Collection Number: 20177

Collection Title: Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop Video Recording of Etta Baker, 1986

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 Cecilia Conway and Elva Bishop Recording of Etta Baker was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 1 items
Abstract A video recording of Piedmont blues guitarist, Etta Baker (1913-2006), created by white folklorists, Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop. Etta Baker, born Etta Lucille Reid, claimed European, African American, and Native American ancestry. She grew up in Caldwell County, N.C., where she learned to play Piedmont blues, ragtime, and fiddle tunes from her father, Boone Reid. After working in a textile mill for over 25 years, Baker retired at the age of 60 to pursue a career as a musician. Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop created the video recording, One Dime Blues: Ms. Etta Baker at Home (1986), with grant funding from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts. It documents Etta Baker at age 73 playing banjo and finger-style guitar at her home in Morganton, N.C., by herself and alongside her sister, Cora Phillips, who also plays the guitar. Songs featured on the videotape include "One Dime Blues", "On The Other Hand Baby", and "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad", among others. Between songs, Baker talks about her songs, family, and hobbies.
Creator Conway, Cecelia.

Bishop, Elva.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of moving image materials may require production of viewing copies.
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 Elva Bishop Video Recording of Etta Baker #20177, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Dan Patterson circa 1994 (103511).
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.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

White folklorists, Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop, received grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts to document Piedmont blues guitarist, Etta Baker (1913-2006) at her home in Morganton, N.C. in 1986. Etta Baker, born Etta Lucille Reid, claimed European, African American, and Native American ancestry. She grew up in Caldwell County, N.C., where she learned to play Piedmont blues, ragtime, and fiddle tunes from her father, Boone Reid. After working in a textile mill for over 25 years, Baker retired at the age of 60 to pursue a career as a musician. Baker played piano, violin, guitar, and banjo. Baker received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award from the North Carolina Arts Council in 1989, a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1991, and the North Carolina Award in 2003. A decade after filming Etta Baker, Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop collaborated with white folklorist, Patricia Sawin, to film and produce, Bessie Eldreth: Stories and Songs of a Blue Ridge Life (1996), a documentary film on Bessie May Eldreth (1913-2016), a white folk singer and storyteller from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

A VHS video recording of Piedmont blues guitarist, Etta Baker (1913-2006), created by white folklorists, Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop. Etta Baker, born Etta Lucille Reid, claimed European, African American, and Native American ancestry. She grew up in Caldwell County, N.C., where she learned to play Piedmont blues, ragtime, and fiddle tunes from her father, Boone Reid. After working in a textile mill for over 25 years, Baker retired at the age of 60 to pursue a career as a musician. Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop created the video recording, One Dime Blues: Ms. Etta Baker at Home (1986), with grant funding from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts. It documents Etta Baker at age 73 playing banjo and finger-style guitar at her home in Morganton, N.C., by herself and alongside her sister, Cora Phillips, who also plays the guitar. Songs featured on the videotape include "One Dime Blues", "On The Other Hand Baby", and "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad", among others. Between songs, Baker discusses how she learned songs from family and friends, and talks about her nine children, including their military service and ties to her family's music traditions. The videotape also captures scenes of Morganton, N.C. and Baker's home and yard, including a scene of Baker displaying and discussing canning vegetables.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Cecelia Conway and Elva Bishop Video Recording of Etta Baker, 1986.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells and Emma Evans, June 2019

Encoded by: Anne Wells, June 2019

Archival processing of the Cecilia Conway and Elva Bishop Recording of Etta Baker was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

Back to Top