Thursday, July 15, 2021

Unlocking the Mystery of a Local Ballad

Some of our long-time readers may remember the 1977 recording of traditional Outer Banks music. It was titled "Between the Sound and the Sea," and was produced by Folkways Records. The album includes several songs by Ocracoke musicians, including my father, Lawton Howard, Elizabeth Howard, Jule Garrish, Maurice Ballance, and Edgar Howard. (You can see Edgar's grave marker, with a banjo and "You ain't heard nothing yet," directly across from Village Craftsmen on Howard Street.)










One short number ("Tom Dan'ls") performed by Edgar Howard appears to be a fragment of a longer ballad recounting a late 19th century confrontation between Ocracoke fishermen and an invasion of fishermen from Core Sound. 

You can read more about the song and the 1890 Ocracoke Oyster War in our latest Ocracoke Newsletter:…an-island-ballad/

You might even want to purchase the CD directly from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (the Newsletter includes a link).

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