Stories of Mountain Folk


In 2008, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, a western North Carolina not-for-profit organization, began recording “Stories of Mountain Folk,” a radio program that aired weekly on local radio station WRGC. When WRGC closed in 2011, the organization teamed up with Hunter Library to preserve the recorded material.  The "Stories of Mountain Folk" collection was Hunter Library's first all-sound oral history collection.  Over 200 half-hour and hour-long recordings capture “local memory” detailing traditions, events, and the life stories of mountain people.  A wide range of interviewees include down-home gardeners, herbalists, and farmers, as well as musicians, artists, local writers, and more.

The Stories of Mountain Folk programs would not have been possible without the hard work of a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers. Producer/editor Neal Hearn, a professional radio personality, worked with the Amy Ammons Garza and Doreyl Ammons Cain to produce each program, keeping to the time restraints of a radio program format. Along with the core team, the project benefited from the volunteer efforts of all interviewers, including the Ammons sisters, Judy Rhodes, Robert Jumper, and Victoria A. Casey McDonald, along with students from Western Carolina University and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia board members, Nicole Jarosinski, Krista Robb, and Sean Botzenhart. Catch the Spirit of Appalachian continues to work with Hunter Library to archive its radio programs on a weekly basis.