Our Appalachian Books

The Wolfpen Poems

James Still

Wolfpen Poems book cover

James Dickey, in a Los Angeles Times review, said, ” The Wolfpen Poems seem to establish Still as the truest and most remarkable poet that the mountain culture has produced. The poems are quiet, imaginative and sincere, and the poet’s terrible grief over the loss of a way of life registers with double effect because of the modesty of statement.”

$8.00 tax included

Seeking A People Partnership

Perley Ayer

People Partnership book cover

Eleven speeches by the late Executive Director of the Council of the Southern Mountains, who believed “every person – man, woman and child – should have the opportunity to be better than he or she is. ” Perley Ayer was one of the best of the “outsiders” who came to the Southern Mountains in the first half of this century to invest their lives in the fortunes of Appalachian people. First in North Carolina, then Tennessee, and finally at Berea College, he was an excellent teacher. Not content just to teach, he could preach, write, and make marvelous speeches. In 1951, he was asked to take over the moribund Council of the Southern Mountains. With characteristic imagination and vigor, he resurrected it, built an impressive membership, prepared it for foundation-supported projects and then the government’s War on Poverty of the mid-sixties.

$2.00 tax included

Faith and Meaning In The Southern Uplands

Loyal Jones

Faith and Meaning book cover

In Faith and Meaning in the Southern Uplands, one of the Appalachian region’s most eloquent spokesmen reveals a people devoted to and thoughtful about their religion, and profoundly influenced by it. Loyal Jones’s three decades of conversations and interviews, supplemented by documents such as sermons, testimonies, and articles of faith, articulate Southern Upland views on basic issues of the human condition–faith, God, the world, the Word, and the devil–as well as on community issues such as racial integration and women in the church. In their own voices these people describe their beliefs, their churches, and their lives, exposing a deep conviction tempered with humanity and humor.

$15.00 tax included

Coon Creek Girl

Lily May Ledford

The story of one of country music radio’s earliest and most important women singing groups, The Coon Creek Girls, told by Lily May herself. From Eastern Kentucky, they first broadcast on Chicago’s WLS National Barn Dance in the early 1930’s, and later went back to Kentucky where they became a fixture on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance Program directed by John Lair. In 1939, they performed at the White House for President Roosevelt and the visiting King and Queen of England. 1991 reprint of the original 1980 edition, with a new introduction by Loyal Jones.

$3.00 tax included

Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers

Betty N. Smith

A Singer Among Singers book cover

Jane Hicks Gentry lived her entire life in the remote, mountainous northwest corner of North Carolina and was descended from old Appalachian families in which singing and storytelling were part of everyday life. Gentry took this tradition to heart, and her legacy includes ballads, songs, stories, and riddles. Smith provides a full biography of this vibrant woman and the tradition into which she was born, presenting seventy of Gentry’s songs and fifteen of the “Jack” tales she learned from her grandfather.

$25.00 tax included

The Holy Season: Walking in the Wild

Albert Stewart

The Holy Season book cover

Stewart, a native of Knott County, Kentucky, is a teacher, editor, poet and artist. He founded the regional magazine, Appalachian Heritage, and writers’ workshops at Morehead State University and the Hindman Settlement School. The Holy Season is a handsome volume, with 8 color plates of the author’s artwork which complement the theme of his poetry. Kevin Nance, in the Lexington Herald-Leader, had this to say about Stewart and his poetry: “The older he gets, the more everything seems to come together in a wholeness of creation. He talks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, navigating an ocean of time, the sea of life. Now, nearing the end of his own voyage, he has a message ‘too marvelous to keep’:

Who should I tell
Who should I show?
It could be you.
Like the Mariner, I am looking
For the one to whom it must be told.

$15.00 tax included

Southern Mountain Speech

Cratis D. Williams

Southern Mountain Speech book cover

This book is a collection of articles on Appalachian speech from Mountain Life & Work, the North Carolina Historical Review, and elsewhere. The book was compiled and edited by Jim W. Miller and Loyal Jones, and includes an introduction by Professor Miller and a 62-page glossary of mountain words and phrases gleaned from Williams’ work, from other writers and practitioners of mountain speech, and from the editors’ retentive memories. The book also includes a bibliography and several photos of Williams.

$10.00 tax included

Coal: A Poetry Anthology

Chris Green, editor

An anthology of poetry on the subject of coal in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky–coal miners, their families, their communities, their environment, their governance.

This is My Heart for You

Silas House

A complex portrayal of Appalachia during a time of change. The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, along with the Berea College Theater Program and NEH Chair Silas House, announce availability of the book version of House’s play, This Is My Heart for You. Purchase a limited, first edition copy while supplies last. Written by Silas House with an afterword by Adanma Barton, this new play is available for purchase only through Kudzu Productions or in the LJAC Gallery. All proceeds benefit the Courage Award fund at Berea College.

