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.
|1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 950 items)
|Ken Griffis, best known for his work on documenting the Sons of the Pioneers, an early country music group, also researched and documented an earlier group known as the Beverly Hillbillies, a music group created by Glen Rice and the first "hillbilly" music group to achieve widespread acclaim, beginning in 1930 on radio station KMPC Los Angeles. In its most popular configuration, the group consisted of Jimmy Baker (Elton Britt), Marjorie Bauersfield (Mirandy), Harry Blaeholder (Hank Skillet), Ashley Dees (Jad Scroggins), Aleth Hansen (Lem Giles), Leo Mannes (Zeke Manners, Zeke Craddock), Cyprian Paulette (Ezra Longnecker), and Charles Quirk (Charlie Slater, Charlie Skillet). This collection includes music transcriptions, papers, photographic materials, and audiocassettes relating to Griffis's research documenting the Beverly Hillbillies. Music transcriptions are of songs performed by the Beverly Hillbillies. Papers include journal articles, newspaper clippings, posters and flyers, discographies, facsimiles of record albums, letters sent to the Beverly Hillbillies, transcripts of interviews Griffis conducted with members of the group, research correspondence, and research notes. Photographic materials are primarily promotional photographs of the group with and without autograph signatures, but also included is a photograph of a horse purported to have belonged to Jesse James. Audiocassettes consist of noncommercial recordings of interviews Griffis conducted with members of the group, including Aleth Hansen, Stuart Hamblen, Leo Mannes, and Charles Quirk.
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Processed by: Carrie Stubblefield, May 2007
Encoded by: Carrie Stubblefield, May 2007Back to Top
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.
Ken Griffis is best known for his work on documenting the early country music group, the Sons of the Pioneers. His research, begun in the 1960s, culminated in the publication of a monograph on the group, Hear My Song: The Story of the Celebrated Sons of the Pioneers (John Edwards Memorial Foundation, 1974/revised 1977). As of 2003, Griffis resided in Thornton, Colo.
The Beverly Hillbillies began their career on radio KMPC Los Angeles in 1930. The group was the brainchild of Glen Rice, who concocted an elaborate myth about the origins of the group, advertising them as "authentic" hillbillies when, in fact, each of the group's members was already living and working in the Los Angeles area. In its most popular configuration, the group consisted of Jimmy Baker (Elton Britt), Marjorie Bauersfield (Mirandy), Harry Blaeholder (Hank Skillet), Ashley Dees (Jad Scroggins), Aleth Hansen (Lem Giles), Leo Mannes (Zeke Manners, Zeke Craddock), Cyprian Paulette (Ezra Longnecker), and Charles Quirk (Charlie Slater, Charlie Skillet). In later years, this roster was subject to change. In 1932, the group split temporarily, with some members remaining in Los Angeles and others relocating to San Francisco. During this period, three future members of the Sons of the Pioneers joined the group. The Beverly Hillbillies continued to enjoy success, both on the radio and in live concerts, until the late 1930s. In addition to recording and touring, the Beverly Hillbillies appeared in several feature films and made hundreds of music transcriptions, including several for Armed Forces radio. The group was revived in the 1940s and an attempt at revival was made as late as 1957, but the Beverly Hillbillies never regained the popularity of their earlier years.Back to Top
The Ken Griffis Collection consists of music transcriptions, papers, photographs, and audiocassettes relating to Griffis's research documenting the Beverly Hillbillies, a Los Angeles-based musical group that starred in a radio program of the same name throughout the 1930s and early 1940s.
Music transcriptions, the bulk of which are handwritten and annotated, are of songs performed by the Beverly Hillbillies.
Papers include journal articles; newspaper clippings; posters and flyers; discographies; facsimiles of record albums; letters sent to the Beverly Hillbillies; transcripts of oral history interviews Griffis conducted with members of the group; correspondence between Griffis, the Beverly Hillbillies, and other researchers; and research notes.
Photographic materials are primarily promotional photographs of the Beverly Hillbillies with and without autograph signatures. Also included are photographs of related items and several photographic negatives. Also included is a photograph of a horse purported to have belonged to Jesse James.
Audiocassettes consist of noncommercial recordings of interviews Griffis conducted with members of the Beverly Hillbillies, including Aleth Hansen (Lem Giles), Stuart Hamblen, Leo Mannes (Zeke Manners), and Charlie Quirk (Charlie Slater, Charlie Skillet). These correspond to typescript versions that also included.Back to Top
Arrangement: By type. Original order within type was maintained where possible.
Transcriptions filed separately by Ken Griffis: "In the Heart of Beverly Hills" (the Beverly Hillbillies theme song), autographed by Nat Vincent; photographic proof of same; "Mellow Mountain Door" annotated by Ken Griffis; printed sheet music "My Pretty Quadroon," a signature song of the Beverly Hillbillies, with image of the group embedded in cover art; published songbook New and Original Favorite Songs of Famous Hill Billies, 1934.
Arrangement: By type.
"The Charlie Quirk Story and the Beginning of the Beverly Hillbillies" JEMF Quarterly, 1972) and "The Beverly Hill Billies" ( JEMF Quarterly, 1980), both by Ken Griffis.
Transcripts of interviews conducted by Ken Griffis with Aleth Hansen, Zeke Manners, and Charlie Quirk.
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-20386/1
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-20386/1
Arrangement: By type.
Chiefly photographs of the Beverly Hillbillies, comprised of autographed publicity photos and a few head shots of individual group members. Also includes mock-up images of sketches of several group members, facsimiles of photographs of a marquee advertising the Beverly Hillbillies, two negatives of publicity photographs, and one floppy disc containing a photographic image of the Beverly Hillbillies.
Autographed by Hansen.
Autographed by all in photograph. Negative on file.
Autographed by all in photograph.
Negative on file.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by interview subject.
Sound recordings of oral history interviews Ken Griffis conducted with Aleth Hansen, Stuart Hamblen, Leo (Zeke) Manners, and Charlie Quirk. See also Series 2.3 for typescripts of some of these interviews.