This watershed release represents the life's work of William Ferris, an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher with an unwavering commitment to establish and to expand the study of the American South. William Ferris was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1942. Growing up on a working farm, Ferris began at a young age documenting the artwork, music, and lives of the people on the farm and in his local community. The archive of recordings that he created and the documentary films that he had a hand in producing have served as powerful tools in institutions of higher learning for decades. Dust-to-Digital present these films and recordings. The label's hope is that the enjoyment and educational value that has been received by Ferris's students over the years will be transmitted to listeners around the world and further the understanding of Southern culture. Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris includes: a 120-page hardcover book in full color edited by William Ferris Writings by Scott Barretta, David Evans, and Tom Rankin; three CDs -- two of the CDs feature blues and gospel recordings (1966-1978), and the final CD features interviews and storytelling (1968-1994); and one DVD featuring documentary films (1972-1980). Transcriptions and annotations are provided for each track. Comes in a cigar box.
In addition to being a groundbreaking documentarian of the American South, William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris co-edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989) and is the author of multiple books. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine named him among the top ten professors in the United States.
The recordings feature James "Son Ford" Thomas, Lovey Williams, Wallace "Pine-Top" Johnson, Maudie Shirley, and Jasper Love, Scott Dunbar, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Louis Dotson, Sonny Boy Watson, Sam Myers, Tom Dumas, Unidentified Musician with Mississippi Fred McDowell, Walter Lee Hood, Wash Heron and "Big" Jack Johnson, James Hughes, Leland Musician, Inmates at Parchman Farm, George Lee "Sun Bud" Spears, James "Son Ford" Thomas with Sonny Boy Watson, Mary and Amanda Gordon, The Southland Hummingbirds, Lovey Williams, Reverend Smith and Family, Liddle Hines, Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Church of God in Christ, Fannie Bell Chapman, Mary Alice and Alan Mcgowan, Reverend Ott and Family, Rose Hill Church, Lovey Williams and Family, Fannie Bell Chapman and Family, Reverend Isaac Thomas and Rose Hill Church, Barry Hannah, Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Ray Lum, Bobby Rush, Joe "Skeet" Skillet, Joe Cooper, Shelby "Poppa Jazz" Brown, B.B. King, Allen Ginsberg, James "Son Ford" Thomas, and Bill Ferris, Robert Penn Warren, Pecolia Warner, Victor Bobb, and Pete Seeger.