unc logo

Collection Number: 20007

Collection Title: Bobby McMillon Collection, 1947-1997

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 56 items items
Abstract Born in Lenoir, N.C., in 1951, Bobby McMillon has performed professionally since 1978 as a singer, musician, and storyteller in the Appalachian tradition. As a performer, he is best known for his ballad and story renditions about Frankie Silver, to whom he is distantly related. He has also collected interviews with and songs and stories from family members, neighbors, and friends since 1968. The collection includes recordings of Bobby McMillon in performance, documentary recordings made by McMillon, and materials McMillon collected. Performance materials are from 1978 and 1997 and include the ballad and legend of Frankie Silver. Open-reel recordings made by McMillon, 1968-1995, consist of songs, stories, and talk by the family members and friends who taught him ballads and stories of his Appalachian heritage. There are also recordings of his family's 78-rpm records, which also influenced McMillon's work. Featured in the recordings are Janette Carter, Rolf Ellison, W. T. Ellison, Wade Gilbert, Isaac Hopson (Paw), Lounette Hopson (Granny), Mae Phillips (Maw Maw), Jean Schilling, and Lee Schilling. Materials collected by McMillon include acetate disc recordings of the 50th Hollow Springs annual shape note singing convention held in 1947 at the Hollow Springs Primitive Baptist Church where McMillon's grandfather McMillon served as an Elder. Also included is a song folio called Cowboy Loye Presents 20 Famous Heart Songs.
Creator McMillon, Bobby.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Bobby McMillon Collection #20007, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Bobby McMillon.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Bobby McMillon was born 20 December 1951 in Lenoir, N.C. He developed an early appreciation for the traditional stories, ballads, and religious songs performed by his grandparents and other older relatives in the southern Appalachian region and started learning them as a child. He has performed professionally since 1978 as a traditional ballad singer, musician, and storyteller. As a performer, he is best known for his ballad and story renditions about Frankie Silver, to whom he is distantly related. He received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 2000. In addition to continuing the tradition with his own performances, McMillon has collected interviews with and songs and stories from family members, neighbors, and friends since 1968 when he earned his first RCA sound recording machine in his late teens.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection of traditional ballad singer, musician, and storyteller Bobby McMillon of Lenoir, N.C., includes recordings of McMillon in performance, documentary recordings made by Bobby McMillon, and materials McMillon collected. Performance materials are from 1978 and 1997 and include the ballad and legend of Frankie Silver. Open-reel recordings made by McMillon, 1968-1995, consist of songs, stories, and talk by the family members and friends who taught him ballads and stories of his Appalachian heritage. There are also recordings of his family's 78-rpm records, which also influenced his work. Featured in the recordings are Janette Carter, Rolf Ellison, W. T. Ellison, Wade Gilbert, Isaac Hopson ("Paw"), Lounette Hopson ("Granny"), Mae Phillips ("Maw Maw"), Jean Schilling, and Lee Schilling. Materials collected by McMillon include acetate disc recordings of the 50th Hollow Springs annual shape note singing convention held in 1947 at the Hollow Springs Primitive Baptist Church where McMillon's grandfather McMillon served as an Elder. Also included is a song folio called Cowboy Loye Presents 20 Famous Heart Songs.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Bobby McMillon in Performance, 1978-1997.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated.

58 items.

Arrangement: Original order is preserved.

Bobby McMillon started making documentary recordings of his relatives, neighbors, and friends in 1968 when he received his first RCA sound recording machine. This collection includes the open reel recordings of songs, stories, and talk made by McMillon 1968-1978 and undated. In addition to live recordings, McMillon recorded several of his family's 78-rpm records. Janette Carter, Rolf Ellison, W. T. Ellison, Wade Gilbert, Isaac "Paw" Hopson, Lounette "Granny" Hopson, Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips, Jean Schilling, and Lee Schilling are featured in this collection. Also included are Doc Addington, Ronnie Barlow, Doug Brookshire, Lou Brookshire, A. P. Carter, Maybelle Carter, Sara Carter, Frenis Coffey, Mae Coffey, Sylvia Carter Edwards, Woodrow Goforth, Lucy Gortney, Nathan Gortney, Karen D. Helms, Nancy Jones, Carl McConnell, Bobby McMillon, Glenn Massey, Artus Moser, Lula Moss, Dellie Norton, Bard Ray, Annie Roberts, Betty Smith, Bud Tolley, Cas Wallin, Virgie Wallin, Clyde Wilson, and a few others documented by first name only. Written documentation, primarily from the original storage boxes, is available for most of the recordings. The original numbering system is notated by (BM#).

The series also contains eleven digital audio tapes recorded in May 1995. These tapes document McMillon singing from his collected songs.

