Collection Number: 20062

Collection Title: Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982

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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 Tom Rankin Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size 31 items
Abstract The Tom Rankin Collection consists of 31 field recordings, 1980-1982, created and compiled by photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin, while he was a graduate student in the Curriculum in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The audio recordings primarily feature interviews and performances by blues, country, and old-time musicians from North Carolina. Artists featured on the recordings include Richard "Big Boy" Henry, a country blues artist of Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C; C. L. Scott, a traditional fiddler of Morehead City, Carteret County, N.C.; W. Earl Wicker, an old-time fiddler of Tramway, Lee County, N.C.; Jim Harris, a centenarian fiddler of New Bern, Craven County, N.C.; the Swain family of Columbia, Tyreell County, N.C.; and Mr. O. Williard, an old-time fiddler of Williamston, Martin County, N.C, among others. Rankin primarily recorded the artists performing at their home, while folklorist and banjo player, Bill Mansfield, accompanied many of the artists on the recordings. The collection also includes studio recordings of Big Boy Henry recorded at WUNC in Chapel Hill and dubs of Living Atlanta, a documentary radio series produced by WRFG.
Creator Rankin, Tom.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio or visual 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 Tom Rankin Collection #20062, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Acquisitions information unknown (Acc. 102614).
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

A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin has been documenting and interpreting American culture for nearly twenty years. He received a B.A. from Tufts University (1980), an M.A. in folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1983), and an M.F.A. in photography from Georgia State University (1987). For fifteen years he served as director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he is now the director of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. His photographs have been published widely in numerous magazines, journals, and books, and he has exhibited throughout the country. His books include Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (1993), which received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography; Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre: Photographs of a River Life (1995); Faulkner's World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain (1997); and Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible (2000).

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The Tom Rankin Collection consists of 31 field recordings, 1980-1982, created and compiled by photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin, while he was a graduate student in the Curriculum in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The audio recordings primarily feature interviews and performances by blues, country, and old-time musicians from North Carolina. Artists featured on the recordings include Richard "Big Boy" Henry, a country blues artist of Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C; C. L. Scott, a traditional fiddler of Morehead City, Carteret County, N.C.; W. Earl Wicker, an old-time fiddler of Tramway, Lee County, N.C.; Jim Harris, a centenarian fiddler of New Bern, Craven County, N.C.; the Swain family of Columbia, Tyreell County, N.C.; and Mr. O. Williard, an old-time fiddler of Williamston, Martin County, N.C., among others. Rankin primarily recorded the artists performing at their home, while folklorist and banjo player, Bill Mansfield, accompanied many of the artists on the recordings. The collection also includes studio recordings of Big Boy Henry recorded at WUNC in Chapel Hill and dubs of Living Atlanta, a documentary radio series produced by WRFG.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982.

31 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

Titles and descriptions compiled from the SFC database and field notes.

Field notes for these recordings reside in Folders 116, 118, 155, 568, 574 and 580 within the Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes Collection (#30025).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1316

Country Boys featuring Donald Foster, J.W. Parson, Chris Spivey, and Howard Conder, Sanford, Lee County, N.C., 16 September 1980 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1316

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Tunes and songs played in early country and bluegrass style by a four man band for a small local dance or club in Sanford, N.C. The band consists of a fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass, with mostly solo and duet vocals

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1310

W. Earl Wicker accompanied by Bill Mansfield, Tramway, Lee County, N.C., 10 October 1980: tape 1 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1310

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old time fiddle tunes, waltzes, blues, ragtime, and commercial country pieces played by W. Earl Wicker, accompanied by Bill Mansfield on the banjo

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1311

W. Earl Wicker accompanied by Bill Mansfield, Tramway, Lee County, N.C., 10 October 1980: tape 2 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1311

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old time fiddle tunes, waltzes, blues, ragtime, and commercial country pieces played by W. Earl Wicker, accompanied by Bill Mansfield on the banjo

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1312

W. Earl Wicker accompanied by Bill Mansfield, Tramway, Lee County, N.C., 10 October 1980: tape 3 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1312

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old time fiddle tunes, waltzes, blues, ragtime, and commercial country pieces played by W. Earl Wicker, accompanied by Bill Mansfield on the banjo

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1007

C.L. Scott, fiddle tunes, 1 November 1980 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1007

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1313

Jim Harris, tunes and interview recorded at his home, New Bern, Craven County, N.C., 1981: tape 1 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1313

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old-time tunes and sacred songs played on the fiddle and sung by Jim Harris

