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the conjunction of 'routes' and 'roots' as cultural metaphors


Remember State Standards are dead

American Culture and our Music Makers

The folk travel and bring their music with them. Folkmusic is culture. It contains the stories, and memories of the the people. Culture owns their identity expressed through their music.

  1. First Nation Tribal Music 1890-1933 HISTORIC TIME LINE
    1890 -- Jesse Walter Fewkes records the Passamaquoddy Indians off the coast of Maine. This is the first field use of the newly-invented recording machine.
  2. Ojibwe Scrolls Come Full Circle
    The letter -- a report from a historical society that had sought interpretation from Ojibwe medicine men -- said the scrolls depicted ceremonial songs "concerning the most fundamental laws and needs of the [Ojibwe] people."
  3. Roots of Shanty Songs
  4. Origins of Nursery Rhymes and Play Party Stories
    Children's oral history - playground rhymes found in newspapers from the 1800's.
  5. Playground Game Songs Tell the Old Timey Stories of Life Today
    Children's oral history - collect examples of playground rhymes found in our culture today.
    Willie Ruff, an Afro-American professor of music at Yale, was adamant - he had traced the to Scotland.
  7. Roots of Sacred Harp Shape Note Singing Story
    Hymnody, Psalmody, Gospel
  8. American Folk Music Roots
    ListenDr. Alan Jabbour Appalachian Fiddle Workshop explains where US folk music comes from.
    ListenAlan Jabbour (Fiddle) speaking about the history of "Daddy Rock the Babies to Sleep" mentions that it started out as an Irish lament.
    Song and Story find more Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia.
  9. The 1940's scholarship of Peter Tamony described by labor leader and folklorist Archie Green as "the keeper of the lore of the Irish clans of San Francisco."
  10. My penchant for using folk songs as teaching tools finally paid off for my students in June 1993, when an essay on the New York State United States History and Government Regents exam asked eleventh grade students to identify themes and analyze the messages in segments taken from a group of folk songs. Of the eight songs, we had actually read and sang seven during the school year. Most of the students taking the test at our high school were puzzled by the question, but my students were quietly humming and singing as they wrote their essays.
  11. Etymology of Rock and Roll Folklorists notably Archie Green, author of Only a Miner, which was published by University of Illinois Press in 1972 have argued that rock 'n' roll goes back to the rhythmic exchanges between the hammer man and
  12. In 1965, the Journal of American Folklore published "Hillbilly Music: Source & Symbol," by librarian and folklorist Archie Green. Part 3 Riley Puckett and Gid Tanner March 7-8, In 1924 Puckett sang and also yodeled "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep," introducing a technique that was destined to longevity in country music.

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Hillbilly Music, Moonshine and Johnny Appleseed

History of the word Hillbilly [2]
Origins of Hillbilly Music Story

"What brought this figure to the surface of print and speech from Georgia to the Ozarks at the turn of the century? We do not know; nor do we have any acceptable etymology for the word. One possible clue on origin might be found in a pair of Scottish colloquialisms, hill-folk and billie. The former was deprecatory, for it designated a refractory Presbyterian - a Cameronian - a rebel against Charles II. Scots hill-folk and hill-men in 1693 were noted for zeal, devotion, and prudence in seeking isolation away from their rejected monarch's rule. Billie was used in Scots dialect as early as 1505 as a synonym for fellow, companion, comrade, or mate. The words hill and billie might well have been combined in the Highlands before the first austere Cameronian took refuge in the piney uplands of the New World. Historical speculation aside, we know the word in print only from 1900 and only as an Americanism."

Listen Hear the actual original Hillbilly music and Early Country Singers recorded in 1920's a narrarated story. More about Crocked Road
The Fries wayside audio.

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First Family of Country Music the Carter Family - Wildwood Flower

Carter Family - Wildwood Flower

American Whiskey Trail

Also learn about Johnny Appleseed
Origins of Hillbilly Music Story
Roots of Moonshine

Whiskey Rebellion - Amber Waves of Grain.

Whiskey Rebellion 1790's all about the Amber Waves of Grain. The Whiskey Rebellion was a popular uprising that had its beginnings in 1791 and culminated in an insurrection in 1794 in the locality of Washington, Pennsylvania, in the Monongahela Valley.

