Collection Number: 20444

Collection Title: Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976

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 Tia Blake Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size 19 items
Abstract The Tia Blake Collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, papers, and publications created and compiled by the writer and singer, Tia Blake Wallman. Under the name of Tia Blake, Wallman recorded an LP of American and Irish folk songs at the age of eighteen with a small record label in Paris. The LP, titled Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and Her Folk-group, was released by SFPP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques) in February of 1971. The collection primarily consists of materials related to this release, including a misprint copy of the LP, photographs, flyers, posters, correspondence, and a copy of the recording contract. The collection also includes an audio recording, 1973, of rehearsals and demos by Wallman and a guitarist, an audio recording, 1976, of original songs created by Wallman, audio recordings, 1956-1957, of Max Dunbar collected by Wallman and her mother, a recording contract between Wallman and the National Film Board of Canada, and a copy of the literary magazine, Granta, which contains Wallman's first published piece.
Creator Blake, Tia, 1952-2015.
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 Tia Blake Collection #20444, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Tia Wallman in October 2009 (Acc. 101248), October 2012 (Acc. 101683), and December 2012 (Acc. 101709).
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

Christina (Tia) Elizabeth Wallman (1952-2015) was a writer, artist, and singer. She was born in Columbus, Ga., and lived much of her life in Montreal and North Carolina.

After graudating high school in 1970, Wallman began working her first job at the New York pubslihing house, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Six months into the job, Wallman quit and moved to Paris. When she arrived in France she stayed with Sicilian fok singer, Benito Merlino, who helped her get a singing audition for the record label SFPP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques) in Paris. Under the name of Tia Blake, she recorded an LP of American and Irish folk songs with SFPP. The LP, titled Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and Her Folk-group, was released in February of 1972. The album features an eighteen year old Tia Blake on vocals and Bernard Vendame and Francois Brigot on guitar. The three performed songs from the album a month after its release at the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier in the 6th arrondissement in Paris. This was the only live performance to promote the album's release. In 1973 Wallman recorded demos and rehersals in Paris alongside a guitarist named Jack (last name unknown). Songs featured in this session include "Betty and Dupree," "Hangman," "White Bird," and "Wish I Was A Single Girl Again."

In 1976 Tia Wallman was living in Montreal and approached the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) radio station after learning of a general request for original songs from local artists. Soonafter she recorded her own songs at the CBC studio, including "My Father Is A Lonely Man," "Yellow Hair," and "Country Boy." The CBC radio station did not express any interest in the songs and gave the tape of the studio recording to Wallman. Wallman had also previously worked as an off-camera vocalist on a handful of National Film Board of Canada produced films, including Saskatchewan River. She did not perform professionaly after 1976.

In 1989 Wallman graduated magna cum laude from Smith College, where she won the Elizabeth Drew Writing Prize. After graduating from Smith, Wallman became a freelance writer and editor and eventually settled in North Carolina. Her memoir about Saigon was published in the English literary magazine, Granta, in 2006. The memoir, titled "We Went to Saigon," recounts her and her sisters visit to see their father in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Her ten-minute comedy, co-authored with her mother, Joan Blake, was performed at the 2007 New York Cringe Festival.

Water Music, a record label based in California, reissued Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and Her Folk-group in 2012. The reissue also contains bonus tracks, including her 1976 recordings at CBC studio in Montreal as well as demos from her 1973 recording session in Paris.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The Tia Blake Collection consists of audio recordings on open reel, CD, and LP, as well as, photographs, papers, and publications created and compiled by the writer and singer, Tia Blake Wallman. Under the name of Tia Blake, Wallman recorded an LP of American and Irish folk songs at the age of eighteen with a small record label in Paris. The LP, titled Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and Her Folk-group, was released by SFPP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques) in February of 1971. The collection primarily consists of materials related to this release, including a misprint copy of the LP, photographs, flyers, posters, correspondence, and a copy of the recording contract. The collection also includes an open reel audio recording, 1973, of rehearsals and demos by Wallman and a guitarist, an open reel audio recording, 1976, of original songs created by Wallman, audio recordings, 1956-1957, of Max Dunbar on LP and CD collected by Wallman and her mother, a recording contract between Wallman and the National Film Board of Canada, and a copy of the literary magazine, Granta, which contains Wallman's first published piece.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976.

