South Carolina Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Recipient

Virtual Shows for Schools and Libraries

We are social distancing, however not socially isolated. Stories keep us connected, helping to build community. This is the perfect time to share stories and music!

Here are a few of my favorites virtual shows:

Grades 6-12: The Monkey’s Paw
Johnny Thomas opens with an obscure nineteen-century banjo instrumental, “Shaving a Dead Man”, followed by an rendition of Bob Dylan’s, “Isis”; an mysterious story of treasuring hunting , all for love and the worlds biggest necklace. Johnny finishes with a favorite, W.W. Jacob tale, “The Monkey’s Paw”. It’s the real deal and perfectly suited for your older students.
Approximate length: 40 minutes.

Grades K-3: Tall Tales and Music Foolery
A fun-filled and engaging program of interactive stories, simple finger puppetry, and entertaining music. There no place like the make believe land of stories to challenge a young imagination. Designed especially for young audiences featuring Johnny’s very own interactive story, “How Johnny Appleseed got His Nickname”, with music on the native-American flute and a dance performed by limber-jack Johnny Appleseed.
Approximate length: 35 minutes.

Grades 3-5: Don’t You Ever Laugh when the Hearse Goes By
This is an excellent virtual program combining music, poetry, and stories. What kind of stories do they want to hear? SCARY ones of course! This program features an array of time-tested Carolina favorites-- the spooky kind. It’s intriguing, suspenseful, and very engaging.
Approximate length: 35Minutes.

Grades 3-5: Going Across the Mountain
A wonderful collection of animated American folktales, Native American legends, and mountain music. Perfectly created for imaginative minds featuring North and South Carolina social studies and history, folklore, folk music and stories. It's a spinoff of his very popular live performance, "Where'd You Come From, Where'd You Go?"

Grades 1-3: 
The Great Train Race: The Day Trottin’ Sally Beat the Carolina Special
This is an outstanding program featuring South Carolina folk hero, George “Trotting Sally” Mullins. Johnny will share some historical information and publishing secrets and read his wonderful children’s book. The illustrations are amazing! Each school will receive two signed complimentary copies.
Perfect for 1st-3rd grade reading.
Approximately 30 minutes in length.

Assemblies & Presentations

Beans in My Ears

An Interactive Program of Animated Stories and Music. Excellent for k-2nd Grades

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Going Across the Mountain

A Delightful Presentation of Southern Appalachian Stories and Songs. For 3rd-5th grades

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Where'd You Come From, Where'd You Go?

A Wonderful Social Studies Program for North & South Carolina 3rd or 4th grades.

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Tall Tales and Music Foolery

This program is a special classroom presentation of great American tall tales and music, designed perfectly for classroom or small library setting.

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Boo-Hag Can’t Cross the Color Blue

An Old South Carolina Gullah Tale. Perfect for 6-12 grades

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A Dead Man, a Twisted Love Story and a Monkey’s Paw

A most mysterious show incorporating banjo, poetry and story. 6-12th Grades

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Our Music, Our Heritage, Our Story (2nd-12th.)

A wonderful social studies program

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Exploring the Wonderful World of Storytelling (1st & 2nd. grades)

An outstanding week of drama based storytelling activities.

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Performance Literacy Through Storytelling (3rd-6th.)

An excellent program that teaches storytelling and public speaking skills.

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Johnny Thomas Fowler, mountain-heritage storyteller, award winning musician and author is from the foothills of upcountry South Carolina. His work is featured on South Carolina Public TV where he has co-produced a number of documentaries for SC-ETV. He is a member of the SC Institute for Community Scholars. In 2011-12 he served as the project scholar for the Humanities Council of South Carolina.

Johnny Thomas is one of seventeen national storytellers captured in the book Southern Appalachian Storytellers (McFarland Press). In 2013 John was honored to receive the prestigious Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, the highest award given to folk artists in South Carolina. He co-hosts a weekly old-time radio show on North Carolina public radio station WNCW-FM.

His storytelling is a wonderful anthology of Appalachian folk tales, fairy tales, outrageous tall tales and contemporary yarns,combining traditional songs and ballads. He has been a featured teller at Stone Soup Storytelling Festival, the International Storytelling Festival Exchange Place, Madison County Florida Storytelling Festival and is the host-teller-in-residence at Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival.

Johnny is an award winning musician. He is a two-time harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Old Music Festival in Union Grove N.C. He also received blue ribbons in the banjo competition at the prestigious Mountain Dance Folk Festival in Asheville N,C. and the Pickins Heritage Day Old-Time Music Festival.

His southern charm and theatrical presentation takes his audiences by surprise. His performances are hilarious, creative, energetic, and historically informative. He is simply a treasure to see.


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