Audiotape FT-11182

Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips. "Soldier and the Lady,"   "Fond Affection," undated. (BM1) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11182

Audiotape FT-11183

Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips, undated. (BM2) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11183

Audiotape FT-11184

Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips. Talk, Buster, Carrie, Maw Maw, "Lonesome Valley," undated. (BM3) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11184

Audiotape FT-11185

Wade Gilbert. "Tom Dooly." Tom Maltba. "Bachelors Hall," undated. (BM4) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11185

Audiotape FT-11186

Wade Gilbert. "Cumberland Gap,"   "Frankie Baker,"   "Little Maggie,"   "Rocky Mountain," undated. (BM5) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11186

Audiotape FT-11187

Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson. Side 1: Old stories, religion. Side 2: Talk, undated. (BM6) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11187

Audiotape FT-11188

Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson. Last recording of Paw, 16 February 1974. (BM7) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11188

Audiotape FT-11189

Last recording of W. T. Ellison, Long Hope Mountain, Meat Camp, N.C., 23 March 1974. (BM8) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11189

Audiotape FT-11190

Nancy Jones, Laurinburg, N.C., Bobby McMillon and Karen D. Helms, Lenoir, N.C., 19 April 1975. (BM9) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11190

Audiotape FT-11191

Frenis and Mae Coffey. "Silver Tresses" (Carter Family). "You've Been a Friend to Me" (Dave Macon), undated. (BM10) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11191

Audiotape FT-11192

Jean and Lee Schilling at Fiddler's Grove, Union Grove, N.C. Various bluegrass performers and folk entertainers, 1973. (BM11) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11192

Audiotape FT-11193

Side 1: Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson, Lucy Gortney, Nathan Gortney, Stonemans, Wade Gilbert. Songs and talk. Side 2: Wade Gilbert, Clyde Wilson, Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson. Songs and talk, 1968. (BM12) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11193

Audiotape FT-11194

Sara and Maybelle Carter, Maces Spring, V.A. Also Janette, Joe, and Helen Carter, 23 August 1975. (BM13) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11194

Audiotape FT-11195

Side 1: Smily, Trip to Long Hope Mtn., W. T. Ellison, "Little Birdie." Side 2: Smiley, Isaac "Paw" Hopson, August 1968. (BM14) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11195

Audiotape FT-11196

A. P. Carter's last recording, undated. (BM15) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11196

Audiotape FT-11197

Side 1: Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips. Side 2: Lula Moss, ballads, undated. (BM 16) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11197

Audiotape FT-11198

Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips, undated. (BM17) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11198

Audiotape FT-11199

Side 1: Tape from T.V. Union Grove Fiddler's Convention, 1972(?). Side 2: Rolf Ellison, 1975-1976. Tom Maltba, 1976. (BM18) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11199

Audiotape FT-11200

Isaac "Paw" Hopson, undated. (BM19) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11200

Audiotape FT-11201

Side 1: Janette Carter, Folk Festival of the Smokies. Songs. Side 2: Janette Carter's Workshop of Sara Carter's songs, 6-9 June 1973. (BM20) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11201

Audiotape FT-11202

Side 1: Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips. "Looky Yonder," "Fair and Tender Ladies," undated. (BM21) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11202

Audiotape FT-11203

Side 1: Janette Carter, Jean and Lee Schillings. Interview at Maces, Spring, V.A. with Janette. Side 2: Smoky Mountain Festival 1973. Lee Schillings. Betty Smith. Bard Ray. Audrey Hines. Glenn Massey, Doug Brookshire, Bobby McMillon, 27 July 1973. (BM22) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11203

Audiotape FT-11204

Side 1: Carter Family. Side 2: Ralph Silver. Thomas Family, undated. (BM23) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11204

Audiotape FT-11205

Side 1: Janette Carter, Maces Spring, V.A., October 1973. "Give Me Your Love,"   "Rambling Boy,"   "One Little Word,"   "Dying Mother,"   "While the Band is Playing Dixie,"   "Dark Haired True Lover,"   "The Titanic,"   "Beyond the River,"   "Aged Mother,"   "Engine 143,"   "Carters Blues" (Bobby [McMillon]). Side 2: contents not listed. (BM24) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11205

Audiotape FT-11206

Side 1: Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips. Side 2: Carter Family. "River of Jordan,"   "Where We'll Never Grow Old,"   "The Cannonball,"   "Lay My Head Beneath the Roses,"   "When the World's on Fire,"   "I Have No One to Love Me (but the Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea),"   "Sweethearts Return,"   "East Virginia Blues,"   "The Poor Orphan Child," undated. (BM25) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11206

Audiotape FT-11207

Side 1: Smiley. Ronnie Barlow. "Gentle on My Mind,"   "I Want to Live,"   "Love is Blue," June 1968. Side 2: Lou Brookshire. Mae Phillips. (BM26) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11207

Audiotape FT-11208

Side 1: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone,"   "Rose Connolly," Louise A. Smoky Mountain Ballads (Misc.) RCA, Artus Moser. Side 2: Annie Roberts, Ronnie, Rickie, Me [Bobby McMillon], etc. at Clay Hedricks, 1 June 1968. (BM27) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11208

Audiotape FT-11209

Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson, undated. (BM28) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11209

Audiotape FT-11210

Side 1: N.C. Folklore Meeting. Nancy Jones. "Sailor and Soldier."   "Polly Sat Down." Side 2: Mae "Maw Maw" Phillips, undated. (BM29) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11210

