Interview with Linda Jane Story Hortter, April 28, 2021
Project: Benton Big Sing Oral History Project
Interview SummaryLinda Jane Story Hortter explains that she considers western Kentucky her home despite having most of her life in Missouri and Alabama. She describes her father's career as a soybean farmer and cement finisher working on projects around St. Louis and on the Kentucky Dam. Story Hortter has been attending Big Singing since she was less than a year old, but had to stop going due to her husband's poor health. She describes the importance of students from Murray State University and other educational institutions in reviving attendance at the Big Singing during the 1970s. She reflects on the politics of leading at Big Singing, recounting that her sister (Francine Story LaRue Longcor) had asked to lead but was not allowed. Although Story Hortter's husband (Terry Hortter) was shy, he surprised her by leading a song during the 1976 bicentennial celebration. She describes enjoying picnic lunches and practice singings with the Nichols family around Big Singing time. She recounts her mother's (Maxine Nichols Story) and sister's (Ann Story Weible) experiences traveling to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to sing "Southern Harmony." She also explains the religious history of both sides of her family and the spiritual significance that "Southern Harmony" songs have for her. Many people spent the day on the courthouse lawn, both because of the scarcity of books and because the music sounded best from there. She thinks that the singing will continue because young people today have a lot of interest in history, but is reluctant to come back to the singing herself. Given how many of her relatives in Marshall County have passed away since the last time she went, she fears that it would be a sad occasion for her.
Interview KeywordRegional identity St. Charles, Mo. St. Louis, Mo. Story family Nichols family World War II Kentucky Dam Women in academia Murray State University Women in public life Regional rivalries 1976 U.S. bicentennial Raymond Lay Nichols Family reunions Golden Pond, Ky. Coleman "Duke" Nichols Tula Nichols Waggener family Divorce and remarriage Addiction Excommunication Primitive Baptists Possum Trot, Ky. Burial practices Civil War Battle of Shiloh Foodways Barbecue Presbyterians Spirituality Prophecy Church music Music education Piano music Clarinet music Smithsonian Folklife Festival Ray Mofield Native Americans Social justice Danny Joe Hawes Broadcasting Omens Widowhood Politics Clarence Perry Blakney
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Hortter, Linda Jane Story Interview by Erin Fulton. 28 Apr. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Hortter, L.J. (2021, April 28). Interview by E. Fulton. Benton Big Sing Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Hortter, Linda Jane Story, interview by Erin Fulton. April 28, 2021, Benton Big Sing Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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