Collection Number: 20139-z

Collection Title: Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974

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 Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size 38 items
Abstract The Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection consists of field recordings of African-American old-time musicans from North Carolina. Created by Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson in 1974, the live recordings feature John Snipes, African-American old-time two-finger and clawhammer fretless banjo player of Haw River, Alamance County, N.C.; Dink Roberts, African-American old-time banjo player of Haw River, Alamance County, N.C.; and Joe and Odell Thompson, African-American fiddle and banjo player from Mebane, Orange County, N.C. The recordings include old-time tunes and song from both African-American and Anglo-American fiddle and banjo traditions of the Carolina Piedmont. Also included in the collection are corresponding tape logs created by SFC staff. Tape logs include song titles, playback speed, and track configuration.
Creator Conway, Cecelia.

Thompson, Tommy, 1937-2003.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening 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 Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson #20139-z, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Acquisitions information unknown (Acc. 103035).
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

Cecelia Conway is a professor of English and Folklore at Appalachian State University. Her scholarly interests include the banjo, fiddle and other music traditions, women and literature in the South and Appalachian literature.

Tommy Thompson (1937-2003) was a founding member of both the Hollow Rock String Band and the Red Clay Ramblers, as well as a playwright, composer, and actor.

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The Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection consists of 1/4" open reel field recordings of African-American old-time musicans from North Carolina. Created by Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson in 1974, the live recordings feature John Snipes, African-American old-time two-finger and clawhammer fretless banjo player of Haw River, Alamance County, N.C.; Dink Roberts, African-American old-time banjo player of Haw River, Alamance County, N.C.; and Joe and Odell Thompson, African-American fiddle and banjo player from Mebane, Orange County, N.C. The recordings include old-time tunes and song from both African-American and Anglo-American fiddle and banjo traditions of the Carolina Piedmont. Also included in the collection are corresponding tape logs created by SFC staff. Tape logs include song titles, playback speed, and track configuration.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974.

38 items.

Arrangement: Original order maintained. Audio recordings preceded by corresponding tape logs.

Processing information: Titles and descriptions compiled from SFC database and tape logs. Recordings presumed original unless noted otherwise. Folder 1 was formerly in Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025), folder 651.

Folder 1

Tape logs: FT-20139/1766-1784 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." Folder 1

Formerly folder 651 within Southern Folklife Collection Field Notes (#30025)

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1766

John Snipes banjo tunes and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 14 February 1974: reel 1 of 2 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1766

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

African American, John Snipes, on fretless banjo and vocals with guitar accompaniment [Tommy Thompson?]; Songs performed include "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad," "Jaybird [?]," [similar to "Going Round the World Baby Mine"], "You Don't Know My Darling, You Don't Know My Babe."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1767

John Snipes banjo tunes and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 14 February 1974: reel 2 of 2 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1767

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

African American, John Snipes, on fretless banjo and vocals with guitar accompaniment[Tommy Thompson?]; Songs performed include "I Think I Heard That Cold Wind Blow," "John Henry," [?], "The Cuckoo," "Laura Lee," "Old Rattler, Run the Fox" (two times).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1768

John Snipes banjo tunes and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 31 January 1974: reel 1 of 2 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1768

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

African American, John Snipes, on fretless banjo and vocals with guitar accompaniment[Tommy Thompson?]; Songs performed include [?], "Old Molly Hare" (fragment), [?] tuning, [?]; begin dub from another tape: "The Cuckoo" (twice)," "Laura Lee."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1769

John Snipes banjo tunes and vocals, Orange County, N.C., 31 January 1974: reel 2 of 2 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1769

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

African American, John Snipes, on fretless banjo and vocals with guitar accompaniment[Tommy Thompson?]; Songs performed include "Laura Lee," "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad," "Take Care Of My Wife and Child," "John Henry," "Laura Lee," "I Think I Heard That Cold Wind Blow."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1770

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs dub, Haw River, N.C., 1974: reel 1 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1770

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

partial dub of soundtrack of film made by Conway and Thompson about African American banjo player, Dink Roberts (born 1895); Originally recorded in Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts on banjo and vocals unless otherwise noted; Songs performed include "Who's Been Here Since I've Been Gone," "Fox Chase," "Cuckoo Bird," "Fox Chase," [talk], "John Henry" (with Dink Roberts on slide guitar and vocals).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1771

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs dub, Haw River, N.C., 1974: reel 2 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1771

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

partial dub of soundtrack of film made by Conway and Thompson about African American banjo player, Dink Roberts (born 1895); Originally recorded in Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts on banjo and vocals unless otherwise noted; Songs performed include "Black Eyed Daisy," [talk with Mrs. Roberts], "Black Annie," "John Henry," [talk], ["Roustabout" fragment], "Georgia Buck" (with dancing in background), [talk], "Go Tell My Mother" (with Dink Roberts on guitar and vocals), "Get On Board Children," "How Are You," [talk], "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (vocals only), "I'm On My Way," [talk].

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1772

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs dub, Haw River, N.C., 1974: reel 3 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1772

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

partial dub of soundtrack of film made by Conway and Thompson about African American banjo player, Dink Roberts (born 1895); Originally recorded in Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts on banjo and vocals unless otherwise noted; Songs performed include [sounds of preparing for meal, Dink saying grace, etc], "Buffalo," "Pumpkin Pie," "Fox Chase," [talk], "Roustabout, [talk].

