The Central Blue Ridge, taking in the mountainous regions of northwestern North Carolina and
southwestern Virginia, is well known for its musical traditions. Long recognized as
one of the richest repositories of folksong in the United States, the Central Blue Ridge
has also been a prolific source of commercial recording, starting in 1923 with
Henry Whitter’s “hillbilly” music and continuing into the 21st century with
such chart-topping acts as James King, Ronnie Bowman and Doc Watson.
Unrivaled in tradition, unequaled in acclaim and unprecedented in influence, the Central Blue Ridge
can claim to have contributed to the musical landscape of Americana as much as or more
than any other region in the United States.
This reference work—part of McFarland’s continuing series of Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies—provides
complete biographical and discographical information on more than 75 traditional recording
(major commercial label) artists who are natives of or lived mostly in the northwestern
North Carolina counties of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Surry, Watauga and Wilkes, and the
southwestern Virginia counties of Carroll and Grayson.
Primary recordings as well as appearances on anthologies are included in the discographies.
A chronological overview of the music is provided in the Introduction, and the Foreword is
by the celebrated musician Bobby Patterson, founder of the Mountain and
Heritage record labels.
About the Author
Marty McGee is a writer and researcher who previously had an award-winning career
in journalism. A resident of Ferguson, North Carolina, he is also the author of
McFarland’s Encyclopedia of Motion Picture Sound (2001) and coauthor
of A Critical History of Television’s The Twilight Zone, 1959–1964
(by Don Presnell and Marty McGee, 1998).