44th Annual National Storytelling Festival
The Apple Seed - Radio Archive, Episode 551
- Feb 21, 2017 7:00 pm
- 54:50 mins
Over 40 years ago, a high school journalism teacher and a carload of students heard Grand Ole Opry regular Jerry Clower spin a tale over the radio about coon hunting in Mississippi. And the teacher, Jimmy Neil Smith, had a sudden inspiration: Why not have a storytelling festival right here in northeast Tennessee? On a warm October weekend in 1973 in historic Jonesborough, the first National Storytelling Festival was held. Hay bales and wagons were the stages, and audience and tellers together didn’t number more than 60. It was tiny, but something happened that weekend that forever changed our culture, this traditional art form, and the little Tennessee town. The Festival, now in its 44th year and acclaimed as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, sparked a renaissance of storytelling across the country. In this episode, visit the 44th National Storytelling Festival with Sam Payne as he greets old friends, makes new ones, during his recent visit at the Exchange Stage at the 44th National Storytelling Festival down in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In this episode enjoy hearing stories, snippets, and songs from folks like Jerron Blind Boy Paxton, Clare Murphy, Minton Sparks, Bil Lepp, Elizabeth Ellis, Joe Herrington, Kevin Kling, and Antonio Sacre.