Ballad Singing

Mars Hill

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86th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

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Lena Jean Ray

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Riley Baugus

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Doug and Jack Wallin

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Barzilla Wallin

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Lee and Berzilla Wallin

Old-time singers

Madison County, NC

Singers Lee Wallin (1889 - 1973) and his wife Berzilla Chandler Wallin (1892 - 1986) were members of a family of renowned ballad singers in Madison County, North Carolina. They were highly accomplished singers in the old "love song" tradition of the Big Laurel area.

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Doug Wallin

Ballad singer and musician

Madison County, NC

Born in 1919 and raised deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Madison County, Doug Wallin sang time-honored ballads, hymns, and love songs in the style and tradition of his ancestors. He performed with a natural artistry and a reverence for the meaning and heritage of the old songs.

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Mary Jane Queen

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Mary Jane Queen

Old-time singer and banjo player, storyteller, traditional gardener

Jackson County, NC

Mary Jane Queen lived in the Caney Fork section of Jackson County near where she was born in 1914. She was descended from some of the earliest Irish-American settlers in the valley who, for three generations before her, scratched a living in the rocky soil. In a variety of practical ways—her reservoir of traditional knowledge, her gardens, her songs and stories—she communicated the values and traditions of her upbringing to modern audiences.

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