The images in this striking exhibit were from the early 1970s to the
mid 1990s. Most were taken at festivals or prior to the events while we
were interviewing the artists and musicians. All the photographs were
shot using a Nikon or Nikkormat 35 MM camera. Most were taken using Tri
X film which in most cases was developed in the Center's darkroom.
photographers included Folklorist and Director of the Center's
Mid-South Folklife Survey Ray Allen, Center photographer and darkroom
manager Robert Jones, Free lance photographers Pete Ceren and Robert
Dye Jr., Center Co-Founder and Folklorist Bill Ferris, and Co-Founder
and Executive Producer Judy Peiser. Click the name of the subject for photo credits and more information.
in order of appearance:
1. Bing Seid
2. Laura Dukes
3. Rufus Thomas
4. Ka Lee
5. Fred Ford
6. Jim Dickinson
7. Rev. A. D. "Gatemouth" Moore
8. Wood Bell
9. Lonnie Glosson
10. Pecolia Warner
11. Charlie Musselwhite
12. Carla Thomas
13. James "Son" Thomas
14. Mose Vinson
15. Othar Turner
16. Joyce Cobb and Brody Buster
17. Hammie Nixon
18. Effie Parker
19. The Vaqueros
20. Mexican Dancers
21. Laura Dukes performing with band
22. Georgia and Henry Speller
23. Leon "Peck" Clark
24. Luster Willis
25. Billy Mitchell and Red Adams
26. Junior Kimbrough
27. Alice Moseley
28. W. G. Lovorn
29. Fred Ford, L.T. Lewis, Jimmy Segerson,
Mose Vinson, Joe Gaston
30. Rufus Thomas doing the Funky Chicken
31. Rufus Thomas with Festival Crowd
32. Rufus Thomas and Mose Vinson
With the Center's roots in documentary filmmaking and photography we made certain that we videotaped a variety of performances at the 1982 Mid South Folklife Festival. The performances in this video portion of the See Gallery were selected from many hours of 3/4 inch videotape shot over the two day festival. These videotapes were transferred to digital tape and then to DVDs from which we edited the following gems.
1. Wood Bell and the Choctaw Dancers
remind us of the most ancient traditions from the Mid South Region. The chants and dancing provide an entry into the cultures of the region.
2. Performer and dancer Virgil Anderson
traveled from Kentucky to share dances and music that he learned from his family and community. Anderson credits an African American family who lived near his family as people who broadened his knowledge of regional music. From blues to buck dancing Anderson helped festival goers bridge cultural traditions and music.
3. Lonnie Glosson
showed how he could entertain an audience while telling stories through music.
4. Othar Turner
provides a glimpse into the African American tradition of making cane fifes: "You gotta note it with your finger." Turner makes an age old tradition of instrument making and performance look easy.
5. Jerry Lee Smoochy Smith rocking piano version of Long Tall Sally is Memphis Rock and Roll.
6. Rufus Thomas takes us to the Palace Theatre and the Rabbit Foot Minstrel Shows where tap dancers like him would excite and engage audiences.
7. Robert "Honeyboy" Thomas and Rufus Thomas's vaudeville style comedy routine was similar to those performed at the Palace Theatre and other theatres throughout the country in the 1940s and 1950s.