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TRADITIONS OF TURPENTINING: MUSIC AND SOUND
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. 1937-1942. American Memory:
Florida Folklife from the WPA Collection, 1937-1942.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/flwpabibquery.html (search turpentine)
This excellent website makes accessible much of the pioneering work in the
occupational folklife of turpentiners done by Stetson Kennedy and
Zora Neale Hurston during the WPA. The most extensive work in the collection
was gathered during fieldwork in Cross City, Florida. This includes interviews
and music, especially blues, from African American turpentine workers.
Items from this collection are also housed in the Florida State Archives, Tallahassee.
“Turpentine Blues,” words by W.C. “Dub” Tomlinson, performed by Candler Tomlinson, 2003. This song was written by Dub Tomlinson especially for the Traditions of Turpentining project. Tomlinson (born 1931) typifies the old-time Wiregrass lifestyle of farmer, rancher, and turpentiner during the period of the open range in South Georgia. A life-long resident of Echols County--with the exception of a stint in military service-- Tomlinson has worked timber all his life, first in turpentine, then a heavy equipment operator and harvesting supervisor. Many of his personal experience narratives are recounted in his self-published memoir A Lad in the Piney Woods (2002). Throughout his career, he performed with his band The Suwanee Troubadours, a traditional country group for which he was lead vocalist, and lead and rhythm guitar player. He also wrote numerous songs for the group, but never anything about his life experience with turpentine.
“Turpentine” program from the Wiregrass Ways radio series (1999), written by Laurie Sommers and produced by Valdosta State University and Georgia Public Radio. This 5-minute program features Alton Carter of Racepond, Georgia and his long-time employee Elliott West of Folkston. For the entire Wiregrass Ways radio series, see http://www.valdosta.edu/music/SGFP/radio.htm (click on Radio Archives).
New Taylor Singers, African American gospel from a family of former turpentiners based in Blackshear and Patterson, Georgia. For information and sound clips, click here: http://www.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/New_Taylor_Singers/ or here (click on catalog link for music clips) http://www.newtaylorsingers.com/
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