Welcome to the Southern Music Research Center

The Southern Music Research Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the documentation, preservation, and public presentation of the American South’s diverse music histories and ongoing forms of musical expression.

The real center of our Center is this website: a public archive of rare photos, rescued recordings, oral history interviews, and other materials. We encourage visitors to get to know our site by browsing our collections -- and to come back often, as we are actively acquiring and adding new material to the site.

You can support our mission and growth by making a financial contribution. To donate materials to the archive, please contact burgin@southernmusicresearch.org.

Recently Added Items

Interview: Dale Casteel

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Dale Casteel, interview with Burgin Mathews, recorded over the telephone, February 10, 2024. A founding member of the Alabama Ramblers, Casteel…

Playlist: The Alabama Ramblers

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The complete surviving tracks for the Alabama Ramblers. Additional information and lyrical excerpts follow the track listing, below. Track 1: Seasick…

The Alabama Ramblers: Mother's Day Poem / M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me) / Closing Theme

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Recorded excerpt from a Mother's Day broadcast by the Alabama Ramblers. Includes a company member's original poem and a performance by Dale Casteel of…

Alabama Ramblers: Writing Love Letters

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The Alabama Ramblers, "Writing Love Letters." Vocals by Bobby Jane Croley, "The Ramblers' Sweetheart." “I found I couldn’t mail them, so I burned…

The Alabama Ramblers: Waiting for a Letter

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The Alabama Ramblers, "Waiting for a Letter." Vocals by the Hudson brothers. “Yearning for a message, one from you my dearest, please / I’m waiting…

The Alabama Ramblers: Gray-Haired Mother of Mine / Make Room in Your Heart for a Friend

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The Alabama Ramblers: "Gray-Haired Mother of Mine" and "Make Room in Your Heart for a Friend" “Back in my home in Alabama, where a gray-haired mother…

The Alabama Ramblers: Steel Guitar Rag / Open Door, Open Arms / Interviews

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The Alabama Ramblers, "Steel Guitar Rag" and "Open Door, Open Arms." Steel guitar and vocal by J. W. Hudson. “Open door, open arms wait for your safe…

The Alabama Ramblers: Away From You / Where the Soul of Man Never Dies (Canaan's Land)

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The Alabama Ramblers, "Away from You" and "Where the Soul of Man Never Dies" (AKA "Canaan's Land"). Vocals by J. W. Hudson. “I’d like to send this…

The Alabama Ramblers: Missing in Action / The Family Who Prays

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The Alabama Ramblers, "Missing In Action" and "The Family Who Prays." Two popular songs of the Korean War years. "Missing in Action," written by…

The Alabama Ramblers: "Seasick Blues" (Acetate Disc)

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The Alabama Ramblers, "The Seasick Blues." Composed by J. W. Hudson, Franklin Hampton, and Bob Grigsby. Vocals by J. W. Hudson and Bob…