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Byard Ray Folk Festival Association Records, 1978-1988

These are the records of the Byard Ray Folk Festival Association.



Southern Appalachian Archives, Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, Mars Hill University


Byard Ray Folk Festival Association Records, 1978-1988


Byard Ray Folk Festival Association




Material in English


About 2,500 items


These materials are located in the Southern Appalachian Archives in Renfro Library, Mars Hill University.


The Byard Ray Folk Festival Association was established by Betty Sue Johnson, who produced the festival for ten of its eleven years. Johnson, raised near Asheville, N.C., founded and produced the first Byard Ray Folk Festival in 1977 as a way to preserve the older musical styles that had been passed from one generation to the next since the 1800s in the North Carolina mountains and to promote Byard Ray, a fiddle player from the Laurel section of Madison County, N.C. Johnson was a nurse practitioner, educator, and administrator at Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for twenty-five years. Her professional accomplishments include the establishment of three rural health programs. The collection consists of correspondence; financial, grant, and legal records; festival planning documents; program and performer information; publicity materials; and photographs. The records document the annual production of the Byard Ray Folk Festival between 1977 and 1987 by Betty Sue Johnson and her efforts to make the festival financially self-sufficient.