Sunday, October 13, 2013


A reader recently asked about audio recordings of Edgar Howard's music and/or the distinctive Ocracoke Island dialect. Both are available.

In 1977 Karen Helms collected sixteen examples of Outer Banks traditional music that were included on a vinyl record, Between the Sound and the Sea. This album was sold on the Smithsonian's "Folkways" label. Edgar plays his banjo on four numbers. Four other Ocracoke musicians, including my father Lawton Howard, are also featured.

Between the Sound and the Sea is now available on CD and may be purchased here: You can also listen to selections of the songs on the web site.

Walt Wolfram, the William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at North Carolina State University, has been instrumental in collecting examples of the Ocracoke brogue for the North Carolina Language and Life Project. Walt, along with his colleagues and students, has compiled two CDs of Ocracoke Island stories told by native islanders. You can read about, and purchase, them here:

Our most recent Ocracoke Newsletter is a compilation of humorous stories told by or about islanders. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous2:25 AM

    I'm not sure why this blog post in particular made me think of it...But whatever happened to the sign posted to one of the live oaks on Howard Street warning ladies of "The Three Howard Batchelors," and what was the story behind it? -Matt

  2. I am guessing there aren't too many of our readers who remember that sign. I will dedicate a future post to it. Look for it tomorrow or maybe later in the week.