fiddler S.T. Swanger, rhythm and steel guitarist Don Brooks and a guitarist known only as “Joyce,” all of whom played with Carroll Best and an informal group of musicians that called themselves the White Oak String Band.
The goal, according to Ted Olson, professor of Appalachian Studies and an American folk music instructor at East Tennessee State University, is to gather band member stories, performance photos, and hopefully conduct interviews with friends or relatives of Swanger, Brooks and “Joyce.” Materials gathered could be incorporated in the liner notes of the Great Smoky Mountains Association’s new album of music recorded in Haywood County by linguist Joseph S. Hall in the 1950s.
“Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music,” nominated for a 2013 Grammy in the Best Historical Album category, came about after Olson uncovered Hall’s recordings in a local archive. He and GSMA decided to make available 34 of Hall’s earliest recordings from 1939.