b. 5 April 1903, Selma, Alabama, USA. This guitar and banjo player and his wife Anne, are known for their song collecting. Frank went to university in 1921, where he learned a large number of folk songs. Following his degree, he pursued a career with the YMCA, but continued his hobby of singing, and lecturing on folk music. In 1935, he and Anne were married, and together they travelled regularly to rural areas along the US Eastern seaboard, collecting songs and tunes from the area. The two eventually met Frank Proffitt, the son-in-law of musical instrument maker Nathan Hicks. The family lived in the mountains of North Carolina. It was on the first visit that Proffitt taught the Warner's Tom Dooley. Later, in 1939, Frank and Anne travelled to the Adirondacks, and, in 1940 to New England, still collecting songs and regional stories. It was only on the later trips that they were able to record some of the material. Proffitt's version of Tom Dooley was included on FRANK WARNER SINGS AMERICAN FOLK SONGS AND BALLADS, along with He's Got The Whole World In His Hands, which was collected in 1935. Frank Warner has performed all over the USA, and in Britain at colleges and historical societies, singing a great number of the songs he has collected and thus keeping those traditions alive. Frank even had a featured part in the 1956 film, RUN OF THE ARROW, which starred Rod Steiger. Anne spent eight years compiling the AMERICAN FOLK SONGS FROM THE ANNE AND FRANK WARNER COLLECTION, having started it when she was 70 years old. After a lifetime commitment to collecting, she died in 1991. Proffitt's albums, recorded for labels such as Elektra and Vanguard, have included sleeve notes written by Anne.
Further reading: FOLK SONGS AND BALLADS OF THE EASTERN SEABOARD (FROM A COLLECTOR'S NOTEBOOK), Frank Proffitt, Southern Press Inc. USA, 1963. TRADITIONAL AMERICAN FOLK SONGS FROM THE ANNE AND FRANK WARNER COLLECTION, Anne Warner, Syracuse University Press, 1984.
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