October 22, 2014

The Ballad of Frankie Silver


In 1833 Mrs. Frances Silver was hanged in Morganton, North Carolina, for the ax murder of her husband Charles. For a century and a half the case has lived on in newspapers, pamphlets, memoirs, petition, folksong, and legends. Bobby McMillon, a member of the Silver family, learned stories about Frankie as he grew up in the community where the murder took place. (50 mins.) Directed by Tom Davenport. Also featured on … [Read more...]

Being a Joines: A Life in the Brushy Mountains


  John E. "Frail" Joines was a master tale teller from Wilkes County, North Carolina, on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His hunting tales, stories from World War II, and religious narratives mirror changes that have swept away the mountain folk community in a single generation and show the character and values with which his family met these circumstances. Film by Tom Davenport, Allen Tullos, … [Read more...]

When My Work is Over


Louise Anderson (1921-1994), the gifted African American storyteller who played Dark Sally in Tom Davenport's children's classic Ashpet: An American Cinderella, tells her family stories and folk tales, and recites poetry in this film taped in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the last years of her life. She presents a powerful portrait of courage, dignity, and lively humor in the face of serious illness. Her sisters … [Read more...]