The Cumberland Folklife series consists of six episodes, all looking at Appalachian handicraft and musical traditions. The cornerstone episode, soon to be completed, is a feature-length documentary on the legendary Sharp family of Jamestown, Tennessee. The Sharp family has inspired intrigue amongst ethnomusicologists and folklorists for decades. Our documentary features Opal and Evelene, two of the last great mountain women who lived in the Appalachian region during the Great Depression, as well as Evelene’s son Rick, and Evelene’s grandson Forrest. Forrest has spent the past few decades of his life scrambling to preserve and document the family legacy, recording VHS tapes on his camcorder when able, between his busy work schedule at the local Dollar store and gas station. Both Rick and Forrest lament that the musical heritage they took for granted is now dying and are finally ready to speak about this family’s traditions in ways that were refused before.
Arts & Culture|History & Biography