Tuesday, July 5, 2016

John Egerton Scholar in Residence

In June, 2016, Frye Gaillard was named the first John Egerton Scholar in Residence by the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi. Egerton, one of the founder’s of SFA, was an award-winning Southern author who, as Gaillard notes, “wrote as well as anybody ever has” about Southern history, race relations, and culture. Among Egerton’s best-known books were Speak Now Against the Day, Southern Food, and The Americanization of Dixie. “For most of my adult life, and for much of his, John Egerton was a mentor and friend,” said Gaillard, “and I am pleased to be recognized in a way that honors his memory.” Gaillard gave the concluding address at the SFA’s Summer Symposium, held this year in Egerton’s hometown of Nashville.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

University of South Alabama Common Read

With the choice of his book, Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America, as the 2015-16 Common Read book for the University of South Alabama, Frye Gaillard has begun a year’s worth of campus programming on the history and legacy of the civil rights movement – conducting readings and campus-wide discussions, hosting visiting speakers, and delivering guest lectures in multiple classes. Gaillard’s Writer in Residence position at the university also includes public programming throughout Alabama and the South, discussing his books and issues of importance. In the past three months, he has been a part of programs in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Virginia, with readings and discussions from Cradle of Freedom; The Dream Long Deferred: The Landmark Struggle for Desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina; The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir; Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters; and Watermelon Wine: Remembering the Golden Years of Country Music.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Faculty Appointment, War and Memory Center

Frye Gaillard has been named to the interdisciplinary faculty of the Center for the Study of War and Memory at the University of South Alabama. Founded in 2012, the one-of-a-kind center studies the collective memory of war and its impact on society, both in the United States and abroad. Steven Trout, director of the Center, wrote the Foreword for Gaillard’s 2015 book, Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters. The book is a January release from NewSouth Books in Montgomery, AL.

Visit the center's website here!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Frye and Friends at W.C. Handy Festival

In the summer of 2014, Frye and his friend, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, one of America’s great syndicated columnists, appeared at the W.C. Handy Festival in Florence, AL, joined onstage by Nashville songwriters Davis Raines and Pamela Jackson for a combination of reading and song. The standing-room-only event was part of an annual tribute to Handy, a Florence native and “Father of the Blues.” Frye, Rheta, Davis and Pamela followed their festival appearance with performances at the Huntsville Public Library’s Summer Concert series, and the Mobile Public Library. They were joined in Mobile by Alabama songwriter Kathryn Scheldt, and future events will include such Nashville artists asJon Byrd and Anne E. DeChant.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Americana Gazette


In the most recent issues of the Americana Gazette, Frye Gaillard has profiled two of his favorite singer-songwriters. In the paper’s December-January issue, Gaillard wrote about Jimbo Mathus, an old friend who was lead singer for the jazz-rock group, Squirrel Nut Zippers, back when they were singing at the White House and releasing records that quickly went platinum. Mathus is now back in his native Mississippi, writing songs and singing country-blues with a serious helping of roots rock ‘n’ roll. “Jimbo is one of the most dynamic live performers this side of Bruce Springsteen,” said Gaillard. “It’s been really fun to reconnect with him.” In the February-March issue of the Gazette, Gaillard profiles Grammy-winning country star Kathy Mattea, whose last two albums, “Coal” and “Carry Me Home,” are two of the best and most substantial she’s ever made. “I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed interviewing anybody more than I enjoyed talking to Kathy Mattea,” said Gaillard. “She’s reflective, honest, and simultaneously high-minded and self-deprecating when it comes to her career. These last albums, filled with Appalachian folks songs, are two of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Kathy is a native of West Virginia, and her music overflows a deep sense of place. Really wonderful stuff.”   

Literary Mobile


Frye Gaillard is honored to have an entry in the new edition of Literary Mobile, an anthology published by Negative Capability Press and released in January 2013. Editors of the anthology include long-time friends John Hafner and Sue Walker, and Gaillard’s former student at the University of South Alabama, Rachael Alex Fowler.  “It’s been fun working with Rachael on this,” said Gaillard. “She’s one of the most promising students I’ve ever taught, and was the driving force behind this tenth anniversary edition of the anthology.” Gaillard’s entry – a non-fiction essay – is entitled “Coming Home: In Memory of Robert Croshon.” Also included in the book are essays and excerpts from such colleagues and literary favorites as Roy Hoffman, Carolyn Haines, Tom Franklin, Patricia Foster, Albert Murray, Eugene Walter, and Winston Groom.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Will Campbell Tribute


