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Friday, June 05, 2009
VOICES OF LYNCHBURG
Produced Exclusively for the Tennessee Squire Association
TENNESSEE SQUIRE ASSOCIATION
These "Voices of Lynchburg" are real voices, belonging to real people. What they say is spontaneous and unrehearsed. What they say--and how they say it--is reflective of both their peaceful surroundings and their quiet life-style in this middle Tennessee town, nestled in the foothills of the Cumberlands. Lynchburg was settled shortly after the Revolutionary War, and has never grown beyond about four hudnred inhabitants. The present population seems to include as many lively, vital eighty-year-olds as it does lively, normal teen-agers. Numbers notwithstanding, there is no 'communication gap' in Lynchburg. Every one is neighbor to every one else, and most families are distantly related to each other.
Lynchburgians love to talk, once they get to know you. Nothing seems to be all that important but what it can be postponed long enough for a chat on the courthouse lawn, or on the sidewalk benches in front of the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store, or the feed store, or the drug store, or the old Farmer's Bank. A spirited conversation is always underway in the whittlers' chairs up at the Price brothers' service station.
These are calm, good-natured, humorous people--intensely loyal to each other. Their reserve with strangers is tempered by a quick and friendly hospitality. They are strongly independent, candid and forthright in their beliefs, and reflect a quality of pride and patience which only thrives where a people's roots are many generations deep.
"The Voices of Lynchburg" is no ordinary listening experience. It is not a record to play as background to conversation. It is conversation...with some of the warmest, wisest, possibly wittiest, and certainly most unforgettable people we have ever met. It is an unqualified pleasure to introduce them to you.
The material on this record was selected and compiled from more than thirty hours of recorded conversations with citizens of Lynchburg, Tennessee. The original tapes cover a span of some twelve years. They were variously recorded, on diverse equipment, and in "studios" ranging from the subjects' kitchens, front parlors, and porches, to sidewalk benches and other public meeting places in town.
We hope that you, as a Tennessee Squire, will enjoy this documentary glimpse of a fading facet of our traditional heritage and culture. Your host for the record is Mr. Herb Fanning.
Cast of Characters:
Mrs. Reagor Motlow
J. B. Murray
Produced exclusively for the Tennessee Squire Association
"Around the Square": A "get acquainted" stroll around the one block business district of Lynchburg with Herb Fanning, Mr. Tom Motlow, Mrs. Reagor (Jeanne Garth) Motlow, and J. B. Murray.
"Moonshine--and other Natural Phenomena...": Personal reminiscences of whiskey-making in Moore County--both legal and otherwise. Herb Fanning, Tom Motlow, Lem Tolley, and Clarence Rolman. "Goin' Fishin'": Everyone in Lynchburg fishes. And those who don't like to talk about it: Jack Hobbs, Bill Fanning, Lem Tolley, Connor Motlow, Garland Dusenberry, Irvin Crutcher, Clarence Rolman.
Editor's note: having been to Lynchburg, Tennessee a half dozen times in my life and also having family in the area makes me realize that although my roots are in the South that I am clearly a Yankee. I'll grant you that I don't approve of much of the northern public rudeness, but I fully embrace it in private! That is, be nice to strangers and take out your frustrations on your friends and family! Who am I kidding, that's a universal trait. Maybe I am a little southern at heart. Just don't make me talk about fishin' and whittlin'.
I came across this record on a few blogs and managed to track down some audio from WFMU's site. I would love to hear more from this honky-tonkin' caterwaulin' queen. Listen to the tracks below and I think you will too!