Cover for Jones: My Curious and Jocular Heroes: Tales and Tale-Spinners from Appalachia. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

My Curious and Jocular Heroes

Tales and Tale-Spinners from Appalachia

A joyous blend of life story, learning, and lore

We were going down the road, and we came to this house. There was a little boy standing by the road just crying and crying.

We stopped, and we heard the biggest racket you ever heard up in the house.

“What’s the matter, son?”

“Why, Maw and Paw are up there fightin’.”

“Who is your Paw, son?”

“Well, that’s what they are fightin’ over.”

Brimming with ballads, stories, riddles, tall tales, and great good humor, My Curious and Jocular Heroes pays homage to four people who guided and inspired Loyal Jones’s own study of Appalachian culture. His sharp-eyed portraits introduce a new generation to Bascom Lunsford, the pioneer behind the “memory collections” of song and story at Columbia University and the Library of Congress; the Sorbonne-educated collector and performer Josiah H. Combs; Cratis D. Williams, the legendary father of Appalachian studies; and the folklorist and master storyteller Leonard W. Roberts. Throughout, Jones highlights the tales, songs, jokes, and other collected nuggets that define the breadth of each man’s research and repertoire.

"The reader will come away entranced, enchanted and captivated in addition to becoming well-versed in the lives and contributions of the pioneers in Appalachian folklore."--Appalachian Mountain Books

“Loyal Jones’s engaging collection of biographies brings to life four prominent figures of twentieth-century Appalachian folkways whose names will be familiar to many readers but only distantly. This is a major contribution to the study of America’s most distinctive regional culture.”—Norm Cohen, author of Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong

"The colorful tales, anecdotes, word lore, customs, riddles, and songs that Loyal Jones has chosen bring us into the humor, accents, and often ribald color that marks our first frontier and its inhabitants."—Stephen Wade, author of The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience

Publication of this book was supported by a grant from the L. J. and Mary C. Skaggs Folklore Fund.

Loyal Jones is the author of numerous books on Appalachian culture, including Country Music Humorists and Comedians. He served as director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College for twenty-three years.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Shadows Rise - Cover
The Shadows Rise

Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend

John Evangelist Walsh

The Old German Baptist Brethren - Cover
The Old German Baptist Brethren

Faith, Farming, and Change in the Virginia Blue Ridge

Charles D. Thompson Jr.

Appalachian Mountain Religion - Cover
Appalachian Mountain Religion

A History

Deborah Vansau McCauley

The Storytellers' Journey - Cover
The Storytellers' Journey

An American Revival

Joseph Daniel Sobol

Journal of Appalachian Studies - Cover
Journal of Appalachian Studies

Edited by Shaunna Scott

Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics - Cover
Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics

Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance

Phil Jamison

Journal of American Folklore - Cover
Journal of American Folklore

Edited by Ann K. Ferrell

Spirits of Just Men - Cover
Spirits of Just Men

Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses, and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World

Charles D. Thompson Jr.