“What I’m doing is preserving this important piece of Western North Carolina regional history,” says Whitney Ponder, who purchased a property previously owned by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. “This man did so much for traditional Appalachian music here and throughout the whole region.”
The route through the Swannanoa Gap — where present-day Old U.S. 70 and Mill Creek Road intersect — was first carved out by Archaic Indians as they came up out of the Appalachian foothills and followed Swannanoa Creek on the way to hunting and gathering opportunities in the mountains. Later, Buncombe County’s first white settlers climbed through the gap as they moved into the area. Historian Dan Pierce shares the gap’s history and culture, as well as suggestions for exploration.
On Nov. 11, 1928, The Sunday Citizen announced the opening of the Tyler Building. The three-story building, which still stands today, totals 90,000 square feet. It took five months to construct, costing $175,000.
On Feb. 21, 1927, Asheville residents celebrated the arrival of the city’s first local radio station.
“The longevity of this festival comes from the wonderful ancestry that has evolved out of the mountains,” says Loretta Freeman. “You’ll have up to five generations in a family that are still playing music.”
Now the longest-running folk festival in the country, it celebrates its 89th anniversary this year with performances — different each night — at the Diana Wortham Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4, 5 and 6.
Asheville Music Tours offers a stroll through downtown, highlighting the city’s rich musical past, as well as celebrating its present day achievements. Meanwhile, in the River Arts District, Asheville Art Studio Tours leads guests through a series of workspaces and galleries while sharing tales of the area’s former industrial days.
While many people wear multiple proverbial hats and dabble in more than one career, Madison County-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford epitomized that concept. A lawyer and a folklorist, the Mars Hill native campaigned against hillbilly stereotypes while preserving Appalachian mountain music traditions. A performer himself — his recordings are included in the Archive of American Folk […]
This evening, Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville premieres a new musical memoir of Bascom Lamar Lunsford.
Looking for a lost turtle, Bascom Lamar Lunsford on camera, a way out of our economic mess, inside the Mellow Mushroom … and more, in this week’s review of Asheville-made or -focused videos.