Heritage Performing Arts

Digital Heritage Moment: Bascom Lamar Lunsford

Digital Heritage Moment: Bascom Lamar Lunsford

Bascom Lamar Lunsford with the Lovingood Sisters and the Greer Sisters, about 1933, from the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Collection, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University

Bascom Lamar Lunsford, born in 1882 in Madison County, was a fruit tree salesman, teacher and lawyer, and is celebrated for his lifelong devotion to Appalachian music and dance. Lunsford learned to play the banjo and fiddle, and collected songs and tunes. He began his repertoire during the folk revival of the 1920s. Over the years, he recorded more than 3,000 songs for the Library of Congress and Columbia University Libraries. He performed at the White House for the king and queen of Great Britain and wrote the well-known Old Mountain Dew, which he sold for money for a bus ticket. In 1928, he organized the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival that continues in Asheville to the present. Mars Hill University maintains a museum dedicated to him.

Digital Heritage Moments are produced at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. To learn more, visit digitalheritage.org. You may also hear Digital Heritage Moments each weekday on radio stations WKSF-FM, WWCU-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM and WWNC-AM.

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