Collection Number: 20024

Collection Title: Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976

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 Kip Lornell Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size 28 items
Abstract The Kip Lornell Collection consists of audio recordings, 1932-1976, created and compiled by ethnomusicologist, Christopher "Kip" Lornell, while he was a graduate student of Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The recordings are primarily field tapes featuring performances and interviews with African American blues and pre-blues secular musicians from North Carolina. Music performed includes blues, old-time songs and tunes, boogie-woogie, and gospel songs, played on banjo, guitar, and piano. Performers featured in the field recordings include Jamie Alston, Wilbert Atwater, Pernell Charity, George Letlow, Arthur Lyons, Lesley Riddle, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Leo Strowd, Joe Thompson (1918- ), Odell Thompson (1911- ), Willy Trice (1910-1976), and Clarence Tross (1884-1977). Also included in the collection are an interview with Guy B. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sociologist who studied African American musical traditions; interviews with the Chapel Hillbillies, an African American string band in the 1920s and 1930s; a lecture on folk medicine by Wilbert C. Jordan, medical doctor and sixth generation voodoo priest; a re-recording of Primitive Baptist singing by Elder Golden Harris and others, ca. 1932; and performances by Anglo-American fiddler and hammered dulcimer player Virgil Craven (1902-1980).
Creator Lornell, Kip, 1953-
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 Kip Lornell Collection #20024, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Kip Lornell circa 1975 (Acc. 102583).
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

Christopher "Kip" Lornell is a noted ethnomusicologist, and a professor in The George Washington University's Department of Music. He received his Bachelor of Science in Cultural Sciences in 1975 from State University of New York Empire State College, his Master of Arts in Folklore in 1976 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph. D. in Ethnomusicology (Regional American Music) in 1983 from University of Memphis.

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The Kip Lornell Collection consists of 22 open reel recordings, 1932-1976, and 6 audiocassettes, 1973-1976, created and compiled by ethnomusicologist, Christopher "Kip" Lornell, while he was a graduate student of Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The recordings are primarily field tapes featuring performances and interviews with African American blues and pre-blues secular musicians from North Carolina. Music performed includes blues, old-time songs and tunes, boogie-woogie, and gospel songs, played on banjo, guitar, and piano. Performers featured in the field recordings include Jamie Alston, Wilbert Atwater, Pernell Charity, George Letlow, Arthur Lyons, Lesley Riddle, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Leo Strowd, Joe Thompson (1918- ), Odell Thompson (1911- ), Willy Trice (1910-1976), and Clarence Tross (1884-1977). Also included in the collection are an interview with Guy B. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sociologist who studied African American musical traditions; interviews with the Chapel Hillbillies, an African American string band in the 1920s and 1930s; a lecture on folk medicine by Wilbert C. Jordan, medical doctor and sixth generation voodoo priest; a re-recording of Primitive Baptist singing by Elder Golden Harris and others, ca. 1932; and performances by Anglo-American fiddler and hammered dulcimer player Virgil Craven (1902-1980).

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976.

28 items.

Arrangement: By format and by order as received.

Titles and descriptions compiled from SFC database and field notes.

Field notes for the majority of these recordings reside in the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/345

John Snipes of Orange County, N.C., banjo and vocals, 4 September 1975 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/345

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/346

Dink Roberts of Haw River, N.C., banjo and vocals, 21 September 1975: tape 1 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/346

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/347

Dink Roberts of Haw River, N.C., banjo and vocals, 21 September 1975: tape 2 of 2; Pastor's Anniversary Service [prayers and songs] at a Holy Ghost Sect, Semola, N.C., 10 October 1975: tape 1 of 5 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/347

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Two distinct recordings. The first features African-American banjo player, Dink Roberts, while the second is a recording of a Pastor's Anniversary Service at a Holy Ghost sect in Semola, N.C. Because a special service was being held on the day of the taping, there are numerous songs by a variety of performers, several testimonies and prayers, Pastor Womack's sermon, and two separate collections. The recordings continue onto FT-20024/348-351.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/348

Pastor's Anniversary Service [prayers and songs] at a Holy Ghost Sect, Semola, N.C., 10 October 1975: tape 2 of 5 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/348

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Continued from FT-20024/347.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/349

Pastor's Anniversary Service [prayers and songs] at a Holy Ghost Sect, Semola, N.C., 10 October 1975: tape 3 of 5 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/349

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Continued from FT-20024/348.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/350

Pastor's Anniversary Service [prayers, songs, and sermon] at a Holy Ghost Sect, Semola, N.C., 10 October 1975: tape 4 of 5 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/350

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Continued from FT-20024/349.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/351

Pastor's Anniversary Service [sermon and testimony] at a Holy Ghost Sect, Semola, N.C., 10 October 1975: tape 5 of 5 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/351

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Continued from FT-20024/350.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 419 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/370

Old time music concert performed by Virgil Craven,Glenn Glass, and Fred Olson, Greensboro, N.C., 9 November 1974 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/370

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Concert of old-time music performed by Virgil Craven on hammered dulcimer and fiddle, Glenn Glass on banjo, and Fred Olson on guitar and vocal.

