Blow the Tannery Whistle Entire Folkstreams

Making The Film

Blow the Tannery Whistle: A Western North Carolina Story

Film by Tom Davenport, Jonathan Hamilton
Produced by Tom Davenport
Cinematographer: Jonathan Hamilton
Editing: Jonathan Hamilton with Thom Shepard
Copyright: 1994, Tom Davenport
34 minutes, Color
Original format: 8mm: Hi8 Video, 1994
Distributor: Other
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Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Tom Davenport, Jonathan Hamilton or to the distributor.

Playwrite Gary Carden writes....

Blow the Tannery Whistle is my story about growing up in
Appalachia. Since I was blessed—and afflicted—with a graphic memory, my tales are based on actual events. My father was a mountain musician who was killed by a local drunk when I was two years old. My mother left me on the front porch of my grandfather’s house and caught the bus for Knoxville. I was brought up by my grandparents in a house filled with the past. I listened to Grady Cole and Renfrow Valley on the radio while my grandfather tuned musical instruments and sang hymns from a shape-note songbook. There was always a great deal of foolishness about bad blood and black Irish curses.

I grew up with June Apple trees, cows, comic books, the Farmers’ Federation and Saturday movies. I told my first stories to white leghorn chickens in a dark chicken-house when I was six years old. My audience wasn’t attentive and tended to get hysterical during the dramatic parts.