Due to Covid-19, the Tennessee Folklore Society (TFS) has cancelled its annual meeting for 2020. In place of a face-to-face gathering, the Society will launch a special online project sharing videos from program sessions at previous TFS meetings. “Past Meetings: A TFS Online Sampler” will roll out November 7 on the Society’s website at http://www.tennesseefolklore.org, with social media announcement at https://www.facebook.com/TennesseeFolkloreSociety/.
This year’s cancellation makes an exception to a long history. Since 1934, TFS meetings have provided a forum for documentation and advocacy efforts related to Tennessee folk culture, with talks and screenings on topics ranging from folk music and verbal arts to material culture. Meetings have been held many different places around the state as membership, activity, and interests in the field have evolved. Unfortunately, a list of titles is all that remains of presentation sessions at earlier meetings. In recent years, however, Martin Fisher of the Center for Popular Music has had the foresight to make first audio, then video recordings of many years’ proceedings. We draw on that informal archive, and on Fisher’s editing, for this online sampling:
“Handmade: White Oak Basketry in Cannon County, Tennessee” (film by Evan Hatch and
Last year’s annual meeting of the Tennessee Folklore Society in Byrdstown included a presentation on early Grand Ole Opry star Uncle Dave Macon by Michael Doubler, who’s recently published a biography of his great-grandfather entitled Dixie Dewdrop. This presentation is included in the online sampler.