$10 tax included

English-Scottish Ballads: From the Hills of Kentucky

 Elizabeth DiSavino

The ballads of Katherine Jackson French (“English-Scottish Ballads from the Hills of Kentucky”) in a commemorative printed edition, published by the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center in honor of our 110-year old promise to Dr. French.

$20 tax included

Our Appalachian Recordings

CDs Available for Purchase

Home Recordings 1941-1942, Volume I

John Morgan Salyer

John M. Salyer, born in 1882 in Magoffin County, Kentucky, was no ordinary fiddler; he was master of an older eastern Kentucky style that is only barely discernible in the playing of fiddlers today. In 1941-42, his sons Grover and Glen Salyer used a home disc cutting machine to record some of their father’s old-time fiddle and banjo tunes. Many of these tunes have not been documented elsewhere.

After five years of production work, the Appalachian Center is proud to make John Salyer’s music available to a wider audience. The old home recordings are rough by today’s standards, but technical difficulties retreat before the power and beauty of this music. Volume I includes thirty fiddle tunes, many in cross-tunings and some with banjo, mandolin, and guitar accompaniment, including:

  • “Jenny Get Around”
  • “Indian Ate the Woodchuck”
  • “Big Eared Mule”
  • “Jack Wilson”
  • “Lonesome John”
  • “Flanders’ Dream”

With extensive liner notes from Bruce Greene.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. Additional generous support from Shanachie Records Corporation, Mrs. Gertrude Allinger, and the Kentucky Folklife Program.

($15.00 plus $2.00 shipping each volume)

Appalachian Tapestry

Billy Edd Wheeler

Millions of people all over the world know the songs, “Jackson,” “The Rev. Mr. Black,” “The Coming of the Roads,” “Coal Tattoo,” and “Coward of the County,” the last of which was made into a movie. But not nearly as many people know the name Billy Edd Wheeler, despite the fact that he wrote all of those songs and hundreds more, recorded by approximately one hundred singers around the world, including Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Judy Collins, Ritchie Havens, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty.
Originally appearing as a special companion to the Winter 2008 issue of Appalachian Heritage magazine, wherein Billy Edd Wheeler was the featured author and artist, this collection contains twenty of his most well-known songs, produced and performed by Billy Edd Wheeler himself.

Track List

  • She Saw an Angel / Vocal by Kathy Mattea
  • Coal Tattoo
  • Red Winged Black Bird / Vocal by Annie Lalley
  • The Hole in Uncle Vincent’s Wooden Leg
  • The Rev. Mr. Black
  • The Waltz of Miss Sarah Green
  • Duel Under the Snow
  • The Coming of the Roads
  • Coward of the County
  • High Flyin’ Bird
  • Christmas in the Country
  • Lulu Belle / Vocal by Dana McVicker
  • Mama’s Going Down in the Mine
  • Jack & the Doctor’s Daughter
  • Love
  • The Long Arm of the Law
  • Jackson
  • Winter Sky
  • The Coon Hunters
  • I Am the Cumberland Gap
    From Billy Edd’s folk opera, A Song of the Cumberland Gap, sung by members of the cast

“I was born in Appalachia, but never knew exactly where it was. My buddy Paul Morton said it was what we had to get out of to find America, like America was a foreign country or something. ‘But,’ he said, ‘it’s a long way from here to the rest of the USA.’ Well, I did get out of it for awhile, but it never got out of me. It’s in all the fruits of my creative labors, and with this CD I am proud to share some of it with you. I hope you enjoy it.” — Billy Edd Wheeler

($15.00 plus $2.00 shipping)

A few of our older items are still only available as cassette tapes, but they are classics!

Audiotapes Available for Purchase


Roger Wilford Cooper

Roger Wilford Cooper is a “younger generation” fiddler from Garrison, Kentucky (Lewis County). There were musicians on both sides of the family, and Roger grew up surrounded by aunts and uncles who played and sang old-time music. Roger can recall around thirty fiddlers living within the county and there were many more in the surrounding counties. But his main influences were Joe Stamper, Bob Prater, and Buddy Thomas, a noted fiddler in the northeast Kentucky style. In recent years, Roger has performed as part of the Kentucky Folk Music Tours sponsored by the Kentucky Folklife Program, and he has been recognized as a master folk artist through the Kentucky Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. Includes Old Bell Cow, Pumpkin Vine, Greek Melody, Headwaters of Tygart, Feed My Horse Corn and Hay, Soapsuds Over the Fence, Old Blackberry Blossom, Portsmouth Airs, Snakewinder, Short’s Addition, Salt Lick, Flannery’s Dream, General Lee, Brickyard Joe, and Dance All Night. Research and liner notes by John Harrod.


Puncheon Camps

Clyde Davenport

Clyde Davenport, from Wayne County, Kentucky, is one of America’s finest old-time fiddlers and banjo players. He won a prestigious National Heritage Award in 1992 from the National Endowment for the Arts for his musicianship and contribution to the preservation of traditional arts in America. This cassette (recorded in 1990 by Jeff Todd Titon) features 29 tunes including: Jenny in the Cotton Patch, Sugar in My Coffee, Blackfoot, Puncheon Camps, Ladies in the Ballroom, Old Cow Died in the Forks of the Branch, Johnny Come Along, Iowa Center, Cornstalk Fiddle and Shoestring Bow, and Smokey Hornpipe. Notes on 5-panel insert by Jeff Todd Titon. Clyde performed at the Celebration of Traditional Music with W. L. Gregory in 1975 and with folklorist, Bob Fulcher, in 1984 and 1987.


