Mary Celestia Parler;
Mountain Home, Ark.
November 5, 1954
Reel 213, Item 4
Conversation About John Morris
MCP: Tell me something about this grandfather that taught
you all these songs.
JM: Well, my grandfather was John Morris. He was raised
principally in Baxter County, and his father came from
Tennessee. He studied music when he was a boy, and
of course this was a wild country then. And after he
had learned all he could here, he went to New York
City and studied music for some time, and then came
back to the hills and spent his life here in the
hills of Arkansas, and in the Indian Territory before
it was Oklahoma....Most all of his life, he spent it
teaching singing schools. Of course, when he got
older, as many singing school teachers, he hadn't
amassed a great fortune, so he spent his last days
peddling with a wagon and team.
MCP: What did he peddle?
JM: All kinds of things that people wanted to buy. He
bought eggs and sold the kids candy. And, of course,
Terry Powder and rouge for the girls, and, you know,
just a general line...
MCP: He taught singing school, but he also knew a lot of
songs that he didn't learn from singing school, didn't
JM: Oh, yes, Grandfather knew lots of old songs...
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