2007 Project: Morgantown Music

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By: Sam McCreery

In the Fall of 2006, I moved to Morgantown, West Virginia to attend West Virginia University. Having grown up in a small town in Ohio, Morgantown was a big place and I was excited to meet many new people. At the time I was an English major and had signed up to take a class entitled American Culture and Folklore. I was looking forward to taking this class because I had always enjoyed ‘old time’ things and I thought that this class would be a great way to learn more about the things I was interested in.

After reading the syllabus on the first day, I saw that a rather large project was going to be worth 40% of our grade. We didn’t discuss the project in detail until a few weeks later. The assignment was to collect the folklore of a specific group of people, preferably your family. Music being one of my passions, I asked the professor if I could collect the folklore surrounding the great music scene in Morgantown. She agreed and after much discussion, I embarked on a very enlightening journey. I interviewed people, attended shows, listened to countless hours of folk music, took hundreds of pictures, and searched through old books to find old lyrics. The result of this work is a binder about 70 pages thick, filled with lyrics, information about the process of collecting folklore, pages of interviews, pictures, and the love and dedication of countless people who live and breath music.

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