Collection Number: 20019

Collection Title: John N. Callahan Collection, 1975-1978

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


Archival processing of the John N. Callahan Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size .5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 30 items)
Abstract The John N. Callahan Collection consists of audio recordings of fiddle contests and fiddling conventions held in the Southern United States. Recorded from 1970-1978 by John N. Callahan of Birmingham, Ala., the open reel audio recordings mostly feature folk and bluegrass music on fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin. The collection also contains field recordings made by Callahan at musicians' homes, as well as supporting documentation consisting of tape logs and scattered flyers.
Creator Callahan, John N.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio or moving image materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the John N. Callahan Collection #20019, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Acquisitions information unknown (Acc. 103387).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John N. Callahan of Birmingham, Ala. is a retired journalist who organized fiddle contests and fiddling conventions in the Southern United States.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Audio recordings of fiddle contests and fiddling conventions held in the Southern United States, including the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Recorded by John N. Callahan of Birmingham, Ala., the open reel audio recordings, 1970-1978, mostly feature folk and bluegrass music on fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin. Of particular note are the recordings featuring Texas fiddling by Texas-based fiddlers, Paul Melton, Dusick Barrett, Vernon Solomon, and Lewis Franklin and recordings featuring the modern Texas style, or contest fiddling style, by Byron Berline, J. T. Perkins, and Herman Johnson. Other recordings include field recordings made by Callahan at musicians' homes in Hickson, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Lake Charles, La. Of particular note is the Lake Charles, La. field recording featuring Cajun fiddling by Varise Connor. The collection also contains supporting documentation consisting of tape logs and scattered flyers. Tape logs, which were made by former SFC staff, include artist names and song titles of recordings when known. Flyers consist of promotional fiddlers contest newsletters sent by John N. Callahan to Daniel W. Patterson, folklorist and the former chair of the Curriculum in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated.

15 items.

Arrangement: In order as received.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/290

Fiddle and banjo pieces at Renfro Valley, Kentucky Fiddlers Convention, 1970; Old Time Fiddlers Contest, Tulsa Fair, Tulsa, Okla., 1972 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/290

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1970 Kentucky fiddlers convention

Side 2: 1970 Kentucky fiddlers convention (continued); 1972 Old Time Fiddlers Contest in Tulsa, Okla.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/291

Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Lexington, Ala., 11-12 April 1975 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/291

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/292

Old Time Fiddlers Contest, Tulsa Fair, Okla., 1972; Fiddlers Convention in Birmingham, Ala., undated; Will Morrison, Mr. Barnes, Lonnie Lee, Fox, Ark. #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/292

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1972 Old Time Fiddlers Contest in Tulsa, Okla.

Side 2: undated Fiddlers Convention in Birmingham, Ala.; recording of Will Morrison (fiddle), Mr. Barnes (banjo) and Lonnie Lee (guitar)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/293

U.S. Grass at Oak Street Restaurant, Birmingham, Ala., 1975; Fiddlers Convention, Tuscaloosa, Ala., undated #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/293

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1975 recordings of the U.S. Grass bluegrass band

Side 2: U.S. Grass bluegrass band continued; undated fiddlers convention in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/294

Fiddlers Contest in Birmingham, Ala., 18-19 May 1975; Fiddlers Contest in Fort Worth, Tex., undated #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/294

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1975 fiddlers contest in Birmingham, Ala.; undated fiddlers contest in Fort Worth, Tex.

Side 2: undated fiddlers contest in Fort Worth, Tex. Continued

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/295

J. T Perkins, Claudy Holt, and Algie Surratt; Fiddlers Contest in Ringgold, Ga., 18 March 1972; Cajun fiddling recordings made by Callahan in Lake Arthur, La., undated #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/295

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: undated recordings of J. T Perkins (fiddle), Claudy Holt (guitar), and Algie Surratt (guitar); 1972 fiddlers contest in Ringgold, Ga.

