Two hundred years ago, early explorers of the Southern Appalachians pondered the piles of stone they encountered at “all the gaps in the mountains.” While most of those cairns have disappeared, they remain a mystery. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Good Reads

When I was 4 years old I saw a cobra edging out from behind a wooden strawberry barrel in our garden. Naturally I was certain of what I had seen, despite the fact that I was not even on the same continent as any known, free roaming, cobra. more

Feb 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Sometimes commendable works of literature go out of print or fade away with the death of their author, only to be rescued and given new life by champions who have loved and admired them. more

Feb 1, 2017 12:00 AM Good Reads


Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

In the summer of 1954, I turned six, caught my first fish, and fell out of a tree house. It was also the summer I learned to swim. The last of those milestones came as a result of a strange set of circumstances that still brings a smile to my face. more

Jun 1, 2016 12:00 AM Good Reads

Ties to the past

Courtesy of Jonesborough Area Merchants & Service Association

It may not come as a surprise that the oldest town in Tennessee would also be a hotbed for storytelling. Jonesborough’s National Storytelling Festival, an annual event that began with 60 attendees in 1973, now attracts more than 10,000 guests. more

Jun 1, 2016 12:00 AM , Departments

Connie Regan-Blake has been taking honest, hard-working folks for a ride for over four decades now. If her lips are moving, she’s spinning a yarn. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Departments

Double Date, Double Trouble

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

A lovers’ moon hung low and stars shimmered between the Appalachian crests. But for us, the ambience was wasted. Her father sat behind the wheel, with her 12-year-old sister on the passenger side. more

Jun 1, 2015 12:00 AM Good Reads


Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

In many ways Grandpa Joe was a boy trapped in an old man’s body. As full of tricks as a pet ’coon, tough as a seasoned hickory sapling, and imbued with 70-plus years of Smokies wisdom, he possessed an unflagging sense of adventure. more

Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM Good Reads

Dreamsong Theater

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

The International Storytelling Center (ISC) and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will join forces in the coming year to highlight the art of storytelling at Dollywood’s newest destination in the Great Smoky Mountains. more

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM Departments

Judaculla Rock

Donated photo

The Smoky Mountains’ urban legends—or rather rural myths—are a sure-fire way to strike up conversation. But be forewarned. One could be walking into a hornet’s nest, or opening a can of worms, or, as some say around here, stepping into a cow pile. more

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Features

Bourbon and marshmallows

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

My grandmother was a woman for whom a simple trip to the grocery store oftentimes turned into a Homeric journey. After her death, I struggled to narrow down her life’s stories canonical collection to only two or three that truly immortalized her. more

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Good Reads

Donald Davis

Courtesy of International Storytelling Center

Sheila Kay Adams knows how to keep a crowd entertained whether she’s telling a tale, singing or strumming, but she claims a go-with-the-flow attitude when she hits the stage, saying she never knows exactly what she’s going to do before she does it. more

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Features

My husband and I recently packed the car with enough clothes for a couple of days, and drove the hour-and-a-half to Spartanburg, S.C., where Mom and Dad, both well into their 70s and waiting on Jesus, live in a sprawling rancher on a cul-de-sac. more

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Good Reads

The Saw Hog

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

“When I sent the book out the first time, a publisher promptly returned it with the comment, ‘You’ve got to be kidding’,” Storyteller Gary Carden said. “Eventually, I put in on the shelf." more

Oct 1, 2013 3:55 PM Good Reads

Don Lasater

T. Wayne Waters

It’s time once again to saddle up and head out to Pigeon Forge for the city’s celebration of the cowboy lifestyle. The 12th annual Saddle Up! will be Feb. 23-26 and this year the festival will add an extra dose of storytelling and song. more

Feb 1, 2012 12:00 AM Departments


Sarah E. Kucharski photo

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, visited Knoxville, Tenn., this fall as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. more

Feb 1, 2011 12:00 AM Departments

There’s scarcely a better time than the first weekend of October, when the “Once Upon a Times” fall like rain, the “Happily Ever Afters” follow suit, and the yarns, lies, and legends are all rippin’ good. more

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 AM Departments


Selu: Keith Parker illustration • Kanati: Michael Meissner illustration

Who would ever guess that modern listeners would identify with the ancient, characters in a Cherokee story — Selu, who is murdered by her two sons, or the wild child, who emerges from the discarded blood of animals? more

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 AM Features

Have Shows ... Will Travel. That’s a headline from Shows to Go, a brochure for the one-woman shows of award-winning actress Barbara Bates Smith. more

Jul 1, 2008 12:00 AM Features