19 items.

Arrangement: By format.

Titles and descriptions compiled from original containers.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20444/1

Tia, CBC Studio A, Cite du Havre, Montreal, 16 September 1976 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." FT-20444/1

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Original songs by Tia Blake performed by Blake at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) studio in Montreal.

Songs featured in this session include "My Father Is A Lonely Man," "Yellow Hair," and "Country Boy."

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20444/2

Tia Blake, Paris, 1973 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." FT-20444/2

1/4" Open Reel Audio

7" reel

Rehearsals and demos recorded at Studios Barclay in Paris; Tia Blake on vocals and Jack (last name unknown) on guitar

Songs featured in this session include "Betty and Dupree," "Hangman," "White Bird," and "Wish I Was A Single Girl Again" (performed twice).

Audiodisc FC-20444/1

Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and [Her] Folk-group #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." FC-20444/1

LP record (commercial release)

Released by SFPP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques) of Paris in February 1971; This is a misprint copy of the LP, which incorrectly states "Tia Blake and His Folk-group." Subsequent pressings read "Tia Blake and Her Folk-group."

Audiodisc FC-20444/2

Songs and Ballads of the Scottish Wars, 1290-1745 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." FC-20444/2

LP record (commercial release)

A 1956 Folkways Records release (FW03006 / FP 3006) featuring Max Dunbar singing Scottish songs and ballads; Liner notes found inside record sleeve; Hand written note on original container reads "Warped Copy"; Given to Joan Blake (mother of Tia Blake) in 1974.

Music Compact Disc CD-20444/1

Folk Songs and Ballads #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." CD-20444/1

CD-R

a copy of Water Music's reissue of Folk Songs and Ballads: Tia Blake and Her Folk-group (FT-20444/1). All tracks are AIFF files.

Music Compact Disc CD-20444/2

Max Dunbar lecture with songs, Montreal, 1957 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." CD-20444/2

CD

Hand written note on original container reads "Max Dunbar lecture with songs re: Scottish Ballads given by Dr. Max Dunbar, unreleased material"; Copy of unreleased tape given to Joan Blake (mother of Tia Blake).

Image Box 1

Image Folder PF-20444/1

Photographs: Tia Blake and band recording in the studio, Paris #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Imagebox 1, Imagefolder PF-20444/1

2 images

5x7 black-and-white photographic prints

Image Box 1

Image Folder PF-20444/2

Photographs: Tia Blake and band performing live, Theatre du Vieux-Colombier, Paris, March 1971 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Imagebox 1, Imagefolder PF-20444/2

2 images

5x7 black-and-white photographic prints

Image Box 1

Image Folder PF-20444/3

Photograph: Tia Blake headshot, Paris, September 1972 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Imagebox 1, Imagefolder PF-20444/3

1 image

8x10 black-and-white photographic print

Publicity photograph of Tia Blake.

Image Box 2

Oversize Image Folder OP-PF-20444/1

Photograph: Tia Blake, Paris #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Imagebox 2, Oimagefolder OP-PF-20444/1

1 image

12x16 black-and-white photographic print

Box 1

Folder 1

Promotional poster and flyer #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Box 1, Folder 1

1 promotional flyer and 1 promotional poster for Tia Blake's March 1971 performance at Theatre du Vieux-Colombier in Paris.

Box 1

Folder 2

Recording contracts #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Box 1, Folder 2

Recording contract between Tia Blake and SFPP; Correspondence from SFPP; Recording contract between Tia Blake and National Film Board of Canada

Box 1

Folder 3

"For Taxi, Who Had Four Legs and a Tail" #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Box 1, Folder 3

Poem from Max (presumably Max Dunbar) to Tia Blake

Box 1

Folder 4

Granta: The Magazine of New Writing / 94: On the Road Again: Where Travel Writing Went Next, summer 2006 #20444, Series: "Tia Blake Collection, 1956-1976." Box 1, Folder 4

Publication includes "We Went to Saigon" by Tia Wallman

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, April 2016

Encoded by: Anne Wells, April 2016

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

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