William Edwin Lightfoot, Ph.D.


Dr. Richard D. Howe, “William Edwin Lightfoot, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48052.

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>


William Edwin Lightfoot, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of English William Edwin Lightfoot (September 5, 1940-) was born in Madisonville, Kentucky. He is the son of Irma and William Lightfoot, both from western Kentucky. Lightfoot earned both his B.A. degree in preparatory law (1963) and his M.A. degree in English (1969) from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1976 in folklore from Indiana University-Purdue at Indianapolis. Dr. Lightfoot married Elizabeth Johnson (1941-2003) in 1965, at the Rock of Gibraltar, in southwestern Europe. They had three children, Daniel, Sarah, and Kate, and two grandchildren, Grace and Johnny. After teaching in the folklore program at Indiana University (1972-1974) and in the Department of English at Ohio State University (1974-1980), Dr. Lightfoot, in 1980, became a professor in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. During his career, Lightfoot was active in several professional and community organizations. He was the record review editor of the Appalachian Journal from 1981 until 1986; director, Appalachian State University Traditional Music Festival in 1982 and in 1983; chair, Folklife Subcommittee, Heritage and Folklife Committee, Appalachian Consortium from 1981 until 1985; member, Center for Appalachian Studies Advisory Committee; member, Music Planning Group, Appalachian Cultural Center, 1984-1985; member, Student Affairs Advisory Board, 1984-1986; member, Design Planning Committee, Appalachian Culture Center, 1984; faculty associate, National Collegiate Honors Council Appalachian Culture Semester, 1985; coordinator and general manager, An Appalachian Summer in 1985 and 1986; faculty development consultant, The William C. Hubbard Center for Faculty Development and Instructional Services, 1988-1990; judge, Appalachian Studies Conference Student Paper Competition, 1988; chair, Appalachian Studies Committee, Appalachian Consortium, 1988-1990; member, Appalachian Studies Graduate Program Advisory Committee, 1990; director, Appalachian House, Washington, District of Columbia, 1991; director, New York Loft, New York City, 1992; and member, Freshman Seminar Faculty, 1993. Lightfoot's community service activities include the following: judge, Fiddlers' Grove Clogging Contest, 1981; judge, World's Fair Invitational Championship Fiddlers' Convention, 1982; and judge, High Country Fair Fiddlers' Contest, 1983. Lightfoot was a member of the American Folklore Society, the North Carolina Folklore Society, and the South Carolina/McKissick Museum Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program Panel. He also has been a consultant for, and a participant in, documentaries, workshops, and festivals for music and storytelling. Dr. Lightfoot has published numerous articles including the following titles: • "Lulu Belle and Scotty," "Mose Rager." in The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Ed. Paul Kingsbury. New York: Oxford University Press, (1998): 308, 428. • "Brother Dave Gardner." In Southern Head Trips: The South and the Sixties Counterculture. The Southern Quarterly 34 (1996): 81-93. • "Hicks-Harmon Families," "Jack Tales," "Bascom Lamar Lunsford," "Frank Noah Proffitt," "Merle Robert Travis," "Marshall Ward, Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman." In American Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Jan Harold Brunvand. New York: Garland, (1996): 367-369, 399, 451-452, 595-597. • "Folksong and the 'New Aesthetic'" (review essay on Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed. Neil V. Rosenberg). MidAmerica Folklore 23 (1995): 38-47. • "Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman." in Heritage of the Toe River Valley, North Carolina. Ed. Lloyd R. Bailey, Sr., Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth, 1994. • Folk Songs of Lulu Belle and Scotty: Tender Memories Recalled (Volume 4), MarLu Records 8904, 1992. • "Something Happens": Teaching at Appalachian (a 23-minute video program featuring reflections on effective teaching by award-winning teachers at Appalachian State University), The Hubbard Center, 1990. • "A Regional Musical Style: The Legacy of Arnold Shultz." In Sense of Place: American Regional Cultures. Ed. Barbara Allen and Thomas J. Schlereth. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1990. • "From Radio Queen to Raleigh: Conversations with Lulu Belle" (Part One). Old Time Country, 6.2 (1989): 4-10; Part Two, 6.S (1989): 3-9. In retirement, Lightfoot is enjoying reading and listening to jazz and blues music. He is a percussionist with the Watauga Community Band; he also does consulting work on documentaries, and writes articles on Appalachian and African-American folklore. He is currently writing a book on Merle Travis, Lulu Belle and Scottie Wiseman, the Prairie Ramblers, and Patsy Montana. Dr. Lightfoot states that he "has many fine memories of his career in Boone, North Carolina, where he has met many wonderful Appalachian performers, such as Ray Hicks, Stanley Hicks, and Frank Proffitt, Jr." Dr. Lightfoot retired June 30, 2001, and was awarded emeritus status by the Board of Trustees. Sources: Appalachians State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>