“Old Regular Baptists” Added to National Recording Registry
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
On March 25, 2015, the Library of Congress announced the selection of 25 additional recordings for the National Recording Registry. Included in the selections was the album Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody from Southeastern Kentucky. The album features the Indian Bottom Association, recorded by ethnomusicologist/folklorist Jeff Todd Titon and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 1997.
In reference to the announcement, Titon states: “Beyond preservation in an archive, this recognition will help the Old Regular Baptists redouble their own efforts to continue their musical traditions in the face of cultural, economic, and environmental threats. For more than 150 years, they have been successful in resisting change to their singing and other aspects of belief and practice, but today they face new threats because of the region’s dependence on a single, declining industry (coal mining), and because of that industry’s increasing reliance on mountaintop removal, which is causing floods, earthquakes, and wreaking havoc in the regional ecosystem. With this honor, I join less than a half-dozen other ethnomusicologists and/or folklorists who have received the same recognition for their research: Frances Densmore, Franz Boas, George Herzog, Dave McAllester, and Alan Lomax.”
Titon is an Honorary Member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Professor Emeritus of Music at Brown University, and author of the blog “Sustainable Music.”
For more information, see the press release from the Library of Congress and notes and track samples on the Smithsonian Folkways website.