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Sing Behind the Plow Documentary Nominated for Two Emmy Awards
About Sing Behind the Plow

Sing Behind the Plow was nominated for "Best Historical Documentary in the Mid-South Region" and for "Best Music in a Historical Documentary."
Released in May 2007, the documentary Sing Behind the Plow: John C. Campbell Folk School, explores the 82-year history of the Folk School through interviews with various scholars on Appalachia, Folk School personnel, and archival photos, footage and recordings.

Even people who know and love the Folk School may not know who John C. Campbell was. Who were the founders Olive Dame Campbell and Marguerite Butler Bidstrup? How did the local people build the school? Who was Fred O. Scroggs? How did Denmark come into the story? These are some of the questions this program tries to answer, while setting the Folk School's story in the larger context of what was happening to the nation and the world during those years.

The one-hour production features interviews, historical photographs, and film of early Asheville, Brasstown, and Murphy. Among the speakers are Appalachian scholar Loyal Jones, a Brasstown native, and Ellie Wilson, Brasstown resident and author. The program traces the Folk School’s roots in early twentieth century educational missions, Danish philosophy, and local support from the people of Cherokee and Clay Counties and places its story into the wider context of historical events.

The program received critical acclaim from William Ferris, Director of the Center for the Study of the American South, who wrote: "Sing Behind the Plow beautifully captures the history of Appalachian culture and the visionary work of John Campbell and his wife Olive Dame Campbell. Their study of Appalachian ballads and the founding of the John C. Campbell Folk School are landmarks in our nation's history. This beautiful film is a stunning portrait of Appalachian people and their folk traditions. It should be required viewing for every American."
Nominated for Two Regional Emmy Awards!
The Folk School’s documentary Sing Behind the Plow was nominated for two regional Emmy Awards, one for "Best Historical Documentary" and one for "Best Musical Score."

For "Best Historical Documentary," Brenda Hughes and Scott Davis of UNC-TV shared the nomination with Jan Davidson, Director of the John C. Campbell Folk School, as executive producers of the documentary. For "Best Music in a Historical Documentary," the soundtrack was also a collaborative effort. The soundtrack includes original orchestral music by Charlotte composer Fred Story, who based the show's opening theme on Folk School founder Olive Campbell's version of the ballad "Barbra Allen." Brasstown band The Dog Branch Cats, comprising Bob Dalsemer (fiddle), Martha Owen (banjo), David Liden (guitar), and Jan Davidson (fiddle), recorded traditional American tunes like "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine" and the Danish tune "Little Man in a Fix." Chloe Davidson recorded background vocals for the orchestral tracks.

Members of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences voted for their choices, and the winners were announced at the regional Emmy Awards Ceremony in Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on January 26, 2008. The news from Tennessee was unfortunate: we did not receive the awards.

The winners, however, represented some very fine programs. The documentary award winner was a program telling the story of Sacagawea from a Native American perspective. Fred Story, who did the music for Sing Behind the Plow won the music Emmy for another of his projects, Monet in Normandy. We were delighted to see Fred win; he’s a great friend of the Folk School and a great talent.

Sing Behind the Plow, as ever, stands on its own merit, and we have received many very positive reviews and feedback from people all across the country. We hope you’ll join the thousands of people that have watched and enjoyed this film.
Watch Sing Behind the Plow Today
If you're taking a class at the Folk School, we frequently show Sing Behind the Plow one of the evenings during the week. Check the schedule when you're here. You may also watch the documentary in the History Center when you have an extra hour.

You may also purchase Sing Behind the Plow from our Online Craft Shop.

The Murphy Public Library and Tri-County Community College Library have copies for borrowing.

Watch it on UNC-TV. http://www.unctv.org/folkschool/.
Many thanks to the following public television stations that have broadcasted Sing Behind the Plow!

David Liden, Martha Owen and Jan Davidson recording the soundtrack for Sing Behind the Plow.
If your local APT-affiliated public television station is not on this list, we encourage you to request this program of them. It's free for the station if they're an APT affiliate!

For at least the first three years of distribution, non-APT stations will not have access to the program.

AK Fairbanks ALAS
AR Conway ARKA
CA Los Angeles KCEX
CA Redding KIXE
CA San Bernardino KVCR
CO Denver KBDI
FL Jacksonville WJCT
FL Orlando WMFE
GA Atlanta WPBA
IL Charleston WEIU
IN Muncie WIPB
IN Bloomington WTIU
KS Wichita KPTS
KY Bowling Green WKYU
LA Metairie WLAE
MA Springfield WGBY
MI Grand Rapids WGVU
MI East Lansing WKAR
MI Marquette WNMU
MN Bemidji KAWE
NC Research Triangle Park NCAR
NE Lincoln NEBR
NY Watertown WPBS
OH Athens WOUB
OH Dayton WPTD
OH Dayton WPTO
OK Claremore KRSC
PA Bethlehem WLVT
PA University Park WPSU
PA Philadelphia WYBE
RI Providence WSBE
SD Vermillion SDAK
TN Cookeville WCTE
TN Knoxville WETP
TN Memphis WKNO
TN Nashville WNPT
TN Chattanooga WTCI
TX Killeen KNCT
UT Salt Lake City KUED
VA Richmond WCVE
VA Harrisonburg WVPT
WA Pullman KWSU
WI Milwaukee WMVS
WV Beaver WVIR

Funding for the production of Sing Behind the Plow was provided by United Community Bank.

1-800.FOLK.SCH (365.5724)
828.837.2775 Contact us by email

John C. Campbell Folk School
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902

Main Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Craft Shop Hours:
Temporarily Closed, 828-837-2775

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