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19 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM (#444091)
Subject: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Sandy Paton

Time for me to go commercial on you, folks, but I don't know of any better place to make an announcement about a fine CD of traditional music. If Mudcatters aren't interested in this new CD, I might as well pack my duds, fold up my tent, and go on relief.

This was our very first release, a field recording made in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina of one of the most important traditional musicians of Appalachia. Frank Proffitt was "discovered" by Frank Warner back in 1938. It was from Proffitt that Frank Warner learned "Tom Dooley," the version of the song that was later borrowed (loosely speaking) by the Kingston Trio. Frank Proffitt's own singing of the ballad, which I recorded in 1962, is on this CD, along with wonderful versions of powerful traditional songs like "Reuben Train," "Wild Bill Jones," "Moonshiner," "Going Across the Mountain" (you may have heard Pete Seeger's recording of that one), "Trifling Woman," "I'll Never Get Drunk No More," several Child ballads, and more.

Frank accompanied himself on his home-made fretless banjo and sang in a rich, warm voice, with just enough edge on it to make it interesting. He was a proud "mountain man," aware of the importance of his cultural heritage, and he presented it with dignity and delight.

It's too new to be up on our web site yet (FOLK-LEGACY), but you can use the order blank there. Just order CD-1 - Frank Proffitt! I'm also accepting orders by e-mail (you can split your credit card number into two e-pistles for safe transmission). And, of course, we're taking orders at our toll-free 800-836-0901 -- but don't call until Tuesday 'cause we're gonna be at NEFFA over the weekend.

That's about as commercial a pitch as I can make, and if it offends some of you, I apologize now. I really thought it was something many Mudcatters would like to hear about.


19 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM (#444158)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Joe Offer

I heard the album quite some time ago, and I'll vouch for the quality of the recording. Frank Proffitt sings some songs that may be familiar to many of you, but his renditions are very different from what you'd expect. Here are the cuts:
  • Trifling Woman
  • Cluck Old Hen
  • Morning Fair
  • Bonnie James Campbell (Child 210)
  • Lord Randall (Child 12)
  • Handsome Molly
  • Reuben Train
  • Tom Dooley (Dula)
  • I'm Going Back to North Carolina
  • Moonshine
  • Rye Whiskey
  • I'll Never Get Drunk No More
  • Wild Bill Jones
  • Gyps of David (Child 200) very interesting)
  • Song of a Lost Hunter or Love Henry (Child 68)
  • Sourwood Mountain
  • Going Across the Mountain
As usual, Sandy Paton's notes are colorful, literate, and well-researched. The notes are as interesting as the recordings are. This is one heck of a good CD.
-Joe Offer-

19 Apr 01 - 05:39 AM (#444186)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Sounds great, and I'll surely give it a listen- but when is the early Sandy and Caroline Paton album coming out on cd???

19 Apr 01 - 06:10 AM (#444195)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: sian, west wales

I'm a sucker for anything archival - so what about overseas orders.


19 Apr 01 - 08:07 AM (#444238)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Joy Bennett

Sandy -- save me one --- I'll see you this Friday night!!! And, I'm certain it won't be the only thing I buy!!

19 Apr 01 - 08:54 AM (#444273)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Charley Noble

Yes, yes! Order several CD's for all your singing and picking friends.

I've just recycled the "Going Across the Mountain" tune for a reworked shanty version of C.Fox Smith's "Shanghai Passage;" maybe some future folklorist will wonder how that nautical poem got up into the mountains.

19 Apr 01 - 09:39 AM (#444317)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

Ahhhhhhh................"Frank, Its The Real Thing"

Spaw (will call)

19 Apr 01 - 09:16 PM (#445000)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Art Thieme

This was always one of my favorite Folk Legacy albums. I just got this as a custom cassette from you recently 'cause my old LP of it is too worn to play. But it sure ought to be picked up by a ton of new folkies who never got to hear Frank in person back in the '60s or never ever knew what a victrola turntable was for. Congratulations for getting this out on CD, sir.

By the way, I picked up the Warner family collected songs CD at the Cleveland Folk Alliance gathering 2 years ago and was pretty much amazed to hear Frank Proffitt doing "Tom Dooley" on a guitar--not a banjo. I was really shocked !? I don't ever think I realized that he played guitar.

Love to you and Caroline & David and Rob,

Art Thieme

19 Apr 01 - 11:05 PM (#445062)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Sandy Paton


Frank told me that when he was making music (which he used to do for local dances) with other musicians, he often played guitar. In fact, he used the guitar on a couple of the songs on his second Folk-Legacy album. Very basic, but solid. You may recall seeing the fine old photograph that Frank Warner took of the family at Nathan Hicks' place on Beech Mountain back in about 1940. Frank is playing guitar in that shot. He also did some songs with dulcimer on his second Folk-Legacy recording. Remember?

