Time Line



Bascom Lunsford composed Mountain Dew, released by Brunswick in 1928 and performed by Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, Grandpa Jones and Roy Acuff.


Lunsford, with the help of Dr. Frank C. Brown of Duke University make the first recordings of Lunsford's collection on wax cylinder recordings.


Lunsford collaborates with newly formed NC Folklore Society to preserve his ongoing collection.  Dr. Robert Winslow Gordon and Lunsford collaborate on archiving the ongoing collection.  Lunsford introduces Jimmy Rodgers to Ralph Peer of Victor Records.


Lunsford was asked to introduce a group of musicians and dancers from various Appalachian communities at Asheville's Rhododendron Festival.  The event was called The Mountain Folk Song and Dance Festival. The popularity of the performances convinced Lunsford to continue this presentation yearly. He would later rename the event the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival.


Referring to the Festival, the June 7th edition of the Asheville Citizen, reported that it "...should be a permanent thing, something that might be continued from year to year as a festival of western North Carolina - on the order of the greatest festivals of other nations which have been handed down from generation to generation."


30 and 1 folk Songs for the Southern Mountains is published.  It was collaborated with composer/conductor Lamar Stringfield on a ballad and folk song collection.


The first year the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival is held under this name and as an individual event.


While serving as reading clerk at the House of Representatives in Raleigh from 1931-34, Lunsford and the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival won the advocacy of Democratic Floor Leader Sam J. Ervin of Morganton. Ervin helped by lending more credibility to Lunsford's work as well as the Festival.


Sara Gertude Knot attended the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival and was so impressed that she asked Lunsford to assist her in founding the National Folk Festival in St. Louis in 1935.  Her experience at the Festival in Asheville gave her an awareness of the value of  traditional American culture.


Dr. George W. Hibbit of Columbia University invited Lunsford to record the mountain folk songs collected over the years.  A collection of 315 items (7 volumes) was produced by memory alone and is now in the Smithsonian archives.


Lunsford and Mountain Dance and Folk Festival performers entertained the visiting King and Queen of England at the White House by request of President Roosevelt and Eleanor.


The Mountain Dance & Folk Festival prompted other serious towns and cities to see the value of preserving truly American traditions.  John Lair of Renfro Valley, KY collaborated with Lunsford to establish Renfro Valley Barn Dance.


With Lunsford Mountain Dance and Folk Festival as a model, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, NC collaborated with Lunsford to establish the Carolina Folk Festival in Chapel Hill, and the NC State Fair Folk Festival in Raleigh.


National Educational Television produced a one-hour documentary, Ballad of a Mountain Man. It traced Lunsford through the back roads of his home, Madison County, to the homes of several of the performers he often invited to his festival.


Shindig on the Green is born as a progeny of the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival.  Each Saturday night at 7 PM from July 4th weekend through Labor Day weekend, performers of all ages and abilities gather on the lawn of the City/County Plaza in downtown Asheville, NC to play for the enjoyment of it.  A stage showcases as many of the performers as possible until 10 PM.  The event is free with plenty of lawn space and entertainment.


 North Carolina Public Television documentary, From Our House to the White House (1/2 hour) showcases several elements of traditional dance and music along with historic highlights of the Festival.


A North Carolina Public Television documentary, This Time Each Year  highlights a biography of Lunsford as taken from perspectives of those who knew Lunsford and the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival.


 The Southeast Tourism Society listed the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival as one of the top 20 Events from 1986 through 1991.


North Carolina Public Television documentary, Mountain Dance & Folk Festival is released and is a recipient of a television production award.  It was aired nationally in 1990 with each airing of the documentary receiving top Neilson ratings for each 1/2 hour of broadcast.


Mountain Dance & Folk Festival and Shindig on the Green received top billing in the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events.


Mountain Dance & Folk Festival was recognized by the Governor's Year of the Mountains promotional program as one of NC's premium events of prestige and authenticity.