We are thrilled to have Ted Olson here on Sunday. May 18 at 1:00 pm, Eastern at the Rebecca Johnson Theatre. He will be playing folk music and talking about folk music especially as it regards the 50th anniversary edition of “The Folk Box”.
A poet, cultural historian, editor, and musician, Ted Olson is the author or editor of 16 books. He has produced and compiled several documentary recordings of traditional Appalachian music, and he has written liner notes for various CDs of American vernacular music.


A professor at East Tennessee State University, Dr. Ted Olson has co-produced with legendary record producer Jac Holzman the 50th anniversary edition of “The Folk Box.” Olson also contributed an essay to this new release putting the influential album from the urban folk revival into historical perspective.


“The Folk Box: 50th Anniversary Edition,” released by Rhino Records, celebrates the original 1964 album by reissuing its four vinyl LPs containing 83 tracks by such renowned folk musicians as Pete Seeger, Dave Van Ronk, Phil Ochs, Woody Guthrie, Jean Redpath and Josh White, as well as such nationally significant Appalachia-based musicians as Doc Watson, Clarence Ashley and Jean Ritchie.


Cut from the original master tapes, the limited edition box set will also feature a bonus 7-inch vinyl recording of Judy Collins’ rare version of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It with Mine” and Tom Paxton’s classic song “The Last Thing on My Mind.”


The box set was originally produced by Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records. Holzman, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 for his work in recording some major rock music acts on Elektra, was one of the major advocates for folk music during the urban folk revival of the 1950s and early 1960s.


“The Folk Box,” which has been unavailable for more than four decades, was in many respects the signature release of Elektra Records during its folk years. To be as fully representative as possible of the folk music popular during that era, the album included many recordings from other record companies, especially Folkways Records.


In 2013, Olson earned a Grammy nomination in the “Best Historical Album” category as co-producer and liner notes writer for “Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music,” a release of music recordings collected in 1939 by Joseph Hall before residents of the Smokies were relocated to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 2012, Olson received two Grammy nominations for his work on a box set entitled “The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music.”


In addition to these accomplishments, he has also published poems, creative nonfiction pieces, articles, essays, encyclopedia entries, reviews, and oral histories in literary and scholarly anthologies and periodicals. Two of Olson’s books won the Appalachian Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers Association, and a recent book he edited received the Thomas D. Clark Memorial Foundation Book of the Year Award. Webpages about his poetry can be found at http://www.celticcatpublishing.com/revelations.htm and at http://windpub.com/books/breathingindarkness.htm

Olson, an ETSU faculty member in Appalachian Studies, is offering the online course, “American Folk Music: Roots and Branches,” during ETSU’s 2014 second summer session.