The Bradley Kincaid Collection,1923-1980 (bulk 1925-1970)

Descriptive Summary

Title
The Bradley Kincaid Collection,1923-1980 (bulk 1925-1970)
Creator
Berea College
Extent
6.4 Linear Feet
Subjects
American Folk Music
American Popular Music
Berea College
Bradley Kincaid
Country Music History
History of Radio
Tent Shows
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
Berea College

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Bradley Kincaid was born at Point Leavell, Garrard County, Kentucky on July 13, 1895, the fourth of nine children. His parents, William and Elizabeth Hurt Kincaid, were the singers from whom he learned his first songs. His father, a farm laborer, once traded one of his foxhounds for a guitar, which young Kincaid learned to play. For many years he used this "Hound Dawg" guitar to entertain family and friends.
Kincaid attended Garrard County's Back Creek School through fifth grade. He worked in a Louisville wheel shop and then on a farm until 1914 when at age 19, he entered the Berea College Foundation School as a sixth-grader. He left after the eighth grade to join the military, serving two years during World War I. For a brief period after the war, he worked as salesman for the Storrs-Schaefer Tailoring Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kincaid soon resumed his education at Berea and it was during this time that his interest in music deepened. With the encouragement of Thomas Edwards, one of his teachers, he began systematically collecting ballads and other songs. His search lead to several trips throughout the eastern part of the state and the material collected was eventually included in thirteen published songbooks.
Kincaid graduated from the Berea College Academy (high school) in 1921 at age 26. A year later he married his Berea music teacher, Irma Foreman, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He worked in Kentucky as a Y.M.C.A. district secretary for two years. He then moved to Chicago to attend Y.M.C.A. College (now known as George Williams College.)
Singing with a college quartet led to a 1928 solo audition for the National Barn Dance, a radio program heard widely throughout the Midwest on Chicago's 50,000 watt WLS. He became a regular cast member on the program and was soon being billed as "the Kentucky Mountain Boy." His renditions of "Barbara Allen" and other old ballads and songs learned while growing up in Kentucky, drew huge amounts of fan mail and lucrative opportunities for songbook sales and personal appearances in theaters and other venues.
After four years at WLS, he went on to have similar success on radio stations in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston and other cities. Among the musicians he partnered with during this period was Kentuckian, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones. He made numerous commercial recordings for a variety of labels including Gennett, Brunswick, RCA, Decca and those companies' subsidiaries in Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and Japan. In 1939, while at WHAM in Rochester, New York, he adopted a tent show format for much of his warm weather personal appearance work and continued what he called his "Radio Circus" throughout the remainder of his career. His last major radio work was on WSM's Grand Ole Opry in Nashville from 1942-1947.
From Nashville he moved to Springfield, Ohio where his business efforts included successful stints as a radio station and music store owner. Although pretty much retired from show business, he continued to issue commercial recordings well into the 1970s. He died September 23, 1989 in Springfield, Ohio at age 94.
Scope and Content
This collection of correspondence, photographs, news clippings, songbooks, and sheet music from radio ballad singer, Bradley Kincaid was placed in Hutchins Library's Southern Appalachian Archives in the summer of 1975. The collection was given by Loyal Jones who received it from Kincaid. Additional material collected by Jones from Kincaid and others was added in the summer of 1989.

Contents of the Collection

Series I: Printed Material

This series includes advertisements and promotions for Kincaid's songbooks and performances along with information concerning Chicago radio station WLS and the National Barn Dance. Arranged chronologically.

Clippings, 1926-1999, undated

  • Box 1
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Printed Material, 1925-1969

  • Box 1
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Printed Material, 1975-1976

  • Box 1
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Printed Material, 1977-1978

  • Box 1
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Printed Material, 1980-1981, undated

  • Box 1
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Series II: Personal / Biographical

This series includes clippings, publications by others, and transcript of a recorded oral history interview. Also included are a discography, list of Kincaid's 300 plus song repertoire, program schedules, and radio addresses he gave.

Radio Addresses and Quizzes

  • Box 1
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Program Schedules

  • Box 1
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Song Lists and Personal Discography

  • Box 1
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Personal Notes and Interviews

  • Box 1
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Miscellaneous

  • Box 1
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Series III: Personal / Manuscript

This series includes typescript, text proofs, and galleys of Loyal Jones' biography of Kincaid, Radio's "Kentucky Mountain Boy" Bradley Kincaid. Correspondence relating to the book's publication is also included.

Manuscript: Correspondence, 1973-1979

  • Box 2
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Manuscript: Correspondence, 1980-1981

  • Box 2
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Manuscript: Text Proofs

  • Box 2
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Manuscript: Music Proofs

  • Box 2
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Manuscript: Typescript

  • Box 2
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Manuscript: Galley Copy

  • Box 2
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Series IV: Correspondence

This series includes radio fan mail, Kincaid's replies, exchanges regarding booking arrangements and a wide variety of other personal and business correspondence. Correspondents of particular interest include Berea College Presidents William J. and Francis Hutchins, John Lair, D.K. Wilgus, Doc Schneider, and Loyal Jones. Arranged chronologically 1923-1981.

