African-American Gospel Music in Appalachia
North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are home to a rich heritage of African-American gospel music in local churches, performed by singers and instrumental musicians who may be professionals, or who may simply love to lift their voices in Sunday worship. One such place is Texana, a historic African-American community in Cherokee County in the state’s southwestern-most corner. Texana has a longstanding gospel music tradition, associated especially with Mount Zion Baptist Church.
The “Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina” podcast highlights bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina. Hosted by Laura Boosinger and produced by Kim Clark of WNCW-FM, the podcast is a joint effort of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the North Carolina Arts Council, WNCW-FM, and the American roots music journal No Depression.