Mountain Heritage - Folk Music

Queen Family Music
The Queen Family 

The Queen Family - Western North Carolina
Jeanette, Dorothy, Kathy, Mark, James(JR), Carolyn, Delbert, Mary Jane, Henry, Albert

Mountain Heritage Day Music Award - Western Carolina University
    Appalachian music is created by mountain folk musicians who draw upon time-honored traditions and heritage passed down from their great ancestors. A very fine example of southern Appalachian mountain music is the award-winning Queen Family of Western North Carolina.

    Matriarch, Mary Jane Queen, was posthumously awarded the National Heritage Fellowship: Master Artist in 2007, and the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1993. Her winning ways, honest enthusiasm, and love of music made Mary Jane a favorite among audiences who always requested her signature song, "I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again." She and husband Claude taught their eight children how to live off the mountain land and how to play music and sing.

   The Queen Family was awarded the Mountain Heritage Award in 1999, and the NC Folklore Society Brown Hudson Folklore Award in 2001, as well as numerous awards by various family members at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival throughout the years. North Carolina State University has created two folk life documentaries featuring this musical family. Mountain Talk, a study of dialects and linguistics in  the mountains of NC, featured a soundtrack with songs from Mary Jane and Henry Queen.

   This film was later followed by a documentary about the family entitled The Queen Family: Back Porch Music. Blends of Bluegrass, old time, gospel and country filled the air as the mother and her offspring interacted effortlessly and expertly to share their craft in this DVD. One of the best parts is when Henry and nephew Mark both play the same guitar. Jeanette, JR, Dorothy, Kathy, Albert and Delbert are also featured. Carolyn, who lives in Washington State, is not able to gather with the family very often, but carries on the traditions out there with her cousin Ernest singing at church functions. Jeanette's husband, Dean, was serving in Iraq during the Film, but is back home now and touring with the family once again.

   Whether the Queen Family is performing together at local festivals, traditional music events or just gathered on the kitchen porch back at the old home place in North Carolina, music is their common voice.

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