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Folk Connections: Cecil Sharp's Appalachian Trail

Andy Kershaw follows song collector Cecil Sharp's Appalachian trail in the spring of 1916, when he discovered a treasure trove of English folk songs he had never encountered before.

In the spring of 1916, English folk song collector Cecil Sharp set out on a voyage to America. This was the first of three trips exploring what he saw as a treasure trove of English folk music, brought over by the American pioneers, and still sung by the mountain people of the Appalachians. Andy Kershaw follows Cecil Sharp's Appalachian Trail through Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, hearing some of the songs he collected in specially-recorded sessions with contemporary singers. The 1600 songs that Cecil Sharp collected represent the bedrock of Appalachian music, songs which gave rise to the styles of old-time, country and bluegrass.

Artists featured include singers Phil Jamison, Sheila Kay Adams, Dom Flemons and Gillian Welch with David Rawlings. Extracts from the diaries and writings of Cecil Sharp and his assistant Maud Karpeles read by Brian Protheroe and Nicola Ferguson.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Trad

    My Parents Treated me Tenderly

    Singer: Philip Jamison.
  • Trad.

    A Frog, He Went A-Courting

    Performer: Philip Jamison.
  • Trad

    Awake, Awake

    Performer: Sheila Kay Adams.
  • Trad

    My Dearest Dear

    Performer: Sheila Kay Adams.
  • Trad

    Cripple Creek

    Performer: Dom Flemons.
  • Trad

    Barbara Allen

    Performer: Dom Flemons.
  • Trad

    Single Girl

    Performer: Gillian Welch. Performer: David Rawlings.
  • Trad

    The Cruel Mother

    Performer: Gillian Welch. Performer: David Rawlings.

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