cover of book

My Curious and Jocular Heroes: Tales and Tale-Spinners from Appalachia
by Loyal Jones
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Paper: 978-0-252-08267-2 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04113-6 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09969-4
Library of Congress Classification GR108.15.J66 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 398.20974

We were going down the road, and we came to this house. There was a little boy standing by the road just crying and crying.

We stopped, and we heard the biggest racket you ever heard up in the house.

“What’s the matter, son?”

“Why, Maw and Paw are up there fightin’.”

“Who is your Paw, son?”

“Well, that’s what they are fightin’ over.”

Brimming with ballads, stories, riddles, tall tales, and great good humor, My Curious and Jocular Heroes pays homage to four people who guided and inspired Loyal Jones’s own study of Appalachian culture. His sharp-eyed portraits introduce a new generation to Bascom Lunsford, the pioneer behind the “memory collections” of song and story at Columbia University and the Library of Congress; the Sorbonne-educated collector and performer Josiah H. Combs; Cratis D. Williams, the legendary father of Appalachian studies; and the folklorist and master storyteller Leonard W. Roberts. Throughout, Jones highlights the tales, songs, jokes, and other collected nuggets that define the breadth of each man’s research and repertoire.

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