Apple Brandy, White Lightenin' AppleJack
The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey.
Roots of
Hillbilly Music

The Scots - Irish brought the fight

Whiskey Rebellion
The Scots/Irish background of many of the settler's may have led to their apparent lack of respect for authority.
Western Pennsylvania had a history of wanting to be separate. As early as 1775 the Transylvanians petitioned the Continental Congress to be recognized as the fourteenth colony. In 1776 the people in the region claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia, announced that they were the new state of Westsylvania. Learn about the Paxton Boys
Whiskey (Bourbon whiskey) is an American native spirit, with a history steeped in the cultures of the earliest settlers. This unique American product was involved in the history of the first use of armed force by the new post-Revolution United States of America.
Although whiskey was produced throughout the colonies (George Washington was among the noted whiskey producers of the time), the Scotch-Irish settlers of western Pennsylvania are where bourbon roots began, and where rebellion to the United States first was occurred.
Indians led by the British raided the Pennsylvania areas west of the mountains. The United States sent two major military expeditions against the eastern Indians. The first, in 1790, was led by General Josiah Harmer and the second, in 1791, was led by General Arthur St. Clair. Both expeditions were defeated by the Indians! It wasn't until 1794 that General Anthony Wayne defeated the British at Fallen Timbers and the British actually withdrew from the region, giving up on any hope of claim to the areas west of the mountains. To pay for the military activity against the Indians and British in the western counties, the federal government decided to put an additional tariff on the sale of whiskey at the source.
The settlers of Western Pennsylvania refused to pay, and broke out in armed rebellion in Pennsylvania. At some times, the rebellion had a force of seven thousand armed militia troops. To restore order to the ensuing "Whiskey Rebellion", Washington sent the Continental Army. The 13,000 federal troops sent to the western Pennsylvania area was the first test of the power of the new government.
Although the army was successful in temporarily ending the rebellion the political problem remained. To avoid further troubles with the tough and stubborn Scotch-Irish settlers, and break up their center of resistance to taxation, Washington made a settlement with them, giving incentives for those who would move to western Virginia.
Although it was Washington who first offered incentives, it was the then Governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, who was offering offered pioneers sixty acres of land in Kentucky (at that time a western part of Virginia). To gain the land all the settler had to do was build a permanent structure and raise "native corn". No family could eat sixty acres worth of corn a year and it was too perishable and bulky to transport for sale. The Scotch-Irish in Pennsylvania knew well how to make whiskey, and they used the rye of Pennsylvania to make the beverage. By switching the base of the beverage to corn, the problem of getting rid of a bulky grain that was too expensive to ship evaporated.
This corn based whiskey, which was a clear distillate, would become "bourbon" only after two coincidentally related events happened. The French had assisted in the War of Independence against the British. In acknowledgment of this, French names were subsequently used for new settlements or counties. In 1780, in the Western part of Virginia, the then huge county of Kentucky, was subdivided, in 1780 and again in 1786. One of these subdivisions was named Bourbon County, after the French Royal House.
Being on the Ohio River, the town of Marysville, Bourbon County, Kentucky, became a primary shipping port. Bourbon County thus became associated with the shipping of Whiskey. The name of the spirit became synonymous because of this location and the enterprise of the Reverend Elijah Craig from Bourbon County. He used old barrels to transport his whiskey to market in New Orleans. To get rid of the residue of previous contents of the old barrels, he charred the barrels before filling them. As his clear corn based whiskey made the long trip to market, it "mellowed" and took on a light caramel color from the charred oak. Being from Bourbon County Rev. Craig started calling his mellowed whiskey "Bourbon". His whiskey became sought after more than the "white lightening" of the other producers. Soon all whiskey producers were claiming they also had "Bourbon", and any corn whiskey, that had aged some in charred barrels, shipped from Bourbon County was called Bourbon.

Many of the crackers were Scots-Irish Protestants who had left Ireland in the 18th century. Although more than a small percentage were Irish Catholics, as well, who ultimately lost their Catholicism in the pre-Revolutionary period when Catholic Churches were illegal in the American colonies as well as England and the colony of Ireland. "There will be Scots who are uncomfortable with the relationship and the involvement in the slave trade. But the Scots are like anyone, and there were many who were abolitionists and who set up schools for black children after emancipation."