Rocky Island

Reverend Philip Kazee

Kazee descends from musical people on the Mash Fork in Magoffin County, Kentucky. His father, the Reverend Buell Kazee, was a noted recording artist in the 1920’s. Philip Kazee is a Southern Baptist minister and is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Oneida, Tennessee. He mostly keeps his folk music separate from his church music, but he has performed at many functions and festivals. His interest in traditional music has grown in recent years. He mainly plays and sings the music performed by his father, a rich and varied legacy. Includes Darling Cory, Blackjack Davy, Rock Little Julie, Blind Man’s Lament, The Moonshiner, Look Up and Down That Lonesome Road, Rocky Island, The Roving Cowboy, The Butcher Boy, Gambler’s Blues, Wild Bill Jones, The Orphan Girl, Little Bessie, and Barbara Allen. Research and liner notes by Loyal Jones.


Blackjack Grove

Walter McNew

Walter McNew is a fiddler from Rockcastle County, Kentucky. As a boy, he listened to his father, a telegraph operator for the L&N Railroad, play late into the night at the train depot. His music idol, however, was Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts from Madison County. As a young man, Walter won a fiddle contest in Louisville but passed up a chance to enter show business on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, preferring to lead a quiet life at home. Walter’s music reflects a mixture of styles but stands apart from “modern” or “contest” fiddling commonly heard today. Some rare tunes like Blackjack Grove and Pinetop are included, and Doc Roberts’ fans will be amazed to hear Walter’s rendition of pieces like All I’ve Got’s Done Gone and Brickyard Joe. Also included: Cluck Old Hen, The Cat Came Back, Rickett’s Hornpipe, Waynesburg, Billy in the Lowground, The Lost Girl, Hawk Caught a Chicken, Martha Campbell, Callahan, Dreamy Georgiana Moon, Goodnight Waltz, Mamie Potts’ Schottische, and ten other great fiddle solos. Field recordings and liner notes by Stephen Green.


Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole

Leonard Roberts

As a storyteller, Leonard Roberts was always a delight. In his lectures he often dropped into a narrative style, with storyteller’s inflections, but underneath was a thorough knowledge of literature, folklore and culture. He taught and headed English departments at several Appalachian colleges. Although he had grown up in Floyd County, Kentucky, in the midst of ballad and folktale traditions, it was not until he began teaching and collecting at Berea that he discovered the richness of Appalachian tradition and its aesthetic and social value in a new age. His students and their families became his teachers, and they led him to a rich vein of traditional lore. Although he was known mostly for his published collections of folktales, songs and riddles, he was also a consummate storyteller with a wonderful repertoire of material. These recordings were made in classes at Berea College when Dr. Roberts was a guest lecturer-storyteller. Includes Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole, The Irishman and the Pumpkin, Pat and Mike and the Snake, Jack Outwits the Giants, Daniel Boone’s Hunting Trip, Jack and the Bullstrap, and also riddles and comments. Research and liner notes by Loyal Jones.


Home Recordings 1941-1942, Volume I

John Morgan Salyer

John M. Salyer, born in 1882 in Magoffin County, Kentucky, was no ordinary fiddler; he was master of an older eastern Kentucky style that is only barely discernible in the playing of fiddlers today. In 1941-42, his sons Grover and Glen Salyer used a home disc cutting machine to record some of their father’s old-time fiddle and banjo tunes. Many of these tunes have not been documented elsewhere. After five years of production work, the Appalachian Center is proud to make John Salyer’s music available to a wider audience. The old home recordings are rough by today’s standards, but technical difficulties retreat before the power and beauty of this music. Includes Last of Harris, Jenny Get Around, Vance No More, Indian Ate the Woodchuck, Lost Boy, Gilda Roy, William Riley, Bill Brown, Featherbed, Duck River, Flander’s Dream, Polly Grand, Sallie Cooper, Little Bobby, Speed the Plow, Jeff Sturgeon, Rose of the Mountain, and thirteen other tunes. Research and liner notes by Bruce Greene.


How To Order

We still only make sales old-style: in person or by mail. To order any of our books or recordings please stop by our Center in Berea, Kentucky, or mail orders to:

The Appalachian Center Berea College CPO 2166 Berea, KY 40404

Please add postage/handling of $2.00 for first item, $0.50 each additional item. At this time, we are unable to accept credit card orders. Please make checks payable to “Berea College”.

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Appalachian Review strives to be a literary sanctuary for the finest contemporary regional writing and visual art that we can find.

All back issues of Appalachian Reivew are also available for purchase. Contact: or 859-985-3699.