Frank Proffitt Sang the Murder Ballad “Tom Dooley”
In 1938, Frank Proffitt of Beech Mountain recorded the song “Tom Dooley.” The murder ballad tells the true-life tale of a Civil War love triangle that ended in the death of a young Wilkes County, N.C., woman named Laura Foster, and the hanging of Tom Dula for her murder. Twenty years later, the Kingston Trio recorded their own version, helping launch the Folk Revival of the 1960s. The album sold more than 3 million copies. Soon people all across the country were singing this song from the North Carolina hills.
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, and WNCW-FM.