In its Summer 2012 edition, the national journal, Perspectives in Religious Studies, devoted the whole issue to the work and life of Will Campbell, a theologian, preacher and author whose unique understanding of Christianity has made him one of the most important religious figures of the past hundred years. Frye Gaillard, a longtime friend of Campbell’s, had the honor of contributing two items to this latest Campbell tribute. The first was a profile reprinted from Gaillard’s book, With Music and Justice for All, and paired in the journal with the lyrics to “The Gospel According to Will,” a song co-written by Gaillard and Nashville recording artist Kathryn Scheldt. In May 2012, Scheldt sang the song during a tribute dinner to Campbell, held at Belmont University in Nashville. “It was a thrill to hear the lyrics and Kathryn’s beautiful melody in that setting,” Gaillard said, “a real highlight for both Kathryn and me.”

Monday, May 7, 2012

Unite Against the War on Women


Nashville recording artist Kathryn Scheldt performed songs co-written with Frye Gaillard at an April 28 rally in Montgomery, AL, sponsored by Unite Against the War on Women. The Alabama rally was one of nearly fifty held in cities across the nation, as women protested state and national assaults – mostly in the form of legislation by Republicans – aimed at limiting women’s health care options and undermining the notion of equal pay for equal work. “I’m honored that songs I’ve had a hand in writing were sung on this occasion,” said Gaillard. “Kathryn is a great singer and songwriter who understands the journey that women have made in her lifetime and does not want to see that progress reversed. As the father of two daughters, the issue is personal for me also.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Documentary

Mike Letcher, award-winning producer/director at the Alabama Center for Public Television, has produced a documentary film adaptation of Frye Gaillard’s book, In the Path of the Storms: Bayou La Batre, Coden, and the Alabama Coast. The documentary, co-produced by Sheila Hagler and Peggy Denniston, with cinematography by Preston Sullivan, was completed in 2011 has been shown thus far at colleges and schools in Alabama, including Auburn University, Spring Hill College, the University of South Alabama, and Alma Bryant High School in Bayou La Batre. Stay tuned for the announcement of an air date for Alabama Public Television.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Matraca Berg

In the April-May issue of The Americana Gazette, Frye Gaillard profiles Hall of Fame songwriter Matraca Berg on the eve of the release of her new Dualtone CD, “The Dreaming Fields.” Gaillard called the CD “a powerful body of Americana music, delivered in (Berg’s) silky, unmistakable voice. There are songs of sadness and songs of hurt, but all of them carry the redemption of beauty and the clarity and heart of a poet looking back… This is Berg at her best.”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Alabama Heritage

The winter 2011 issue of Alabama Heritage, an award-winning quarterly published by the University of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, features Frye Gaillard’s article on Bayou La Batre, an embattled fishing village on the Alabama coast. Adapted from his book, In the Path of the Storms, co-authored with Sheila Hagler and Peggy Denniston, Gaillard’s story explores the history of the Bayou community from its founding in 1789 through the devastations of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill of 2010.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

More On the Oil Spill

In the summer, 2010 issue of Vanderbilt Magazine, Gaillard offered additional reflections on the oil spill. “For some of us,” he wrote, “the stakes are first of all aesthetic. We love the pelicans and the great blue herons, the cypress trees and the white sand beaches, and that haunting, subtle beauty of the marsh. Now, suddenly, the images of oil-soaked birds and deep red stains in the sawgrass savannah are themselves enough to break people’s hearts. But the damage, of course, goes deeper than that.” For full text, click here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Village Wisdom

Frye Gaillard wrote the foreword for Village Wisdom: Immersed in Uganda, Inspired by Job, Changed for Life, a memoir in photographs and words by North Carolina artist Carrie Wagner. The book, published in the spring of 2010 by Butler Mountain Press of Asheville, NC, tells the story of Carrie and her husband Bob, who spent three years as Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Uganda. In the Foreword, Gaillard summarized the book this way: “It is a memoir offered with humility and heart, and for some of us lucky enough to read it, it carries a certain measure of discomfort. We are reminded of the magnitude of global need, and how little most of us do to meet it, and the opportunities we are missing in the process. It may well be that the resulting unease is the greatest single gift of this book.”
(For more information, log on to www.villagewisdombook.com.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

