South Carolina Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Recipient

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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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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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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Boo-Hag Can’t Cross the Color Blue

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

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As Long As It is Wide

Outrageous Tallest of Tall Tales! Suited for 4th and 5th grade.

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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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Don't You Ever Laugh As the Hearse Goes By!

Just a perfect fun scary show. Great for 3rd-5th grade.

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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 favorite virtual shows:

Grades K-3: Tall Tales and Music Foolery
A fun-filled and engaging program of interactive stories, simple finger puppetry, and entertaining music. There's 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 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.

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 4 & 5:  As Long as It is Wide
Nothing is more entertaining than outrageous tall tales. The kind that sounds almost believable. This program is nothing but hyperbole. The stories are, “The Walking Catfish”, “The Day the Snake Bit the Hoe Handle” and “A Fair Days Hunting”. Expect figurative language foolery and exaggerations. There’s music too. These stories are designed to Streeeeeeetch the imagination. Approximately 45 minutes

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 6-12: The Monkey’s Paw
Johnny Thomas opens with an obscure nineteen-century banjo instrumental, “Shaving a Dead Man”, followed by a rendition of Bob Dylan’s, “Isis”; a mysterious story of treasuring hunting, all for love and the world's 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.

About  image
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.

Fowler's storytelling style is an eclectic mix of Appalachian folk tales, fairy tales, tall tales, and contemporary yarns, all infused with traditional songs and ballads. He has graced the stages of some of the most renowned storytelling festivals such as the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival, the International Storytelling Festival Exchange Place, and the Madison County Florida Storytelling Festival. He is also the host-teller-in-residence at Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival.

His storytelling skills were recognized in 2013 when he received the prestigious Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, the highest award given to folk artists in South Carolina. He is also one of seventeen national storytellers featured in the book Southern Appalachian Storytellers (McFarland Press) and co-hosts a weekly old-time radio show on North Carolina public radio station WNCW-FM.

Johnny's musical talent is just as impressive as his storytelling, with numerous accolades to his name. He is a two-time harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Old Music Festival in Union Grove N.C. He has 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 performances are a delightful blend of southern charm, theatricality, and humor, leaving audiences both entertained and informed. He is a true treasure in the storytelling and music scene and should not be missed.