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Stories from the Anne Grimes Collection of American Folk Music


Stories from the Anne Grimes Collection of American Folk Music by Anne Grimes, compiled and edited by Sara Grimes and others Ohio University Press fine quality hardcover and paperback, with many photos and a music CD, Aug. 2010, 200 pages) 

Brief review by Rob Neufeld

The songcatcher figure is big in Southern Appalachian lore, including local great Bascom Lamar Lunsford and English scholar Cecil Sharp.

Anne Grimes, Ohio folksinger and Smithsonian icon, travelled her state and made trips to Asheville, her mother-in-law’s home, in the 1950s and 60s, collecting material that would eventually fill her posthumously published new book, “Stories from the Anne Grimes Collection of American Folk Music.”

It comes with a CD of 31 performances tape-recorded by Grimes.

In 1952, Grimes came to Asheville to perform in Lunsford’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. She hung out with Lunsford on South Turkey Creek, and with Carl Sandburg in Flat Rock.

Six years later, Lunsford returned the favor and attended an Ohio Folklore Society meeting. Grimes recorded him singing, “A Bonny Lass, a Happy Lass.”

“I learned this song from Paul Johns,” Lunsford comments on the recording. “It happens to be a type of song that I have made no recording or written record of.”

It’s a very sexy ditty.

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