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1314

Jim Harris, tunes and interview recorded at his home, New Bern, Craven County, N.C., 1981: tape 2 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1314

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old-time tunes and sacred songs played on the fiddle and sung by Jim Harris, accompanied by Bill Mansfield on the banjo

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1315

Jim Harris, tunes and interview recorded at his home, New Bern, Craven County, N.C., 1981: tape 3 of 3 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1315

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes old-time tunes and sacred songs played on the fiddle and sung by Jim Harris, accompanied by Bill Mansfield on the banjo

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1211

Swain family, interview and songs, Columbia, Tyrrell County, N.C., 21 March 1981: tape 1 of 2 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1211

Audiocassette

Includes interview with the Swain Family of Columbia, N.C. Various categories of folklore are discussed, including folk remedies, snake lore, ghost legends, and "tokens of death." The discussion is interspersed with renditions of traditional folk and religious songs sung by Mr. Swain and accompanied by Mr. Swain on guitar, Mrs. Swain on mandolin, and unidentified banjo and guitar players. Unidentified banjo player most likely Bill Mansfield.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1212

Swain family, interview and songs, Columbia, Tyrrell County, N.C., 21 March 1981: tape 2 of 2 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1212

Audiocassette

Continued from FS-20062/1211

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1213

Mr. O. Willard at home with Heber Coletrain, Williamston, Martin County, N.C., 21 March 1981: tape 1 of 2 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1213

Audiocassette

Field recording of O. Willard, a musician from Williamsport, N.C., consisting primarily of Willard's renditions of old=time tunes on fiddle. An unidentified banjo player accompanies Willard for many of the songs. Approximately half way through the session, Willard is joined by Heber Coletrain on guitar. The two harmonize on a series of traditional and popular country tunes. Unidentified banjo player evident on the first half of the recording is most likely Bill Mansfield.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1214

Mr. O. Willard at home with Heber Coletrain, Williamston, Martin County, N.C., 21 March 1981: tape 2 of 2 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1214

Audiocassette

Continued from FS-20062/1213

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/533

Annie and Jack Johnson, Louisville, K.Y., 14 May 1981 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/533

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1328

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 1 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1328

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes Big Boy Henry on guitar and vocals, Walter Henry on bass, and Ronnie Wallace on drums

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1329

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 2 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1329

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Interview with Big Boy Henry on the porch at his home in Beaufort, N.C. Henry discusses learning the blues and talks about sea shanties, signing, and functions.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1330

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 3 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1330

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Interview on porch continued from FT-20062/132

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1331

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 4 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1331

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Interview on porch continued from FT-20062/133

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1332

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 5 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1332

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes music performed by Big Boy Henry

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1333

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 31 May 1982: tape 6 of 6 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1333

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

Includes music performed by Big Boy Henry

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1334

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 27 July 1982: tape 1 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1334

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1335

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 27 July 1982: tape 2 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1335

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1336

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 27 July 1982: tape 3 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1336

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1337

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 27 July 1982: tape 4 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1337

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1338

Big Boy Henry, interview and music recorded at his home, Beaufort, Carteret County, N.C., 27 July 1982: tape 5 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1338

1/4" Open Reel Audio

5" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1389

Big Boy Henry, blues music recorded at WUNC Studio D, Chapel Hill, N.C., 17-18 August 1982: tape 1 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1389

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Select songs accompanied by Billy Stevens on harmony

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1390

Big Boy Henry, blues music recorded at WUNC Studio D, Chapel Hill, N.C., 17-18 August 1982: tape 2 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1390

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Select songs accompanied by Billy Stevens on harmony

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1391

Big Boy Henry, blues music recorded at WUNC Studio D, Chapel Hill, N.C., 17-18 August 1982: tape 3 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1391

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Select songs accompanied by Wiley Clintan on bass

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1392

Big Boy Henry, blues music recorded at WUNC Studio D, Chapel Hill, N.C., 17-18 August 1982: tape 4 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1392

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20062/1393

Big Boy Henry, blues music recorded at WUNC Studio D, Chapel Hill, N.C., 17-18 August 1982: tape 5 of 5 #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FT-20062/1393

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Select songs accompanied by Wiley Clintan on bass

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/516

Big Boy Henry, date unknown #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/516

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20062/1005

Living Atlanta radio show dubs, date unknown #20062, Series: "Tom Rankin Collection, 1980-1982." FS-20062/1005

Audiocassette

Includes dubs of the Living Atlanta programs "Making a Living" and "Recording and Radio Careers"

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, June 2016

Encoded by: Anne Wells, June 2016

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

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