Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Appalachian Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Ronald R. Roach

Committee Members

Lee B. Bidgood, Nathaniel J. Olson


This thesis examines the history of the Folk Festival of the Smokies, which sought to preserve old-time music as an expression of southern Appalachian regional culture. The study uses qualitative methods, including personal interviews with one of the founders and significant festival participants, supplemented with archival and historical research into photographs, festival performances and literature regarding the festival. Since the festival operated for thirty-three years as a small festival in a relatively isolated location in eastern Tennessee, this case study serves as an example of the role of festivals in intangible cultural heritage preservation in relatively rural settings. The legacy of the festival is examined, along with its impact on succeeding festivals. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the role and future of music festivals in the old-time music community.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.