiary work chants and Wade Walton’s Barbershop boogie-woogie.

Gravel Springs Fife and Drum. Video. An Examination of a musical tradition whose roots extend back to West Africa and a commentary on life in rural Mississippi.

Great Big Yam Potatoes. Anglo-American Fiddle Music from Mississippi. Record album. Twelve fiddlers, 42 tunes, recorded in 1939 for the WPA and Library of Congress.

I Ain’t Lying. Video. Folktales narrated by James “Son” Thomas, Shelby “Pappa Jazz” Brown, Mary Gordon, and others.

Made in Mississippi. Portraits of black folk artists and their works: James “Son” Thomas (clay sculpture), Amanda and Mary Gordon (quilts), Othar Turner (cane fifes), Luster Willis (painting and sculpted canes) and Leon Clark (white oak baskets).

Mississippi Delta Blues. Video. Rare black and white footage of live music found in juke joints, shops and at house parties.

Mississippi Folk Voices. Record album. Sacred Harp, gospel, black fife and drum work chants, blues and country music by various artists.

The Land Where Blues Began. Video. A program by Alan Lomax, John M. Bishop and Worth W. Long. North Carolina Public Television; a production of the Mississippi Authority for Public Television, 1990.

Moving in the Spirit: Worship through Music in Clear Creek, Mississippi. Record album. Varied Styles of worship music plus a chanted sermon.

Traveling Through the Jungle: Negro Fife and Drum Band Music from the Deep South. Record Album. Testament Records.

Two Black Churches. Video. Services at Rose Hill Baptist Church near Vicksburg, MS, and at St. James Church in New Haven, CN.

About the Author

Joyce Cauthen is the executive director of the Alabama Folklife Association. She directed the Alabama Folklife Festival for four years and the Alabama Sampler Stage of City Stages in Birmingham for six. She is the author of With Fiddle and Well-Rosined Bow: Old-Time Fiddling in Alabama, published in 1989 by the University of Alabama Press, and has served as the producer of five recordings of traditional music of Alabama, including Possum Up a Gum Stump: Home, Commercial, and Field Recordings of Alabama Fiddlers. She also served as editor of Benjamin Lloyd’s Hymnbook: A Primitive Baptist Song Tradition and produced the accompanying CD.
She has degrees in English from Texas Christian University (B.A.) and Purdue University (M.A.)

About the Mississippi Arts Commission

The Mississippi Arts Commission, established in 1968 by The Mississippi State Legislature, is the official grant making and service agency to the arts in Mississippi. Funding for the Commission and its programs is provided by the State of Mississippi and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


Joey Brackner-Oral History bibliography

This project was funded in part through a grant from the Local Arts Agencies program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Legislature.

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