Audiotape FT-11211

Side 1: Lou Brookshire. Ballads. "Fatal Wedding,"   "Golden Willow Tree,"   "Girl I Left Behind,"   "House Carpenter,"   "Sailor Boy,"   "Frankie Silver,"   "Oma Wise,"   "Southern Soldiers,"  "Willie Weaver," "Boston Burglar." Side 2: Lounette "Granny" and Isaac "Paw" Hopson, undated. (BM30) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11211

Audiotape FT-11212

Some Carter Family Songs by Bud Tolley, undated. (BM31) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11212

Audiotape FT-11213

A. P. Carter Memorial Festival. Carters, Me [Bobby McMillon], 31 August 1976. (BM32) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11213

Audiotape FT-11214

Bobby McMillon, Doug Brookshire, Cas Wallin, Virgie Wallin, Dellie Norton. Songs and memories, undated. (BM33) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11214

Audiotape FT-11215

Me [Bobby McMillon] (BM34) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11215

Audiotape FT-11217

Cas and Virgie Wallin, 7 July 1978. (BM35) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11217

Audiotape FT-11218

Mae Phillips, "Cody Lowe,"   "Willie of Winsbury." (BM36) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11218

Audiotape FT-11219

Rolf Ellison, Side 1: May 1978, Side 2: 1976. (BM37) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11219

Audiotape FT-11220

Sylvia Carter Edwards, Bobby McMillon, Janette Carter, Doc Addington, Carl McConnell, July 1974. (BM38) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11220

Audiotape FT-11221

Unidentified, undated. (BM39) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11221

Audiotape FT-11222

Isaac "Paw" Hopson. (BM40) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11222

Audiotape FT-11223

Side 1: Janette Carter. Side 2: Janette Carter and Bobby McMillon. (BM41) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11223

Audiotape FT-11224

Side 1: Bobby McMillon, Woodrow Goforth, February 1975. Side 2: David Hopson's Wedding. (BM42) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11224

Audiotape FT-11225

Unidentified, undated. (BM43) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11225

Audiotape FT-11226

Side 1: Mae Phillips, 1st Recordings, songs, stories. Side 2: Bobby McMillon: songs of Mae Phillips. Mae Phillips: songs, old happenings. Lower Creek, Lenoir, N.C., 6-7 March 1974. (BM44) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11226

Audiotape FT-11227

Mae Phillips, Rolf Ellison, Bobby McMillon, August 1973. (BM45) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11227

Audiotape FT-11228

Bobby McMillon (BM46) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11228

Audiotape FT-11229

Glenn Massey, "John Henry,"   "Nine Pound Hammer,"   "Take This Hammer,"   "Swannanoa Tunnel,"  "Yellow Rose of Texas,"   "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down,"   "Maple on the Hill." Recorded at my [Bobby McMillon's] house, Lower Creek, Lenoir, N.C., 27 July 1973. (BM47) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FT-11229

Audiocassette FS-2145

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 16 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2145

Audiocassette FS-2146

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 16 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2146

Audiocassette FS-2147

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 16-17 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2147

Audiocassette FS-2148

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 17 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2148

Audiocassette FS-2149

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 17-18 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2149

Audiocassette FS-2150

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 18 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2150

Audiocassette FS-2151

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 18-19 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2151

Audiocassette FS-2152

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 24 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2152

Audiocassette FS-2153

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 24 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2153

Audiocassette FS-2154

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 24-25 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2154

Audiocassette FS-2155

Bobby McMillon singing from his collected songs, 25 May 1995 (DAT) #20007, Series: "2. Documentary Recordings, 1968-1995 and undated." FS-2155

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Acetate Discs, 1947.

3 items.

Three acetate discs were given to Bobby McMillon by the widow of Sam Hartley of Caldwell County, N.C. The discs are recordings from the 50th annual shape note singing convention in Hollow Springs, N.C. This convention was held 17 August 1947 at the Hollow Springs Primitive Baptist Church where Bobby McMillon's grandfather served as an Elder. The non-denominational singing began in 1897 and continued to be held every third Sunday in August. On the recordings, an announcer gives context to the songs and singers.

Because the acetate had deteriorated considerably by the time preservation masters were made in 1999, only fair sound quality and completeness were obtained.

Audiodisc FD-606

50th annual Hollow Springs Shape Note Singing Convention, 17 August 1947, parts 1 and 2 #20007, Series: "3. Acetate Discs, 1947." FD-606

Audiodisc FD-607

50th annual Hollow Springs Shape Note Singing Convention, 17 August 1947, parts 3 and 4 #20007, Series: "3. Acetate Discs, 1947." FD-607

Audiodisc FD-608

50th annual Hollow Springs Shape Note Singing Convention, 17 August 1947, parts 5 and 6 #20007, Series: "3. Acetate Discs, 1947." FD-608

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Song Folio.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Elizabeth Matson, June 2003.

Encoded by: Elizabeth Matson, July 2003.

Finding aid updated by Alison Waldenberg, August 2006.

Back to Top