Speaker's Bureau

Jack Tales from the Richard Chase Collection

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In 1983, while working as a scholar-in-residence for the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities, Dr. Williams had the opportunity to travel around the mountains with Richard Chase, the famous Jack Tale collector. During that time, he discussed Chase’s dialect renditions of the Jack Tales along with a number of  old English fairy tales which Chase discovered in the mountains.  The clever Jack of these tales always outwits his stronger adversaries from Bears and Bulls to Robbers and Giants. Familiar to all ages is the tale of “Jack and the Bean Stalk,” but told in mountain dialect it becomes funnier than ever. Also, “Jack and the Robbers,” a rendition of “The Bremmen Town Musicians,” keeps the audience howling, especially when the robbers mistake all the animal sounds for human ones. Dr. Williams also taught English in Appalachian Kentucky in the 1970’s where he studied Appalachian speech.  He combines the stories Chase collected with his appreciation of mountain dialect to present Jack Tales in a highly entertaining fashion. He also adds a degree of scholarship to this presentation as a trained academic folklorist.

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