Why Does the Cowboy Sing - Starts off with Ramblin Jack Elliott 58 minutes
The cowboy's job has always been dangerous, lonely, dusty, gory and low-paying. So why do cowboys make music, and why do they need to tell their story? Why the Cowboy Sings is a journey across the open West to explore this unique genre of folk art. Archie Green Helped to collect the information The Moonshiner Drinking song by Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makum The Dubliners


It was started by Irish Society of United Irishmen who resisted the excise tax on liquor and distilled drinks. This tax had been proposed by United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Washington.

Background Whiskey Rebellion Story
"Run Johnny Run" Pennsylvania songwriter Jimmy Driftwood wrote this 1950s rocker about the stubborn Scotch-Irish whiskey-producing farmers of western Pennsylvania aka Westsylvania who refused to pay a whiskey tax levied by President George Washington. The predominance of the federal government was enforced for the first time when Washington sent 15,000 troops to quell the rebellion.
"Copper Kettle" is another 1950s song about the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s. The rebels fled south and became the ancestors of moonshine.
"The Whiskey Insurrection, or Rebellion, is probably the most under-studied event in American history. Although some very good books have been written on the subject, it remains an enigma in the minds of most Americans. High School students, if they study it at all, are usually told that the rebellion was started by ignorant farmers to protest a federal excise tax on their Whiskey, and there is a great amount of truth in it. But like the "Civil War" some 70 years later, the excise tax was but one of several inflammatory causes of the rebellion. Other factors were the new government's seeming inability to deal with raiding Indians, navigation rights on the Spanish controlled Ohio river, and the desire of some western Pennsylvanians to create a new State - or Republic - called Westsylvania. And while George Washington concentrated his tax enforcement efforts in western Pennsylvania, the protest encompassed a much larger territory, extending as far South as Georgia, and west into Kentucky."[1] The Allegheny Mountains are primarily in Pennsylvania. aka: Pennsylappalachiavania [Humor]

  • Woodville Plantation, the John and Presley Neville House (Bridgeville, PA) A National Historic Landmark, the Woodville Plantation was deemed "a temple of hospitality" -- the home of a general, a former commandant of Fort Pitt, a man of wealth and education. As collector of the new and hated federal excise tax on whiskey, John Neville was a major target in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.
  • West Overton Museum (Scottdale, PA)
    West Overton is the only pre-Civil War village still intact today in Pennsylvania. It was named to the National Register of Historic Districts in 1985 as an outstanding example of a 19th century rural industrial village complete with farm, two floors of the Overholt Mill/Distillery, industrial tools, Blacksmith Shop, a wash house and a smokehouse.
  • The Oliver Miller Homestead (Allegheny Countys South Park, PA)
    Oliver Miller Homestead is a pioneer landmark and Whiskey Rebellion Site in Allegheny Countys South Park Pennsylvania. This old stone farmhouse nestled among the trees, is a sturdy remnant of frontier days.

The suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion encouraged small whiskey producers to relocate to Kentucky and Tennessee, which remained outside the sphere of Federal control for many more years. In these frontier areas, they also found good corn-growing country as well as limestone-filtered water and therefore began making whiskey from corn.
Aug. 9 Gazette of the United States and Daily Evening Advertiser ("G. Washington" handwritten at the top) Proclamation from George Washington that “whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed… it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia of such state to suppress such combinations and to cause the law to be duly executed.”
Oct. 29 Gazette of the United States & Daily Evening Advertiser (Philadelphia) Letter from President Washington ordering Commander Henry Lee to Western Pennsylvania to put down Whiskey Rebellion

