Interest Grows in Traditional Music in the 1960s

An interest in folk music had grown and Cohen recorded the music of the Wallin extended family which included Lee and Berzilla Wallin as well as their cousins, Cas Wallin and Dillard Chandler.

This widespread interest allowed some musicians of the older generation the opportunity to travel throughout the United States. Byard Ray, a great nephew of Mitchell Wallin, and his cousin, Obray Ramsey, recorded under the name of White Lightnin’. Young people within the county truly appreciated the value of the mentoring received from all of their relatives in the Laurel country. One of Cas Wallin’s cousins, Jerry Adams, brought a friend—Joe Penland—into the fold and Byard Ray took them under his musical wings and nurtured their musical talents. You are likely to find Joe in downtown Marshall on any given day. His recordings and storytelling are a welcome part of the many concerts hosted by the Madison County Arts Council. Talented musicians gladly served as mentors not only to their own children and extended family, but also to those who came to them from other parts of the county and other parts of the country. And, the musical community of the U.S. and the world grew richer as a result.