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Folklife Festival 2003 > Appalachia> Performers > Gospel Traditions
gospel traditions
Religious song has always been a major part of the music of Appalachia, and it is an essential part of bluegrass music. Bluegrass music was created in the late 1940s by Bill Monroe and named after his group, the Blue Grass Boys. Many of the early bluegrass groups had grown up with church singing, knowing many old hymns and incorporating them into their repertoires. To this day many bluegrass groups alternate between recording secular and religious albums.

There are some bluegrass bands that play exclusively gospel music; one such group is Still Waters from Hindman, Kentucky. Together for two years, the group's membership overlaps with the Bluegrass Gospel Boys (another Hindman group). They consider their music as part of their ministry and play at churches and community events.


Coming to the festival...


Dorothy "Fountain" Myles, Appalachia, Virginia, vocals
Pastor Stanley D. Almon, Lynch, Kentucky, keyboard

—Gospel and religious music will be represented at the Festival by Dorothy Myles, a native of Cumberland, Kentucky, now living in Appalachia, Virginia. Myles writes her own religious songs as well as mining-oriented songs. She is accompanied by Pastor Almon.

Still Waters

Chris Hall, Leburn, Kentucky, upright bass
Bennie Moore, Langley, Kentucky, mandolin
Dexter Mullins, Pinetop, Kentucky, rhythm guitar
Doyal Waddles, Hindman, Kentucky, banjo/dobro
—Still Waters of Hindman, Kentucky, is a quintet of fine traditional gospel singers. The group sings at churches and community events as part of their music ministry.

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