John Wesley Work III, the folklorist who recorded the Holloway High School Quartet.

Caught My Ear: The Holloway High School Quartet

For some time I have been intrigued by the beautiful voices of four young men, singers

in the Holloway High School Quartet, recorded by John W. Work III in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1941. To mark African American Heritage Month this year, I thought I would try to find out a little more about them. I have only managed to collect a few facts about their lives. But perhaps writing about them will help call more attention to Zema Richardson, Warren G. Johnson, Anthony Winrow, and Richard Gregory. If you know more that you can share, please reply in the comments.  But first, you should have an opportunity to listen to the three songs found in the American Folklife Center archive.

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: February 14, 2019

“On February 14, Americans celebrate love and friendship by exchanging cards, flowers, and candy. Although the origins of Valentine’s Day are murky, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the fifteenth of February. Like so many holidays, a Christian gloss was added to the pagan fete when the holiday moved to the fourteenth of February—the saint day associated with several early Christian martyrs named Valentine. “The romance we associate with Valentine’s Day may spring from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14. During the Middle Ages, lovers recited verse or prose to one another in honor of the day.

Purple Paint


Posted: 09 Aug 2017 11:27 AM PDT

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE COLOR PURPLE? Most of us are familiar with the “POSTED: NO TRESPASSING” signs that appear throughout the county. Under the former Alabama trespass law, an intruder upon rural, unfenced property was not necessarily a trespasser unless “notice against trespass is personally communicated to him by the owner of such land or another authorized person, or unless such notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner.” BUT NOW, landowners have another option: PURPLE PAINT. The definition of “posting in a conspicuous manner” now includes painting vertical stripes of purple paint upon trees or posts along the property line. The full definition of the new posting rule is listed below:


A sign or signs posted on the property, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden or the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks satisfy all of the following:

* Are vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width.