A song list for this recording can be found in Folder 424 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/371

Interview and music with Clarence Tross, Mooresville, W.Va., 1974: tape 1 of 4 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/371

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell and J. Roderick Moore

Field recording of Clarence Tross (1884-1977), African-American old-time banjo player, of Mooresville, W.Va., who plays and sings a variety of songs from the old-time banjo repertoire, interspersed with recollections, lyric etiologies, discussion of playing techniques, descriptions of instrument-making methods for banjo, fiddle, and bones, and the popularity of the accordion as accompaniment for African-American square dancing. Tape 1 of 4.

A song list as well as topics discussed by Toss can be found in Folder 424 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/372

Interview and music with Clarence Tross, Mooresville, W.Va., 1974: tape 2 of 4 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/372

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell and J. Roderick Moore

Field recording of Clarence Tross (1884-1977), African-American old-time banjo player, of Mooresville, W.Va., who plays and sings a variety of songs from the old-time banjo repertoire, interspersed with recollections, lyric etiologies, discussion of playing techniques, descriptions of instrument-making methods for banjo, fiddle, and bones, and the popularity of the accordion as accompaniment for African-American square dancing. Tape 2 of 4.

A song list as well as topics discussed by Toss can be found in Folder 424 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/373

Interview and music with Clarence Tross, Mooresville, W.Va., 1974: tape 3 of 4 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/373

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell and J. Roderick Moore

Field recording of Clarence Tross (1884-1977), African-American old-time banjo player, of Mooresville, W.Va., who plays and sings a variety of songs from the old-time banjo repertoire, interspersed with recollections, lyric etiologies, discussion of playing techniques, descriptions of instrument-making methods for banjo, fiddle, and bones, and the popularity of the accordion as accompaniment for African-American square dancing. Tape 3 of 4.

A song list as well as topics discussed by Toss can be found in Folder 424 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/374

Interview and music with Clarence Tross, Mooresville, W.Va., 1974: tape 4 of 4 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/374

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell and J. Roderick Moore

Field recording of Clarence Tross (1884-1977), African-American old-time banjo player, of Mooresville, W.Va., who plays and sings a variety of songs from the old-time banjo repertoire, interspersed with recollections, lyric etiologies, discussion of playing techniques, descriptions of instrument-making methods for banjo, fiddle, and bones, and the popularity of the accordion as accompaniment for African-American square dancing. Tape 4 of 4.

A song list as well as topics discussed by Toss can be found in Folder 424 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/375

Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan lecture about voodoo and folk medicine, 12 February 1976 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/375

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Lecture on folk medicine by Wilbert C. Jordan, medical doctor and sixth generation voodoo priest, whose father was considered the most powerful voodoo practitioner in the U.S. during his lifetime. The lecture was given to the Student National Medicine Association. Topics include Jordan's personal experiences, basic information about voodoo ceremony, herbal medicine, and the spiritual foundations of voodoo beliefs.

A list of topics discussed by Dr. Jordan can be found in Folder 425 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1227

Primitive Baptist singing with Elder Golden Harris and others, circa 1932 and circa 1952 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1227

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Re-recorded by Kip Lornell

A compilation of dubs created by Lornell. All recordings feature Primitive Baptist singing with Elder Golden Harris and others, but the original sources vary. The first 2 songs are from a 78 recorded in New York City circa 1932, issued on Harris 101. The remaining 8 songs are from home recordings made by Mrs. Leslie Phillips of Christiansburg, Va. circa 1952.

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 547 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1396

Dink Roberts, vocals and banjo, Haw River, N.C., 27 January 1974; Wilbert Atwater and Jamie Alston, vocals and guitar, Orange County, N.C., 5 February 1974; John Snipes, vocals and banjo, Orange County, N.C., 16 February 1974; Joe and Odell Thompson, fiddle and banjo, Orange County, 23 April 1974 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1396

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Four distinct field recordings of African American pre-blues secular music performed by Dink Roberts of Haw River, N.C., Wilbert Atwater and Jamie Alston of Orange County, N.C. (Atwater on vocals and guitar and Alston on guitar; recorded 5 February 1974), John Snipes of Orange County, N.C. (recorded 16 February 1974), Jamie Alston (recorded 16 March 1974) and Joe and Odell Thompson of Mebane, N.C. (recorded 23 April 1974).

