John Quincy Wolf Jr. Collecton

music score
"Cannan's Land": A music score from the John Quincy Wolf Jr. Collecton.

Though he was an English professor at what is now Rhodes College in Memphis, John Quincy Wolf, Jr. greatly contributed to the field of folklore.  He collected southern folk music in the 1950s and 1960s, capturing the sounds of Ozark folksongs, Memphis area blues and jug bands, and shape-note singing in Tennessee, Kentucky, and north Mississippi and Alabama. 


In October 2012 his daughter Adele Grilli donated fifty-two audio cassettes of shape-note singings recorded by Wolf in the 1960s.  Blues Curator and Associate Professor Greg Johnson digitized these tapes, which are now available online at 


Visitors to the site can hear group singings recorded at the Carbon Hill, Alabama Flatwoods Church; the Fulton, Mississippi courthouse; or the Poke Sallet Festival in Arab, Alabama, among many others.

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