Folk Music Popularity Spotlights Madison County, NC

Then, in the 1950s and 60s, folk music was experiencing a revival throughout the U.S. with names such as Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan. And, with the happenstance of a family who moved to Madison County in the 1960s combined with the widespread medium of movies/documentaries, the interest in traditional mountain music became much more far-reaching. Madison County’s chapter in this story happened when Peter and Polly Gott, musicians themselves, moved to Madison County because of the lure of the music.

Musicians, collectors, music lovers started flocking to Madison County after that documentary was released.

Interview with Joe Penland, July 2010

Polly & Peter Gott Photo copyright Rob Amberg 2010

According to Joe Penland, Peter and Polly came here with the idea that they didn’t want to change one thing about the county; they wanted it to change them. They totally assimilated into county life and met Lee Wallin, who introduced them to his relatives. According to Joe Penland, Peter is “one of the reasons that our music received the recognition that it does today.” Peter performed regularly with Ralph Lewis at the Jubilee Theater in Hot Springs.

Peter introduced Mike Seeger to his friend Lee Wallin. Mike Seeger played with John Cohen, New York musician, photographer and film-maker. And the result was that Cohen came to Madison County in the early 60s and recorded Lee, Berzilla and Cas Wallin plus several Wallin relatives for Old Love Songs and Ballads (album liner notes) which was released in 1963. Cohen made subsequent field recordings of Wallin family members and later released Dark Holler (album liner notes) and High Atmosphere. Their cousin, Dillard Chandler, was the subject of Cohen’s 1973 documentary, The End of an Old Song. The 27-minute movie was described by Michael Goodwin, Rolling Stoneas “a superbly conceived, masterfully executed work of art.”

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Toops Photojournalist Services

774 Wilson Cove Branch Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

133 South Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Hot Springs Rafting Company

22 U.S. 25 Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Becca Floyd

1257 Fred Holcombe Road Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
(828) 689-9242

Becca Floyd

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

9800 Old US highway 25-70 Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Little Creek Cafe

11660 U.S. 23 Mars Hill, 28754
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Walnut Creek Gallery

2970 Walnut Creek Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Mosaic Gourmet

159 Bridge Street Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
828-622-9400

Mosaic Gourmet

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

1459 Caney Fork Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions

Contact
 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754