SFR-DU-33024 Perry County Music Makers Going Back to Tennessee
Middle Tennessee Arts

Welcome to Spring Fed Records


Featuring: The Perry County Music Makers-
Nonnie Presson – Zither, Vocals
Bulow Smith – Guitar, Vocals
Virginia Clayborne – Vocals

1 DEW DROPS … (N.Presson) … 1:28
2 DANCE AT WINDY’S PLACE … (N.Presson) … 2:04
3 SOME WAY … (N.Presson) … 2:59
4 ALL NIGHT LONG … (Traditional) … 1:45
5 SLEEPY TIGER … (N.Presson) … 1:14
6 HOLLOW POPLAR …(Traditional) … 1:31
7 NEW MOON SONG …(N.Presson) … 2:46
8 CHRISTMAS BELLS … (N.Presson) … 2:45
9 SUSIE MAY … (N.Presson) … 2:49
10 8th OF JANUARY … (Traditional) … 1:23
11 GOT A BUDDY I MUST SEE … (N.Presson) … 2:59
12 SOLDIER’S GOODBYE … (N.Presson) … 3:01
13 HAPPY HULA GIRL … (Traditional) … 1:33
14 RIPPLING WATER … (N.Presson) … 1:49
15 BLACKBERRY WALTZ … (N.Presson) … 1:15
16 FISHING BIRD’S RETURN … (N.Presson) … 1:41

Since the release of their first Davis Unlimited album (Sunset Memories – DU 33009) much has been written about the Perry County Music Makers. Feature-length articles have appeared in publications such as Old Time Music and The Devil’s Box. Hence, many of the historical aspects of this unique group of traditional musicians has already been made available to collectors and scholars. However, little of this information has shown the real love of music that can be found only from talking with Nonnie Presson, her brother, Bulow Smith, and their niece, Virginia Clayborne. Fortunately, I have been among those privileged to acquire some of this information first – hand. In preparing the material for their second album it seemed highly appropriate that the leader and guiding force of the Perry County Music Makers, Nonnie Presson, share some of her feelings about her involvement and attachment to her music. I hope that the following piece by Nonnie will make the music a little more “personal” when you listen to it.

Steve Davis
Davis Unlimited Records
February 1976

In answer to the many questions, I will write a sketch of my life as a musician and song writer. So many people ask how I learned music. I had my first and only music lesson when I was a very small child. I don’t remember how old I was but I stood between my Father’s legs, with my elbows resting on his knees, as he explained the notes to me. He was teaching a music school so I wanted him to teach me too. I have never forgotten the notes or that lesson.

I started playing the French harp when I was about three years old. I had heard my mother and father playing a duet on the harps. After Dad went to work, I slipped outside with one of the harps and started playing it. Mother said she heard a beautiful rendition of “Darling Nellie Gray” so she went out to see where that music was coming from. There I was, a tiny tyke, sitting on an ash pile playing the harp. Mother said it actually frightened her.

I started playing the zither when I was about 8 years old. My very first composition was “Fishing Bird’s Return.” A little later, I wrote the words and music to “Trail Of The Lonesome Pine.” I have forgotten most of the lyrics, but still play the melody.

You might say music is, and has always been, a big part of my life. I have known music as long as I have known anything. Words cannot express just how I feel about it. To me it is a link between Heaven and Earth. In fact, it has been said that music ties the “Two World” together, and I find this is very true. Of course, Bulow has always played a big part in my music and my life. We have been singing together since he was a teenager. His singing (and guitar playing) is a natural talent and his voice is just right for my songs.

Virginia has always been interested in music too. She started playing the guitar and mandolin when she was about 11 years old. She was my alto singer when I had a quartet a few years ago. So when we “revived” The Perry County Music Makers, is seemed only natural that she sing with us.

That is the way it all began. I have been writing music for over 70 years and have no intention of stopping now.

Nonnie Presson
Pine View, Tennessee
February, 1976

PRODUCED BY: Steve Davis, Charles K. Wolfe, & The Perry County Music Makers

Special thanks are due Bill and Ellyn Trigg for their continued patience and care involved in the production of all Davis Unlimited releases.

Copyright © 2006, Spring Fed Records, Woodbury, Tennessee                  Site Design: Russel Mobley