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The Collected Writings of Joe Wilson

The Collected Writings of Joe Wilson

Fred Bartenstein has collected some of Joe Wilson’s writings in two new volumes, available this month from The University of Tennessee Press. The two books are:

Roots Music In America:
Collected Writings of Joe Wilson

Lucky Joe’s Namesake:
The Extraordinary Life and Observations of Joe Wilson

Edited by Fred Bartenstein
Charles K. Wolfe Music Series
Ted Olson, Series Editor

Joe Wilson (1938–2015) was the long-time executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. He wrote extensively on old-time, bluegrass, and country music, as well as other forms of vernacular music and mountain folklore, for most of his professional life.

Roots Music in America collects Wilson’s various writings on these subjects. Including a foreword by Ted Olson, this book will make Wilson’s entertaining essays and observations available to a wider readership.

Lucky Joe’s Namesake collects Wilson’s autobiographical writings, beginning with an 1893 New York Times article on Joe Wilson’s great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran and notorious horse thief. Wilson’s writings take the reader from Joe’s growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to his move to Nashville and the burgeoning country music scene, to Birmingham and New York, finding his calling with the NCTA from 1976 to 2004, and finally to the founding of The Crooked Road and Blue Ridge Music Center following his retirement. Along the way, Wilson discusses music, the mountains, civil rights, folklife and folklore, and his extraordinary career.

Available March 2017

Read more here for more information on Roots Music in America.

Read more here for more information on Lucky Joe’s Namesake.


A Tribute to Joe Wilson: Reading & Concert
Thursday, March 23, 7:00 PM—C’ville Coffee