Friends and family of Marguerite Pegram Hutchins gathered in Chapel Hill on June 1, 2016 to mourn her passing and to remember a life lived to the fullest. Together with her late husband James, Marguerite traveled (for business or pleasure) to every country in the world. An archive of previous James and Marguerite Hutchins Lectures (with downloadable videos) is available here, and our 2016-17 lecture series will be posted in the fall.
In a 2015 interview for the Southern Oral History Program, Mrs. Hutchins recalled that as a child in Winston-Salem, “You were taught to be honest, and work hard, and appreciate others, and help the community.” Her life put those principles to work, and she still managed to have fun almost everywhere she went. Comments from Marguerite’s 95th birthday party are available here, and a full obituary is available here.
Please help us welcome our latest additions to the CSAS team. From left to right, they are Tanner Glenn, a sophomore majoring in Political Science; Katie Yelton, a senior majoring in American Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies; Cassidy Hampton, a first-year planning to major in Mathematical Decision Sciences; and Karen Ortiz, a junior majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. Molly Jernigan (right) is a senior majoring in Global Studies, with minors in French and History. We are happy to have these fantastic folks at the Love House and Hutchins Forum!
Join us at the Center to celebrate the release of Jake Xerxes Fussell’s debut solo album from local record label Paradise of Bachelors. Jake will perform some selections from his self-titled album, produced by and featuring William Tyler. Acclaimed Durham guitarist Daniel Bachman will also play a special solo set for the occasion. Now a Durham resident, Fussell grew up in Columbus, GA.
As Jake explains it, “the Southern half of the Georgia-Alabama border follows the Chattahoochee River, which cleaves Columbus from its decidedly less reputable neighbor, Phenix City, Alabama. Georgia’s second city is the hometown of ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey and novelist Carson McCullers, but it was local hillbilly duo Darby and Tarlton’s 1927 hit ‘Columbus Stockade Blues’ that first immortalized Columbus in popular culture. Back in their day, if you ended up in lockup in Columbus, chances are you did your dirtiest deeds across the river.”
Jake is the son of Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist, curator, and photographer who hails from Phenix City. Fred’s fieldwork took him (sometimes with Jake) across the Southeast documenting traditional vernacular culture, which included recording blues and old-time musicians with fellow folklorists George Mitchell and Art Rosenbaum, as well as collaborating with American Indian artists, which eventually led to Jake’s graduate research on Choctaw fiddlers.
As a teenager, Jake played and studied under elder musicians in the Chattahoochee Valley, including Piedmont blues legend Precious Bryant (“Georgia Buck”) and Alabama bluesman George Daniel (“Rabbit on a Log”). He later accompanied Etta Baker in North Carolina, studied with Will Scarlett and Steve Mann in Berkeley, earned a degree in Southern Studies from Oxford (Mississippi), recorded and toured with Rev. John Wilkins, and, last year, met up with acclaimed artist William Tyler to begin recording his first solo album. The album drops on January 27th, and we can’t wait to hear it. You can listen to a single of “Raggy Levy” here.
This lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
The Center for the Study of the American South proudly announces Deltra Tate as our new Administrative Manager and Events Coordinator. Her appointment began on July 7, 2014. Tate comes to the Center from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where she served as a staff specialist in the Admissions Department.
“Deltra Tate brings expertise in human resources management and event planning to the Center,” said Kenneth Janken, Interim Director of the Center. “A native and life-long resident of Durham and a product of North Carolina’s public schools, Deltra has earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration. With her varied experiences in higher education and private industry, Deltra is certain to ensure the smooth running of the Center and its programming.”