To Live and Write in Dixie

Gaillard co-edited and wrote the foreword by this collection of new work by Alabama poet P.T. Paul. To Live and Write in Dixie was published in the winter of 2010 by Negative Capability Press, founded and operated by Alabama Poet Laureate Sue Walker. In the foreword, Gaillard called Paul’s book “…A thoughtful body of work, soaring in places, earthy in others, touching the heart and soul of the South.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tribute to Chancellor Alexander Heard

The fall 2009 issue of Vanderbilt Magazine contains Frye Gaillard’s personal tribute to the late Vanderbilt University Chancellor Alexander Heard, one of the greatest educators of the 20th century. Gaillard writes of his own student days at Vanderbilt and his interactions with Heard during those years in the 1960s. But more importantly, he writes about Heard’s steady hand at the helm of one of the South’s most respected universities.

Native American Exhibition

Gaillard wrote the text for a traveling photography exhibition depicting the lives of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River as the 20th century drew to a close. For the past ten years these photographs, taken by award-winning photographer Carolyn DeMeritt, have traveled to venues throughout the South. Now an 80-page catalogue published in association with the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University offers a permanent record of this historic exhibition. This catalogue, entitled “We’re Still Here:” Native Americans of the South and East, can be ordered through Blurb.com. In addition, Gaillard’s 1998 book, As Long As the Waters Flow, which gave rise to the photography exhibition, is still available through John F. Blair, Publisher, Winston-Salem, NC.

“Frye Gaillard in words and Carolyn DeMeritt with images have filled a broad gap in our knowledge…”

-- Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

“… A moving story of survival … a hopeful, exhilarating tale…”

-- Studs Terkel, author of Hard Times

Deliver Us from Weasels

Gaillard wrote the preface for this new collection of columns and other writings by the award-winning journalist and editor, John Grooms. Grooms’ intelligent, acerbic commentary set the tone for Creative Loafing, a weekly alternative paper in Charlotte, NC, which he edited and built into a major journalistic force. This book-length collection of Grooms’ best work was published in November, 2009, and is available through Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Charlotte, NC.

American Crisis, Southern Solutions

Gaillard contributed a chapter to this collection of commentary by some of the South’s leading scholars and authors. The book, edited by Anthony Dunbar, was published in 2008 by NewSouth Books of Montgomery, AL. Gaillard’s chapter, a profile of African-American doctor Regina Benjamin, drew renewed attention in 2009 when President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Benjamin to be Surgeon General of the United States.

Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas

This engaging collection of essays, published in 2008 and edited by journalist Ann Wicker, contains two chapters by Frye Gaillard. Gaillard wrote about singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman, a native of Spartanburg, SC, and country music legend Arthur Smith, composer of “Duelin’ Banjos.” The book is available through Novello Festival Press, Charlotte, NC.

Making Notes is a rollicking road trip through the music of the Carolinas,” wrote former Rolling Stone publisher Terry Hummel. “If you really love music, don’t miss this book.”

The Way It Was: A Memoir

Gaillard edited and wrote the introduction for this 2007 collection of remembrance by Charlotte writer Tom Peacock. The book, published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company, features Peacock’s reflections on growing up in the Depression, as well as his own look back at World War II. “His recollections are rich in their array of characters,” Gaillard wrote, “and his wry observations are deepened by the depth of his gentle understandings.” The Way It Was, the first book-length collection of Peacock’s writings, was published when he was 87 years old.

Encyclopedia of Alabama

Gaillard contributed two entries, one on Rosa Parks, the other on Ralph David Abernathy, to this online encyclopedia created by Auburn University. EOA was cited as a "Best of Free Reference" by the Library Journal, the library field's leading professional publication.

Conference on Hurricane Katrina

In March 2007, Gaillard presented a paper at a conference entitled, “Through the Eye of Katrina: The Past as Prologue,” a national gathering of historians sponsored by the University of South Alabama’s Department of History in association with the Journal of American History. Gaillard’s paper, exploring the effects of the storm on the Alabama fishing village of Bayou La Batre, was published with those of the other scholars in the December 2007 edition of the Journal of American History.

Inspired Cooking

In 2007, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Charlotte published an elegant collection of essays and recipes to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the church. Gaillard contributed a remembrance of U.S. District Judge James B. McMillan, an elder in the church, who, in his official capacity as a federal judge, had ordered the total integration of Charlotte's public schools. The landmark ruling, at least for a time, forced Charlotte to confront its history of segregation, and in the book, entitled Inspired Cooking: Recipes and Reflections from the Heart of Charlotte, Gaillard celebrated McMillan's legacy of courage and faith.