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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.

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45 minutes

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