Irish American Stephen Foster - America's Troubadour
The family belonged to the pioneer aristocracy of Pittsburgh. The father, William Barcly, had come there in I796, when the future city was little more than a settlement. Born September 7, I779, in Berkeley County, Virginia, he was the third son of James Foster, himself the eldest son of Alexander Foster, an emigrant from Londonderry, Ireland, who settled in-Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about I728.
James Foster, Stephen's grandfather, served in the Revolutionary War, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. Shortly after the war he settled near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, nineteen miles from Pittsburgh. When he died at his daughter's home in Poland, Ohio, April 7, I814, James left a substantial inheritance to his children. His wife, William's mother, was Ann Barclay, a relative of the Barclays and Rowans of Kentucky, the kin who figure so prominently in the Kentucky episodes of Stephen Foster's life. Judge John Rowan, at one time a United States Senator, was the owner of Federal Hill, the homestead at Bardstown, Kentucky, now maintained by the State as "My Old Kentucky Home." We shall examine the claims in behalf of this "shrine" later. William Barclay Foster deserves a biography for himself alone. Previous accounts of Stephen's life have told of his father, and have painted pictures of him that are faithful as far as they go, but they present only one aspect of his many-sided nature. His son, Morrison Foster, in his biography of Stephen,' shows his father as the man of substance he actually was at one time; the public-spirited patriot who dipped into his own pocket to help equip the troops and boats in the War of I8I2, who donated a burying ground for soldiers. /snip/
In 1851 Foster wrote his most famous song, Old Folks at Home. As first written it began, "Way down upon the Pedee River." Not liking the name Pedee, the writer went to his brother's house, and the two men searched the map of the United States until they found the name Suwanee, the name of a little river in Florida. Stephen, delighted, ran home to cross out Pedee and write Swanee instead. Foster never saw the river that he made famous. The song too was first published as being written by another man, this man having paid the author for the privilege of having it published as his own. During the next four years Foster wrote Massa's in de Cold, Cold Ground, Old Dog Tray, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Hard Times Come Again No More and Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming. All of these became popular and are still sung. By the time of the Civil War, the the Bowery had given way to brothels, beer gardens, and flophouses, like the one at #15 in which the composer Stephen Foster lived in 1864.
Stephen Foster died with .38 cents in his pocket.
~ 'Biography, Songs and Musical Compositions of Stephen C. Foster, by Morrison Foster: Pittsburgh, I896. [3] Also see Stephen Foster Songs

ListenTHE IRISH / SCOTTISH CONNECTION STORY explains the origins of word JAZZ and Yippie Yi Yo Git along Little Doogie.

Philadelphia Mummers and Irish Wassail Story
The Culture of Honor History -
Bryan Palmer article explains the connections between charivari, rough music and forerunners of the KKK in American Southern history in a Canadian journal called Labour.

Etymology of Hillbilly and Race Terms of Music Story

archie 1962 Archie Green's excellent JAF article, Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol contains the etymology of the word Hillbilly and Race Music

and Ralph S. Peer of Okeh records originated the terms 'Hillbilly' and 'Race' as applied to the record business. Music editor Abel Green the first writer, to combine hillbilly and music in print, but he went to the heart of show business's exploitation of the new product. Earl Scruggs said hillbilly music, is called bluegrass now.
"During 1940, 1 had served in the Civilian Conservation Corps at a road camp in California's Siskiyou Mountains. Our Forest Service foreman, Lawrence Roberts — my first “Indian” teacher — taught raw city boys to work cooperatively and to read nature's signs. At that time, I did not know that Alfred Kroeber at Berkeley had pointed anthropology students to the Klamath River to gather Yurok and Karok tribal lore from Roberts' kin. I could not know in 1940 that decades might elapse before Kroeber's precepts also guided my actions." [What Do Folklorists Do?]
The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress will honor the exemplary career of the "dean of laborlore," Archie Green. Beginning in the post-war years, Green's seminal investigations into the expressive cultural traditions of a broad range of working communities -- miners, tinsmiths, textile workers, railroad workers, coal miners, and cowboys -- influenced a generation of scholarship on occupational culture and working life. He is a noted labor historian, union organizer, shipwright and also emeritus university professor of Folklore and English.

"The Mind of Labor's Champion Archie Green" By Herbert Reid labor historian and folklorist reviewed by Herbert Reid, political philosopher.

Archie Green, labor historian and folklorist, advocated cultural pluraism and shone a light on the culture of workers. A new biography explores the life and politics of this unorthodox scholar.

Archie asked the Senate committee:
What is the commitment of a scholar as a citizen? Burns shows that Green's concept of public
folklore is absolutely essential if we are ever to get back on the path of organizing society around a principle of respect for all workers.


