The Library of Virginia
Further Information
Books | Recordings

The following general books and recordings provide a good introduction to American and Virginia roots music. You should also consult important journals such as Living Blues, JEMF Quarterly, the Old Time Herald, and 78 Quarterly as well as the notes to reissues of recordings on County Records, Smithsonian Folkways, Document Records, Rounder, and other major roots labels. The archives of the Blue Ridge Institute, Ferrum College, the Kevin Barry Perdue Archive of Traditional Culture, University of Virginia, and the Archive of American Folk Song, Library of Congress, are also essential collections for researching Virginia's traditional music.


Bastin, Bruce. Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Bealle, John. Public Worship, Private Faith: Sacred Harp and American Folksong. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997.

Lornell, Kip. Virginia's Blues, Country, and Gospel Records, 1902-1943: An Annotated Discography. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1989.

Pearson, Barry Lee. Virginia Piedmont Blues: The Lives and Art of Two Virginia Bluesmen. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.

Peterson, Richard A. Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Tribe, Ivan M. The Stonemans: An Appalachian Family and the Music That Shaped Their Lives. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Whisnant, David E. All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1983.

Wolfe, Charles K. The Devil's Box: Masters of Southern Fiddling. Vanderbilt University Press, 1998.


The Anthology of American Folk Music. Smithsonian Folkways 40090.

The Bristol Sessions. Country Music Foundation 67.

Deep River of Song: Virginia and the Piedmont, Minstrelsy, Work Songs, and Blues. Rounder Records 1827.

The Earliest Negro Vocal Quartets, Vol. 1, 1894-1928. Document Records DOCD-5061.

Field Recordings, Vol. 1: Virginia, 1936-1941. Document Records DOCD-5575.

Hampton Institute Quartet & Sextet, c.1937-c.1942. Document Records DOCD-5628.

Old-Time Music from South-West Virginia. County Records CD-3523.

Ragtime Blues Guitar, 1927-1930. Document Records DOCD-5062.

Rural String Bands of Virginia. County Records CD-3502.

The Songster Tradition 1927-1935. Document Records DOCD-5045.

A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings. Rounder Records 1500.

Virginia Traditions Series, Blue Ridge Institute, Ferrum College, reissued on Global Village Music, including: Ballads from the British Tradition (CD 1002), Early Roanoke Country Radio (CD 1010), Native Virginia Ballads and Songs (CD 1004), Southwest Virginia Blues (CD 1008), Tidewater Blues (CD 1006), Virginia Work Songs (CD 1007), Western Piedmont Blues (CD 1003).