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1773

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs, Haw River, N.C., 21 February 1974 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1773

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in Dink Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts, on banjo and vocals; Songs performed include [?], [interview], "Jesse James," "Fox Chase," "Roustabout," "Pumpkin Pie," [talk].

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1774

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs with guitar blues and patting by Roberts' grandson, Haw River, N.C., 21 February 1974 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1774

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in Dink Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts, on banjo and vocals with guitar and patting by Roberts' 15 year old grandson and Tommy Thompson on banjo when noted; Songs performed include [Lighting Hopkins song], "Memphis," [Chuck Berry song], "You Don't Have To Go," "Pumpkin Pie," "Ducks on the Millpond" (with Tommy Thompson on banjo), "The Cuckoo," "Little Brown Jug," "Pumpkin Pie," "Motherless Child," "Georgia Buck."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1775

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts, Haw River, N.C., 21 February 1974 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1775

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in Dink Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts, on banjo and vocals with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts when noted; Songs performed include "John Henry," "Jesse James," "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Old Corn Liquor," "High Sheriff and Police Riding After Me," "Down The Stream A 'Comin'," [Cripple Creek fragment?], "Black Eyed Daisy" (with Mrs. Roberts on vocals), "John Hardy," "Garfield," "Black Annie."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1776

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts, Haw River, N.C., 21 February 1974 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1776

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in Dink Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts, on banjo and vocals with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts and banjo by Tommy Thompson when noted; Songs performed include "Black Annie," "Old Blue," "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Bile Them Cabbage Down/Yankee Doodle Dandy," "The Cuckoo," "Motherless Child" (with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts), "I Shall Not Be Moved" (with additional vocals by Mrs. Roberts), "Fox Chase," [?], "John Hardy," "Pumpkin Pie," "In the Pines" (with Tommy Thompson on banjo), "Ain't Gonna Rain No More," "Jesse James."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1777

Dink Roberts banjo tunes and songs with additional vocals, Haw River, N.C., 1974 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1777

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in Dink Robert's home in Haw River, N.C.

Dink Roberts, on banjo and vocals with unspecified additional vocals; Songs performed include "Amazing Grace," "I Fell Like My Time Ain't Long," "You'll Miss Me When I'm Dead and Gone," "It's Tight Like That" (several times with dancing), "Pumpkin Pie," "The Cuckoo," "Molly Put the Kettle On" (several times).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1778

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 17 February 1974: reel 1 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1778

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo and fiddle, and Tommy Thompson on banjo; Songs performed include [?], "Indian Pumpkin Pie," "Ain’t' Gonna Rain No More," "Little Brown Jug," "John Henry" (twice), [?], "Alabama Gals," "Old Joe Clark," "Georgia Buck," "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Little Brown Jug," "Love Somebody," "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Old Molly Hare," "Ain't Gonna Rain No More," "Same As I," "John Henry."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1779

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 17 February 1974: reel 2 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1779

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo and fiddle, and Tommy Thompson on banjo with unspecified guitar and bass; Songs performed include "John Henry," "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Folding Down the Sheets," "Little Brown Jug," "Love Somebody," "Old Joe Clark," "Shortening Bread," "Old Corn Liquor," "Georgia Buck," "Alabama Gals," "Tough Luck" (fragment), "John Henry," "Georgia Buck" (fragment), "John Henry," "Georgia Buck," "Old Joe Clark," "Love Somebody."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1780

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 17 February 1974: reel 3 of 3 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1780

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo and fiddle, and Tommy Thompson on banjo with unspecified guitar; Songs performed include "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Mississippi Sawyer," "Little Brown Jug," [?], "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," "Truckin'" (fragment), "Old Time Religion," [?], "Sit Down," "Motherless Child" (fragment).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1781

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 24 February 1974: reel 1 of 4 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1781

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo, and Tommy Thompson on banjo and guitar; Songs performed include "Molly Put The Kettle On" (twice), "Ain't Gonna Rain No More," [?], "Little Brown Jug" (twice), [?]

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1782

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 24 February 1974: reel 2 of 4 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1782

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo, Tommy Thompson on banjo and guitar, and Cecelia Conway on banjo; Songs performed include "Old Joe Clark," "Georgia Buck" (twice), "John Henry" (twice), "Alabama Gals," "Old Corn Liquor" (twice), "Shortening Bread," [talk], "Georgia Buck."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1783

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 24 February 1974: reel 3 of 4 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1783

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo, and Tommy Thompson on banjo and guitar; Songs performed include [talk], "I Don't Love Nobody," "John Henry," [?], "I Don't Love Nobody" (twice), [?], "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Mississippi Sawyer," "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" (three times).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20139/1784

Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, and Tommy Thompson, Mebane, N.C., 24 February 1974: reel 4 of 4 #20139-z, Series: "Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson Collection, 1974." FT-20139/1784

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel ; 7.5 ips

Recorded in the Thompson's home in Mebane, N.C.

Joe Thompson on fiddle, Odell Thompson on banjo, Tommy Thompson on banjo and guitar; Songs performed include "Love Somebody," [talk], "Little Brown Jug," "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" (twice), "Cuckoo," "John Henry," "Georgia Buck," "Alabama Gals," "Old Corn Liquor."

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, February 2017

Encoded by: Anne Wells, February 2017

Archival processing of the Cecelia Conway and Tommy Thompson was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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