I think he realized that his fretless banjo was of great interest to us "flatlanders," so he concentrated on that in the first session I had with him in that little cabin in "Pickbritches Valley." Remember the wonderful answer ge gave me when I asked him, "Frank, what do you think of the Scruggs style of banjo playing?" He studied on that for a short time, then responded, "Well, I'd like to be able to do it.... and then not do it." What he meant was that while he could admire the skill such playing required, it was not the way the banjo was played in his tradition, nor was it appropriate for his small, home-made, fretless instrument.

He was really a very perceptive gentleman.


20 Apr 01 - 02:43 PM (#445507)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Mark Clark


Have you considered using PayPal as a way of receiving payment from Internet users? It lets us send e-money using email without needing to go dig out our credit cards and play games with the numbers. All you have to do is click on the emailed link to recieve payment and the money is moved right from the buyers checking account (or credit card account) into your checking account.

I see this used a lot on eBay to transfer money so I registered with them (no charge) and found it to be a great service. It would make it much easier to order on a whim while using Mudcat.

      - Mark

20 Apr 01 - 02:53 PM (#445517)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Peter T.

Sandy, for the benefit of those of us who aren't privy to the ins and outs of the history, what was your relationship to the Warners and so on? Did you swap stuff, work the same fields, inspire each other, etc? I have one of your Proffitt tapes, and recently got the second volume of the Warners recordings which has some of Proffitt's songs on it. Interested in the larger story of how you got started, got out and rummaged around for this stuff. I imagine there are lots of others here who (shock, horror) don't know the story(ies).
yours, Peter T.

20 Apr 01 - 02:58 PM (#445521)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: JedMarum

Sounds like a great collection Sandy, thanks for the info. I just ordered two other CDs from Folk Legacy this AM, sounds like I'll be back there soon!

18 Jul 01 - 11:17 PM (#510103)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

I have spent the past two days listening to this CD virtually non-stop. I have the cassettes which are damn near worn out but play OK in the van. The CD is a treat because the remastering (many thanks to Robin there Sandy) is superb. It's almost like a first time experience! I can only echo what has been said regarding this CD, but I would mention a couple of things that I just have to say.

First, I never know what to say or how to tell other people about Frank Proffitt. When I said back up the thread there that Frank was the "real thing"......well, that's about the best I can do. If you're a polished singer/picker and haven't listened to the music of the Southern Mountains or have been listening to the more commercial "folk" stuff, then I know that Frank will sound kinda' funny to you. He's listenable for sure as Sandy said, but it's a different sound entirely. Missed beats, missed notes, thrown in words.....not what you generally associate with greatness perhaps? You should.....Because Frank Proffitt is truly great and he is the "real thing."

There is no "one sound" that you can say represents all of the Southern Mountain region, but his is definitely one of them. When I first ventured out after "commercial" folk exposure 30 years ago, I heard lots of great folks playing "up holler" and the voice of Frank Proffitt brings back those times. His playing on fretless and his voice ring through with an authenticity that is only there if you're born and bred. Wish I could do it, but I can't. What I can do is apply the same "spirit" to a song that he did and hope I do justice to it, no matter what the song.

As mentioned previously, Sandy's liner notes are superb. Once again, as I've said before, from Folk-Legacy you get a recording, but moreover, you get an education. One thing not stated is that Sandy dedicated this new CD release to his friend and partner of many years, Lee Haggerty who passed away last March........and who also loved Frank Proffitt. It's a touching dedication and shows once again what a class act Sandy Paton is.

Sandy.......Many thanks for the CD and many more thanks for all you have done for the music....and for me. I'll see you in October.


15 Sep 01 - 09:57 AM (#550715)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

Refreshing this, as Sandy says there are still plenty of this CD available. I, for one, had forgotten about it, so I am glad her reminded me when we were visiting earlier this week.

Think about it folks, this sounds like a really fantastic one to add to your collection!


15 Sep 01 - 11:10 AM (#550750)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy

I had missed this. Thanks, kat.

15 Sep 01 - 02:16 PM (#550859)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

All I can say about the greatness of this CD I have tried to express above and the fact that Sandy has any left is surprising. Really folks.....THIS IS THE REAL THING!!!

Sandy mentioned to me that incredible as it may seem to me (and him), this CD isn't getting much airplay by the Folk DJ's either. I don't get it. I wonder if many have gone so far down the road of smooth and sanitized folk music with superlative picking and trained voices that they have forgotten what real music from the mountains sounds like and don't want to play it when they hear it.

