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Jack Tottle Bluegrass and Old Time Music Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0386

Scope and Contents

The Jack Tottle Bluegrass and Old Time Music Collection consists of bluegrass and old time music taped from both live and recorded performances. A number of tapes were made from original 78 rpm discs which have never been re-released. The greatest number of recordings are from the 1950s and 1960s, with the balance dating from the 1940s and 1970s.

The collection includes bluegrass and old time music recorded in a number of different locales, but three locales in particular deserve special mention. The first is the Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland area, a region in which bluegrass first found a significant urban, relatively affluent, and well-educated audience. Bluegrass' popularity in the capitol region helped transform it from a regional and rural music to a national and international phenomenon. Artists recorded from this area include the Country Gentlemen, Bill Harrell, Pete Kuykendall, Benny and Vallie Cain, and the Lonesome River Boys.

The second and third important locales are South Carolina and Japan. Recordings include the Poplin Family of Sumter, South Carolina; the Reece Sisters of Greenville, South Carolina; and the live television program, "Carolina in the Morning." The Japanese selections contains 76 performances recorded in the 1960s by 13 bands.


  • 1940-1976


Conditions Governing Access

Tapes in this collection must be used in the archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Tapes in this collection may not be duplicated, and are not available for loan.


61.00 sound recordings (61 Reel-to-Reel Audio Tapes, 66 Audio Cassettes (user copies))

Language of Materials



The Jack Tottle Bluegrass and Old Time Music Collection consists of one series of audio tapes. The tapes are arranged according to the original list given to the archives by Jack Tottle. The tapes are numbered consecutively. The master tapes are reel-to-reel audio; cassette user copies have been dubbed from the masters. Each tape (with a few exceptions) contains a detailed list of that tape's contents.

Method of Acquisition

The Jack Tottle Bluegrass and Old Time Music Collection was donated to the Archives of Appalachia by Jack Tottle on July 1, 1991.

Related Publications

The Archives of Appalachia has several books which mention Jack Tottle, ETSU faculty and students, and/or the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program.

Gayheart, Willard and Donia S. Eley. Willard Gayheart, Appalachian Artist. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003. See pages 13, 162.

Parsons, Penny, Ken Beck and Jim Clark. The Bluegrass Music Cookbook. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1997. See pages 58-59, 69, 76, 112, 130-132, 137, 145, 148, 183, 221.

Smith, Richard D. Bluegrass: An Informal Guide. Chicago, Illinois: a cappella books, 1995. See pages 69, 86, 101, 103, 149.

Zimmerman, Peter Coats. Tennessee Music: Its People and Places. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books, 1998. See pages 105, 177.

Separated Materials

Jack Tottle donated the following books which were cataloged for the Archives of Appalachia book collection:

Bill Monroe: The Father of Bluegrass. Japan: B.O.M. Service Ltd., 1985. Japanese publication containing photographs from Bill Monroe's 1984 Japan tour.

Byron, Janet. The Country Music Lover's Guide to the U.S.A. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1996.

Lomax, John A. and Alan Lomax. Folk Song U.S.A.: The 111 Best American Ballads. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1947.

Processing Information

Processing of the collection was completed in April 1992 by Marie Tedesco.

Marie Tedesco
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA