Collection Number: 70095

Collection Title: Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970

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This collection has use 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 Ronald C. Wimberley Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size 6 items
Abstract The Ronald C. Wimberley Collection consists of live recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, which was held 7-9 August 1970 at the Otis Spann Memorial Field in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ronald C. Wimberley, a white sociologist, and John Hatch, a college friend of Ronald C. Wimberley, created and compiled the open reel recordings, which include live performances by Son House, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Pete Williams, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, John Jackson, Carey Bell, Little Brother Montgomery, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Luther Allison, Mance Lipscomb, Junior Parker, Lowell Fulson, Johnny Shines, and Sunnyland Slim, among other blues musicians. The Ann Arbor Blues Festival began in 1969 and was the first electric blues festival in North America. The festival was created and organized by a group of mostly white University of Michigan students led by Cary Gordon, a native of suburban Detroit, and John Fishel, who grew up in Cleveland and had transferred to Michigan from Tulane University. Ann Arbor Blues Festival was sponsored first by the University of Michigan with help later from the Canterbury House, an Episcopal group which owned a folk club in Ann Arbor.
Creator Wimberley, Ronald C.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains digital listening or viewing copies that are accessible only on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or through authentication with an ONYEN. Access to streaming audio materials is limited to the UNC Chapel Hill campus. University affiliates who can authenticate with an ONYEN can stream from off campus. For further information about access to audio and moving image materials contact Research and Instructional Services staff at Wilsonlibrary@unc.edu
Restrictions to Use
This collection has restrictions on duplication. Requests for publication require permission from the donor.
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 Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival #70095, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Chris Wimberley of Chapel Hill, N.C., in November 2020 (Acc. 20201120.1).
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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Ronald C. Wimberley (1942-2011) was professor of sociology and a member of the North Carolina State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty for 40 years. Dr. Wimberley was known for his 1997 book, titled The Southern Black Belt: A National Perspective that researched and described the sociological factors that impacted living conditions in the 11-state rural Black Belt South. His research also focused on religious commitment, civil religion, and political behavior, and on an official government definition of farms that helped assure government services to diverse types of farms, including those operated by minorities. In April 2011, the Southern Sociological Society named Dr. Wimberley as the 2011-2012 winner of their Roll of Honor Award, the highest recognition given by the society.

The Ann Arbor Blues Festival began in 1969. It was the first electric blues festival in North America. The festival was created and organized by a group of University of Michigan students led by Cary Gordon, a native of suburban Detroit, and John Fishel, who grew up in Cleveland and had transferred to Michigan from Tulane University. This small group of University of Michigan students, influenced by the 1960s counterculture, introduced 20,000 mostly white teenagers to Black blues musicians, many of whose songs were only known to mainstream Americans because they had been re-released by white rock and roll bands like Cream, Derek & the Dominos, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the Rolling Stones. The festival was sponsored first by the University of Michigan with help later from the Canterbury House, an Episcopal group which owned a folk club in Ann Arbor. By 1972, white concert promoter Peter Andrews and white political activist John Sinclair teamed up to lead the festival, which they rechristened as the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival.

Historical information on the Ann Arbor Blues Festival courtesy of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, "What Is the Ann Arbor Blues Festival?" (2021).

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The Ronald C. Wimberley Collection consists of live recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, which was held 7-9 August 1970 at the Otis Spann Memorial Field in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ronald C. Wimberley, a white sociologist, and John Hatch, a college friend of Ronald C. Wimberley, created and compiled the open reel recordings, which include live performances by Son House, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Pete Williams, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, John Jackson, Carey Bell, Little Brother Montgomery, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Luther Allison, Mance Lipscomb, Junior Parker, Lowell Fulson, Johnny Shines, and Sunnyland Slim, among other blues musicians. The Ann Arbor Blues Festival began in 1969 and was the first electric blues festival in North America. The festival was created and organized by a group of mostly white University of Michigan students led by Cary Gordon, a native of suburban Detroit, and John Fishel, who grew up in Cleveland and had transferred to Michigan from Tulane University. Ann Arbor Blues Festival was sponsored first by the University of Michigan with help later from the Canterbury House, an Episcopal group which owned a folk club in Ann Arbor.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970.

6 items.

Arrangement: In order as received.

Processing information: Titles and descriptions compiled from original containers.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/1

Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970: tape 1 #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/1

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Recorded 7-8 August 1970. Includes performances by John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Lazy Bill Lucas, and Hound Dog Taylor.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/2

Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970, tape 2 #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/2

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Recorded 8-9 August 1970.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/3

Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970: tape 3 #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/3

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Recorded 8-9 August 1970. Includes performances by Bobby Blue Band Review (Ernie Fields Jr., Paulette Parker, Bobby Blue Band), John Jackson, Dave Alexander, Little Brother Montgomery, Carey Bell with Eddie Taylor, Buddy Guy with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter and Luther Allison, Mighty Joe Young and David Alexander, and Papa Lightfoot.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/4

Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970: tape 4 #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/4

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Recorded 9 August 1970. Includes performances by Papa Lightfoot (continued from FT-70095/3), Mance Lipscomb, Junior Parker, Lowell Fulson, Big Mama Thornton, and Son House. Also includes recordings dubbed from 102.9 WNRZ FM (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/5

Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970: taped by John D. Hatch Jr. #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/5

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Includes performances by Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Pete Williams, and Johnny Young.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-70095/6

[unidentified sound recording] #70095, Series: "Ronald C. Wimberley Recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1970." FT-70095/6

1/4" Open Reel Audio

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, January 2021

Encoded by: Anne Wells, January 2021

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.

Archival processing of the Ronald C. Wimberley Collection was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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