Frank Proffitt's contribution to our music is great and the fact that Sandy put this collection out on CD showed the true commitment of Folk Legacy to history, to music, to us.

If you haven't been to the Folk Legacy site, then do it now and you'll find some songs from this album.....Click them and have a listen. Then call Sandy and order up this wonderful collection. You might look around a bit and find more Art Thieme and Rick Fielding and Dan Milner's wonderful "Irish in America"......and Gordon Bok, Bill Staines, the great Golden Ring series, Joan Sprung, Barton & Para, and a host of others.



15 Sep 01 - 06:47 PM (#551041)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: RoyH (Burl)

Anyone who professes an interest in traditional music and doesn't have this in their collection should get it immediately. Catspaw49 had it right. Frank Profitt IS truly great, and he IS the real thing. All those who choose to sing folk music should nourish their understanding of it's art by listening to people like Proffitt, Dillard Chandler, Almeda Riddle, Hobart Smith, to name but a few. If you don't know your roots you wont put out good branches. There are many good and sincere singers within the folk revival, all due respect to them, but artists like those I have just mentioned, and others of the same ilk in Sandy's catalogue,have so much to teach us. And we, have so much to learn.

15 Sep 01 - 08:42 PM (#551100)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Somewhere in this chaotic house I have Frank Proffit' wonderfully sarcastic "critique" on his first Folkways (notice it's NOT Folk Legacy)Album for Moe Asch. Do you have that, Sandy? If I can find it, would it be in line to post it on this thread? Jean

16 Sep 01 - 04:21 PM (#551753)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

Hi Jean......I don't know about Sandy, but I can't see why it wouldn't be apprpopriate here and I would love to read it, along with any background on it that you or Sandy can supply.

......and thanks burl, glad you agree. I appreciate another opinion whose credibilty is far greater than mine.


16 Sep 01 - 04:48 PM (#551766)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy

What was funny about that release, Jean, was the incredible number of "mondegreens" in the printed texts of the songs. Obviously, Frank and Anne Warner, who wrote the notes at my request for this Folkways record, didn't have time to transcribe the texts. That task seems to have been assigned to some poor, innocent New Yorker who didn't understand the Appalachian language. I do have a letter from Frank stored away somewhere in which he commented on the hilarious mistakes.

In "Old Abe," for example, the opening lines of this soldier's song from the Civil War are: "Old Abe is in the White House, taking him a snooze; Grant, he's a bustin' his gut with the booze..." The printed text had "Gramps" boozing it up. I thought all young Americans learned of Grant's dedication to whiskey in their ninth grade history classes. (Remember the reply he supposedly gave to someone complaining about the drinking habits of one of his more successful field commanders? "Tell me what brand he's drinking, and I send a case of it to all the others!")

In another song, this one about moonshining, the line "Along come a man in a Chevrolet car, lookin' for the man with the old fruit jar." Now any student of Appalachian culture knows that the container of choice for home-made liquor is a classic Mason fruit jar, but our text transcriber decided that the fellow was looking for the man "with the old fruit yard." In his letter, which I'd have to spend a full day looking for, Frank created a wonderful send-up of these and similar errors, writing a delightful paragraph about old Gramps and his fruit yard, etc. I will have to find it, as I just received a letter from someone who is gathering Frank Proffitt material for a projected book, and this superb example of his wit must be included.

Speaking of his wit, at a rural auction in Vermont, I once purchased an ornately framed charcoal drawing of a man I thought bore a remarkable resemblance to our late partner, Lee Haggerty. I gave it to Lee with a note pasted below the portrait reading: "Our Founder." When Frank visited us in Vermont, he added a note on a scrap of paper: "I have a hard time decidin' if this is a picture of Jesus Christ or Jessie James. Either way, both has had some recognition!"

Among my letters from him is a brilliant series describing his plans to make use of the meat being wasted from the many ground hogs he was shooting to use their hides as heads for his home-made fretless banjos. He grandly envisioned a chain of "Ground Hog Steak Houses" scattered along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In order to give the anticipated tourist clientele the proper perspective, of course, these would all be built underground, resembling the natural habitat of the beast.

God, he was a wonderful friend!


16 Sep 01 - 04:59 PM (#551771)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

Aw well geez .....That was a bit of the tickler there "Gramps"........I need more, more,





I mean, like, when you can.......You too Jean!!!

Some of us are dyin' of thirst here............


16 Sep 01 - 06:37 PM (#551821)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

Wow, I love when we get one of you going with stories, but two, now that is just fantastic! Thanks, Jean and Sandy and, like Catspaw, I cry for MORE!! Of course, when you have time!


17 Sep 01 - 10:18 AM (#552215)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: dick greenhaus

For those who think that folk music started with Dylan and that PP&M are "root" singers, I heartily commend this recording. It's real, it's fine music and it's easy to listen to (as opposed to some other recordings of source material). Frank was always accessible, in that sense.

