47 Bertha Mangum Landis was born December 11, 1898 and died June 9, 2000. At the time of the filmmaking, she was about 83 years old. Her obituary read “On June 17 1917 Bertha was united in Holy Matrimony to the late Wiley Coy Landis Sr. They were married for 60 years. From this union 11 children were born. She was preceded in death by her sons Wiley Jr. and Robert. She has 27 grandchildren, 46 great-grand children, 11 great-great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
48 Lying at the eastern edge of the Carolina Piedmont, Granville County, North Carolina, has a long agricultural history in which the growing of tobacco has predominated. Granville"s large black population percentage is a legacy of antebellum slavery in one of the South"s leading tobacco producing counties.
49 Fleming Landis left for industrial Akron, Ohio, in 1946. Also searching for a wage-paying job, Robert Landis first joined his brother in Ohio, then his sister, Jessie Mae, who had moved to Newark, New Jersey.
50 The Harris, Landis, Lawrence, Byrd, and Green reunion has been celebrated at the Rock Springs Baptist Church every fourth Sunday in August since October 1934. The original purpose of the reunion was for support and continued upkeep of the family cemetery.
51 The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet from Virginia recorded the most widely known version of the jubilee song “Jezebel” for Okeh records in 1941.
52 The Landises were one of the first black tenant farming families to ever buy their own place in Granville County, NC. The 142-acre farm was purchased in 1939 for $1800 with a Farm Security Administration loan. As the Landis children began to leave home, the family farmed less and less land. At the time we were filming A Singing Stream in the early 1980s, four of Coy and Bertha Landis"s children and one of her grandchildren lived in homes within sight of the "homeplace" where Bertha Landis continued to live with her son Truzell, who commuted to work in Durham.
53 The Landis family members of the Golden Echoes are lead singer and manager John (b. l925), baritone singer Claude (b. l933), and their nephew Kenneth Daniel (b. 1954) who was the lead guitar player when we filmed.
54 John Landis decorated the garage with artifacts from the days when mules were used to farm -- horse “collars” that now frame mirrors and old time farm implements.
55 The introduction of musical instruments into the church sanctuary, what Bertha Landis calls "bringing music into the church," was resisted for years by many churches as inappropriate to Sunday worship services, so the earliest quartets sang a cappella.
56 Refers to the placenta covering his face.
57 Bertha Mangum married Coy Landis in 1917. She was nineteen, he twenty-one. Coy Landis died in 1977.
58 Requiring some 400 hours of intensive labor per acre throughout a "13-month" growing cycle, the cultivation and curing of tobacco demanded the attention of families of farmers, with jobs for young and old, male and female. Relatively small tobacco farms (compared with those growing corn or wheat or cattle) can support a family.
59 The Farm Security Administration was created in the Department of Agriculture in 1937. The FSA was a New Deal program designed to assist poor farmers during the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.
60 By 1930, nearly eighty percent of black farmers and fifty percent of white farmers did not own their farms. For every family like the Landises, who were able to obtain a Farm Security Administration loan to buy their farm, there were scores of families entrapped by the lien system or in flight from the countryside in search of "public work"—often in the Durham factories of the American Tobacco Company or Liggett and Myers.
61 The Golden Echoes have performed before many largely white audiences (where songs like "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Dust on the Bible" are favorites) and have invited white gospel quartets to sing at their yearly anniversary concerts.
62 Words and music by the Rev. G. Bennard, New Hymnal (Nashville; Broadman Press,1926) no. 369.
63 Large intestines of a pig.
64 In pursuit of better lives for themselves and the Granville county black community, the Landises have supported an integrated public school system and encouraged and voted for black candidates for public offices. Bertha Landis has been a long-time member of the NAACP.
65 On May 17, 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down segregation in public education on the basis of the 14th Amendments “protection clause,” which guarantees equality to all people regardless of race. The NAACP had brought suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas on behalf of Linda Brown, a third grade black girl who had to walk a mile out of her way to get to school even though there was a white school just a few blocks away. This monumental decision ended 50 years of legalized segregation and shifted the legal battle from ending segregation to implementing integration.
66 Singing group from Akron, Ohio led by Fleming Landises’ daughter Karen.
67 A heifer is a young cow that has not yet had a calf.
68 The filmmakers were working with a very simplified sound capability from the floor. Although the recording of the evening"s performance gave them a vivid presence, they chose to overdub and re-mix a small section of the concert footage for the finished film. A year after this concert was filmed, they went into a sound studio at Duke University with the Golden Echoes and Karen Landis (who sings with John on "Going Up to Meet Him"). John Landis made notes on an envelope (how many repetitions of a phrase, at what word he entered or stopped singing) and he and Karen worked from these to do the overdubbing.
161 This line is the source of the film title.