Sister Rosetta Tharpe is credited with being the bridge between Boogie Woogie & Country to Rock and Roll is [more]

Etymology of Rock 'n Roll
Archie Green, author of Only a Miner, which was published by University of Illinois Press in 1972 has argued that rock 'n' roll goes back to the rhythmic exchanges between the hammer man and his shaker, who held the drill and rolled it between blows.
ListenJohn Henry fought the machine, won the battle, and died with a hammer in his hand, building the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in the 1870s toward the hard mountains on the Virginia-West Virginia. The song most likely took shape in the 1870s or 1880s, probably first as a hammer song, which railroad tunnelers used to pace themselves as they bored through solid rock. (Work Song)

Roots of Rap Find Ameria's First Rap Song 1861
Roger Abrahams explains Signifying, Toasts, Griots, The Sporting Life, Oral Tradition, Hip Hop, The Dozens, Vaudevillian bawdy songs, dialect humour, minstrel patter, Calypso Kings and Queens.

Listen Etymology of the Roots of Raggae explained by Toots Hibbert.
Founder Toots Hibbert is credited with coining the word "reggae" in the band's 1968 single, "Do the Raggay." He was a contemporary of Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, and was featured in Perry Henzell's seminal 1973 reggae movie "The Harder They Come"

Integrated Academics - arts and Music connection

Voices Across Time: Teaching American History Through Music.
The Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh. The purpose of the project is to assist educators across the K-12 spectrum to use the social and historical messages within music, and especially song, in their curricula, addressing standards for learning in American history and the social studies, English/language arts, and music.
Mariana Whitmer, Ph.D. -
Program Director, Center for American Music
Executive Director, Society for American Music
Stephen Foster Memorial
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
[p] 412-624-3031

Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Willie Ruff, an Afro-American professor of music at Yale, was adamant - he had traced the to Scotland.

Play it again psalms
CALUM MARTIN rises to his feet, clears his throat and begins the first line of Psalm 45, verse 13, in his native Gaelic tongue. The haunting line rings out, lifting and drifting until it is picked up by the rest of the Free Church psalm-singers from the Isle of Lewis, who respond in the way their forebears did for more than 200 years.
. It is the first time the black congregation of the Sipsey River Primitive Baptist Association, from Eutaw, Alabama, have heard lining-out in Gaelic. Line-singing is an ancient form of worship where a precentor, or leader, sings the first line of a psalm and the congregation responds, finishing off the verse. African-Americans believe the style of worship, which predates the Negro spiritual, came from Africa, brought by slaves and preserved down the generations as an exclusive art form. But here is another, unfamiliar voice, lining-out in a foreign tongue. The congregation from Alabama are awestruck by the similarities between their lining-out and the Scots precenting the line. The congregations from Lewis and Alabama have been brought together with the Indian Bottom Old Regular Baptists, a white church from Kentucky, for a symposium on line-singing at Yale University by music professor Willie Ruff. Ruff, a Baptist from Alabama, grew up in a church where lining-out was the main form of worship each Sunday. Raised in the days of the Depression and racial segregation, he, too, had believed that lining-out belonged to his people. But a chance visit to a Presbyterian church in Alabama in 2003 led him to make a discovery. "I went there because I'd heard they made a fantastic lunch on a Sunday, but to my amazement I found them lining-out, just like we Baptists did," he says. "They got quite defensive when I said it was a Baptist thing. 'No, it's ours,' was their reply. I then began to wonder if any white Presbyterians lined-out too, and found that, not only do they do it here in the States, they also do it in the Hebrides."

ROOTS / ROUTES Gaelic Psalm Singing Root of Black Gospel Music - Presenting the Line / Line Singing / Call & Response / Congregational Singing by Whites, Blacks, & Scottish Highlanders Connection.


Minstrel Shows.

Crackers, Jim Crow and Jimmy Crack Corn are all Irish American Vernacular English.

Jim Crow" became part of the language, becoming the name for racist laws and attitudes used to oppress blacks in the Southern United States in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Do you know florida's state song?


Way Down Upon the Swannee Ribber?


Linguist Geoff Nunberg on the terms "highbrow," "middlebrow," and "Lowbrow."