Thanx, Sandy, for the re-issue.

17 Sep 01 - 09:11 PM (#552788)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: catspaw49

Damn old folks!!! Get us goin' and then won't come through with more details......

Just a joke as I'm sure you know. I am appreciative of any of these wonderful stories and I thank you for any.....anytime......One of my absolute favorite parts of the 'Cat.


17 Sep 01 - 10:02 PM (#552839)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

Mine, too. Dick, Sandy, Jen, please tell us more! Time allowing, of course.*bg*


18 Sep 01 - 07:58 AM (#553093)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Big Mick

Been away for 4 days playing at the Michigan Irish Music Festival. Otherwise I would have commented long before this. Among everything else I owe Sandy, my love for recordings collected "at the source" is probably one of the most important. And then he rips off a story and I think to myself how blessed I am to be able to hear/read this.

This one is a must own if you consider yourself a serious folkie. No ifs, ands, or buts. And you will be better for owning it.


18 Sep 01 - 09:27 AM (#553130)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: seagoddess

Sandy - Great news! Now..."It Still Lives," wherein Leonard Glenn takes part - any plans for a CD? For that matter, any recordings of Leonard available from Folk Legacy?

18 Sep 01 - 05:47 PM (#553515)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Walking Eagle

This how we learn folks, from great anticdotes like these. This thread has been a real joy to read. 'Cattin' at it's best! I'll order my CD tomorrow.

19 Sep 01 - 12:03 AM (#553684)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: GUEST,Cookieless Sandy Paton

I used to sell the Glenn's dulcimers and banjos for them, but I never heard them play either instrument. I did meet and hear Edd Presnell, a fine instrument maker who lived very near Ray Hicks, the great teller of Jack Tales whom I recorded (C-14) before he became famous in the story-telling community.

I always admired the classic simplicity of the Glenns' dulcimers, and the extremely fine workmanship of all of their instruments. Presnell's were more elaborate and I was not drawn to them.

I would love to hear the Glenns' music. Where can one find "It Still Lives?" (Hey, Greenhaus, are you listening?)


19 Sep 01 - 01:12 AM (#553707)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: Jeri

I've got a Leonard Glenn dulcimer, and I love it, although I don't play it enough. Sandy, I'll try to remember to bring it to the Getaway so you can have a look and a strum. After I bought it, I wished I'd had a fancier one with 4 strings. Now I'm very glad I got this one - I didn't realise at the time I bought it what a gem it was.

As for the Frank Proffitt CD, I somehow didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I have. (Of course, I was pretty clueless about Proffitt.) Besides his skill and the sound quality, the CD is just plain enjoyable.

19 Sep 01 - 08:54 AM (#553863)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: seagoddess

Shortly after Leonard Glenn built me a fretless banjo, I was invited to spend some time with him and his family learning some mountain music. Of course, I did just that and a beautiful friendship grew from that visit. Leonard was a superb storyteller as well as old time player and we enjoyed many hours telling and playing. On my final night there, the entire family got together and played - dulcimers, fretless and fretted banjos, guitar, and stories were told. This was one of the most wonderful and magical nights of my entire life and the memory of which I will treasure always. And it's a good thing I have the memory, because the tape I made of that night has been lost...or it is in one of those notorious, "safe places."

The gentle kindness I experienced while visiting these high-country folks is, I feel, reflected in their music. I have always admired the work Sandy and Caroline do in preserving this music and, more importantly, getting out there to be heard - what a valuable and worthwhile contribution to mankind. Thanks Sandy and Caroline!

"It Still Lives" was handed to me on a cassette and I still have that copy. It is a collection of several different old time players, including Leonard and his cousin, Presnell. There are no notes with the cassette, but I will try to find out some information and post it here.


19 Sep 01 - 10:38 AM (#553945)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

For those of you who cherish vinyl, Sandy and Caroline have a great selection at reduced prices, clearing out what they do have in the auld vinyl stuff. Most of it is their really early stuff and once those are sold, there will be no more. Collectors' items all.


29 Sep 01 - 12:46 PM (#561400)
Subject: RE: FRANK PROFFITT CD on Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

Oh, Wow! Just got my CD!! Thank you, Sandy and Caroline!!

I can "hear" so much of the origins of some of what my family grew up with, some the southern sounds, from my dad and his family. Also noticed he puts an "r" on the end of some words, like a Yankee/Brit. **BG**

This is such a pure recording. I love the fretless banjo AND Proffitt's voice. Even some of his inflections remind of my dad's Western Colorado speech.

This a real treasure. If you haven't order this, yet, you don't know what you're missing!