UNC Library's Southern Folklife Collection houses an amazing collection of American folk music, with more than 160,000 sound recordings on cylinders, acetate discs, wire, 78 rpm and 45 rpm discs, LPs, cassettes, CDs, and open reel tapes. Musical styles include old-time, country-western, hillbilly, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Cajun and zydeco. Other materials include photographs, posters, and manuscripts related to the music. More background on the collection is available here.
All the materials are non-circulating, which means you have to be on site at Wilson Library to use them. Until now. The library has created six streaming radio "stations" to bring many of these recordings right to your computer. Take a listen to any of the following channels:
They're all good, but the SFC Mix offers a great sampling of the music of the South.
Mountain Music Festival, Asheville, September 1938. Photo courtesy NC State Archives.