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1397

John Snipes vocals and banjo, 27 April 1974; Jamie Alston and Wilbert Atwater vocals and guitar, 27 April 1974 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1397

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Two distinct field recordings of African American pre-blues secular music performed by John Snipes of Orange County, N.C. (vocals and banjo; recorded 27 April 1974) and Jamie Alston and Wilbert Atwater of Orange County, N.C. (both on vocals and guitar; recorded 27 April 1974), with asides to the collector.

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1398

Willie Trice, blues guitar and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 12 October 1974; Jack Minor, boogie piano and vocals, Chapel Hill, N.C., 16 October 1974; Joe and Odell Thompson, fiddle and banjo country dance tunes with some vocals, Mebane, N.C., 16 October 1974 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1398

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Three distinct field recording of African American pre-blues secular music performed by Willie Trice (recorded 12 October 1974), Jack Minor (recorded 16 October 1974), and Joe and Odell Thompson (16 October 1974), all of Orange County, N.C.

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1399

Wilbert Atwater guitar and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 22 February 1975 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1399

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

A song list for this recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1400

Joe and Odell Thompson, fiddle and banjo country dance tunes, Mebane, N.C., 15 May 1975: tape 1 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1400

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Field recording of African American secular country dance music performed by Joe (fiddle and vocals) and Odell Thompson (banjo and vocals). Tape 1 of 2.

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1401

Joe and Odell Thompson, fiddle and banjo country dance tunes, Mebane, N.C., 15 May 1975: tape 2 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1401

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Field recording of African American secular country dance music performed by Joe (fiddle and vocals) and Odell Thompson (banjo and vocals). Tape 2 of 2.

Song lists for these recordings can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1402

Interview with Arthur Lyons, 16 June 1976 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1402

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

A list of topics discussed by Lyons can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20024/1403

Interview with Wilbert Atwater, Orange County, N.C., 28 June 1976 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FT-20024/1403

Format: 1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel; 7 1/2 ips

Recorded by Kip Lornell

A list of topics discussed by Atwater can be found in Folder 583 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1199

Interview with Lesley Riddle, 3 February 1973: tape 1 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1199

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

An extensive interview with Riddles, a blues guitarist from Kingsport, Tenn. About his own music and his relationship with older blues musicians and early country performers in the Kingsport area during the 1930s.

A list of topics discussed by Riddles can be found in Folder 145 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1200

Interview with Lesley Riddle, 3 February 1973: tape 2 of 2; Pernell Charity, guitar, harmonica, and vocals, 8 February 1973 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1200

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Two distinct recordings. The first half is an interview with blues guitarist, Lesley Riddle continued from FS-20024/1199. The second half features Pernell Charity in a separate session playing blues and rockabilly on acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and vocal. He is asked about several local bands during the session.

A list of topics discussed by Riddles as well as a song list of Charity can be found in Folder 145 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1210

Interview with Leo Stroud of Chapel Hillbillies, 9 September 1975; Interview with George Letlow of Chapel Hillbillies, 12 September 1975 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1210

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Two distinct interviews with Stroud and Letlow who were both members of the Chapel Hillbillies, an African American string band during the 1920s-1930s. The interviews focus on the career of the band and the musical scene in the Chapel Hill, N.C. area during the 1920s-1930s, including descriptions of playing for fraternities and for African American house parties. Letlow also tells about the May 1922 tornado that hit Chapel Hill.

A list of topics discussed by Stroud and Letlow can be found in Folder 154 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1237

Interview with Eugene Rogers, 12 February 1976 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1237

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1238

Interview with Guy B. Johnson, 9 July 1975: tape 1 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1238

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Dr. Johnson discusses his early days in Chapel Hill with the Institute for Social Research, including his work with Howard Odum and the collecting methods he used in collecting African American music in the mid-1920s. Other topics include his work on St. Helena Island, his research done on the John Henry legend, and the writing of his book on John Henry. Tape 1 of 2.

Playback problems throughout, including speed and pitch errors and distortion.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20024/1239

Interview with Guy B. Johnson, 9 July 1975: tape 2 of 2 #20024, Series: "Kip Lornell Collection, 1932-1976." FS-20024/1239

Format: Audiocassette

Recorded by Kip Lornell

Dr. Johnson discusses his early days in Chapel Hill with the Institute for Social Research, including his work with Howard Odum and the collecting methods he used in collecting African American music in the mid-1920s. Other topics include his work on St. Helena Island, his research done on the John Henry legend, and the writing of his book on John Henry. Tape 2 of 2.

Playback problems throughout, including speed and pitch errors and distortion.

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Processing Information

Encoded by: Anne Wells, May 2016

Archival processing of the Kip Lornell Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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