Side 2: 1972 fiddlers contest in Ringgold, Ga. continued; undated recordings of Cajun fiddling made in Lake Arthur, La. featuring Varise Connor (fiddle) and Lionel Lelou (guitar)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/296

Fiddlers Contest in Athens, Ala., 3 October 1970; Olwyn[?] Estes and Claudy Holt, Birmingham, Ala.; Festival in Asheboro, N.C., circa 1971; Fiddle Contest, Birmingham, Ala., undated; a festival in Tennessee, undated; and Callahan's home in Birmingham, Ala., undated #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/296

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1970 fiddlers contest in Athens, Ala.; recordings of Olwyn[?] Estes (fiddle) and Claudy Holt (guitar) made by John N. Callahan at his Birmingham, Ala. home; circa 1971 festival in Asheboro, N.C.

Side 2: undated fiddle content in Birmingham, Ala.; undated festival in Tennessee

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/297

Fiddlers Contests in Hickson, Tenn., 1973; Fiddlers Contest in Fort Worth, Tex., 1972 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/297

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1973 recordings by John N. Callahan made in Hickson, Tenn.; 1972 fiddlers contest in Fort Worth, Tex.

undated fiddlers contest in Fort Worth, Tex.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/298

Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Ala., 1975 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/298

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: recordings of fiddle and banjo pieces recorded at the campus of Birmingham Southern College on 22 June 1975

Side 2: Birmingham Southern College recordings (continued)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/299

Fiddlers Convention, Huntsville, Ala., 1975 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/299

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: fiddle, banjo, and guitar pieces recorded at the 1975 fiddlers convention in Huntsville, Ala. on 28 June 1975

Side 2: 1975 fiddlers convention in Huntsville, Ala. (continued)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/300

Fiddlers Convention, Huntsville, Ala., 1975 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/300

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: fiddle, banjo, and guitar pieces recorded at the 1975 fiddlers convention in Huntsville, Ala. on 28 June 1975

Side 2: 1975 fiddlers convention in Huntsville, Ala. (continued)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/353

Fiddle and banjo pieces recorded on Alabama Public TV, Birmingham, Ala.; Fiddlers contests, Fort Worth, Tex., 1972; Fiddlers contest, Huntsville, Ala. #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/353

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: fiddle and banjo pieces recorded on Alabama Public Television; 1972 fiddlers' contest in Fort Worth, Tex.

Side 2: 1972 fiddlers' contest in Fort Worth, Tex. (continued); undated fiddlers contest in Huntsville, Ala.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/389

Fiddlers Conventions in Huntsville, Ala.; Fiddlers Conventions in Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1976 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/389

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: 1976 fiddlers convention in Huntsville, Ala.

Side 2: 1976 fiddlers convention in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Recorded 23-24 January 1976

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/446

Fiddle contest held at the University of Alabama, 26-27 March 1976 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/446

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1 only

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20019/1198

Fiddle tunes, some recorded at the Fiddlers Contest at the University of Alabama, 24-25 February 1978 #20019, Series: "1. Audio Recordings, 1970-1978 and undated." FT-20019/1198

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Side 1: miscellaneous fiddle tunes (possible dubs); 1978 fiddlers contest at the University of Ala.

Side 2: 1978 fiddlers contest at the University of Ala. (continued)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Supporting Documentation.

About 17 items.

Processing information: Folders 1-6 were formerly in Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025). Flyers were formerly in collection control file. Folder titles include call number of corresponding recording call number.

Tape logs and scattered flyers related to audio recordings found in series 1. Tape logs, which were made by former SFC staff, include artist names and song titles of recordings when known. Flyers consist of promotional fiddlers contest newsletters sent by John N. Callahan to Daniel W. Patterson, folklorist and the former chair of the Curriculum in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Folder 1

Tape logs: FT-290-295 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 1

Formerly folders 413 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 2

Tape logs: FT-296-300 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 2

Formerly folders 414 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 3

Tape logs: FT-353 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 3

Formerly folders 420 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 4

Tape logs: FT-389 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 4

Formerly folders 427 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 5

Tape logs: FT-446 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 5

Formerly folders 443 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 6

Tape logs: FT-1198 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 6

Formerly folders 530 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

Folder 7

Flyers: FT-290-295 #20019, Series: "2. Supporting Documentation." Folder 7

Contains promotional newsletters for: 1974 Fiddlers Convention in Huntsville, Ala.; 1975 Fiddlers Convention and Bluegrass Contest in Birmingham, Ala.; and 1976 Fiddlers Contest in Columbus, Ga.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, July 2018

Encoded by: Anne Wells, July 2018

Archival processing of the John N. Callahan Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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