Correspondence: November 1923 - April 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: May 1931 - July 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: August 1931 - September 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: October 1931 - November 5, 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: November 6, 1931 - November 30, 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: December 1931

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: January 1932 - February 1932

  • Box 3
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Correspondence: March 1932 - April 1932

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: May 1932 - June 1932

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: July - September 1932

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: October 1932 - December 1933

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: January 1934 - December 1939

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: "Doc" Schneider - Tent Shows, 1939-40

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: January 1940 - March 1945

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: April 1945 - December 1967

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: 1971 - 1974

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: January 1975 - December 1977

  • Box 4
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Correspondence: 1978

  • Box 5
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Correspondence: 1979 - 1980

  • Box 5
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Correspondence: 1986 - August 1987

  • Box 5
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Correspondence: September - December 1987

  • Box 5
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Correspondence: 1988 - 1989

  • Box 5
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Correspondence: Not dated

  • Box 5
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Song Lyrics: A -B

  • Box 5
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Series V: Song Lyrics

This series includes a variety of song lyrics (without musical notation) that were sung by Bradley Kincaid, or were sent to him by various fans. Arranged alphabetically by title.
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Series VI: Sheet Music

This series includes pieces of published sheet music dating from the late 1800s through about 1960. There are additionally words to songs (typed-without musical notation). All arranged alphabetically by title.
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Series VII: Songbooks

This series includes songbooks published and collected by Kincaid, and photo-copies of three typed, loose-leaf ones that he compiled (words only with title index). Arranged alphabetically by title.
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Series VIII: Oversized Sheet Music and Sheet Music Fragments

Much of the oversized sheet music dates from the turn-of-the- century. The remainder of the series includes incomplete sheets of music. Arranged alphabetically by title.
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Series IX: Photographs

This series includes several photographs of Kincaid, and other early radio music performers dating from the 1920s through the 1940s. Included also, are more recent ones of Kincaid that document various 1970s performances at Berea College.

Photographs:

Kincaid Display at Hutchins Library 1970s

  • Box 14
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NBC Radio Program for overseas airing about, 1943.

  • Box 14
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Photographs: Bradley Kincaid and family

Baby Picture of Bradley, Viola, Ann, and Lewis.

  • Box 14
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Bradley, Irma, and Twins.

  • Box 14
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Twins, Barbara and Irma.

  • Box 14
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Bradley Kincaid, WLW [1931].

  • Box 14
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The Twins Alene and Barbara, Irma, and Mrs. George Biggar.

  • Box 14
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Bradley Kincaid and Irma, last summer on farm.

  • Box 14
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Bradley Kincaid and Geo Biggar of WLW.

  • Box 14
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Bradley Kincaid, 1938-39, Rochester, New York.

  • Box 14
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Bradley, 1926-1928.

  • Box 14
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Bradley and his Hound Dog Guitar.

  • Box 14
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Bradley Kincaid.

  • Box 14
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Bradley with News Quartet at George Williams College, 1925-1926.

  • Box 14
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Painting of Bradley Kincaid by Bert Williams.

  • Box 14
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Bradley at State Theatre, Farmington, Maine. 1935.

  • Box 14
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Various Pictures of Kincaid

  • Box 14
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George Biggar, Bradley Kincaid, and Assistant Program Director at WLW in 1930.

  • Box 14
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Bradley, [1970s]

  • Box 14
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Bradley at Traditional Music Festival, 1974.

  • Box 14
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Bradley and President Stephenson [1970s]

  • Box 14
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Bradley on Berea Campus, [1970s]

  • Box 14
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Photo Mats

  • Box 14
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Slides of Kincaid

  • Box 14
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Photographs: Radio and Road Shows

Community Chest 30th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner1953.

  • Box 14
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Glee Club1926.

  • Box 14
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Kincaid cutting wheat in North Carolina.

  • Box 14
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Kincaid House in Scotland.

  • Box 14
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Tent Show1943.

  • Box 14
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WBZ Radio 103.

  • Box 14
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WKRC road show, 1943; Bradley Kincaid with band and Renfro Valley Performers.

  • Box 14
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WLW talent at Cincinnati's Fountain Square, 1941.

  • Box 14
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WLS Barn Dance, 1929.

  • Box 14
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WLS National Barn Dance, 1944.

  • Box 14
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WLW Jamboree On Stage at RKO Palace in Boone County, 1953.

  • Box 14
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Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, A - C

Jane Allen

  • Box 14
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Bob Atcher

  • Box 14
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Jack Baggett

  • Box 14
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Bailes Brothers

  • Box 14
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Edgar L. Bill

  • Box 14
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The Buccaneers

  • Box 14
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"Caddy"

  • Box 14
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Cowboy Copas

  • Box 14
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Cowboy Copas

  • Box 14
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Hugh Cross

  • Box 14
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Hugh Cross

  • Box 14
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Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, G - P

Georgia Crackers

  • Box 14
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Hank and Dusty

  • Box 14
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Betty and Anne Heifner

  • Box 14
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Doc Hopkins

  • Box 14
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Marshall (Grandpa) Jones

  • Box 14
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Ramona Jones

  • Box 14
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Robert Lunn

  • Box 14
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"The Maple City Four"

  • Box 14
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Oscar McGooney and Jack Baggett

  • Box 14
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Hal O'Hallman

  • Box 14
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Bashful Joe and Pie Plant Pete

  • Box 14
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Pete and Joe

  • Box 14
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Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys with Eddy Arnold

  • Box 14
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Purv Pullen

  • Box 14
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Pigfoot Pete

  • Box 14
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Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, R - Z

Shellbark Hickory

  • Box 14
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Slim and Dan

  • Box 14
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Jim Small and His Shiretonians

  • Box 14
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Eddie Smith

  • Box 14
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Burt Swor and Lou Lubin

  • Box 14
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"Tennessee Ramblers"

  • Box 14
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Texas Ruby and Curly Fox

  • Box 14
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The Three Hired Men

  • Box 14
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Ralph Waldo

  • Box 14
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The Willis Brothers, Judy Perkins, and Kincaid

  • Box 14
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