Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Carl Banks, September 20, 2015

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - Banks's family history / Childhood and education

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Partial Transcript: Well, we, we're going now.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about his family's history. He talks about getting interested in music as a child. He talks about going to school.

Keywords: Agriculture; Ancestry; Cowan Creek; Grandparents; Harry Caudill; Music; Parents; Radio; Reading; Schools; Trombone; Trumpet; WLAC (Radio station)

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky; Families.

00:11:18 - College education

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Partial Transcript: So, um, le, let's, if you don't mind, fast forward to college.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about his college education. He talks about being involved in music in college, and dropping out of college for a semester. He talks about the frustrations he had with the English department.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers; Colleges; Eastern Kentucky University; English; Harry Caudill; History; Jesse Stuart; Kentucky Students Serving Kentucky; Music; Race relations; Rock 'n' roll music; Rock and roll music; Teaching; Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA); Working

Subjects: Education, Higher; Teachers--Kentucky

00:21:22 - Teaching high school and the beginnings of Appalshop, Inc.

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Partial Transcript: So to get back to, uh, teaching now.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about his journalism class with some of the original Appalshop members. He talks about meeting Bill Richardson, the founder of Appalshop, and how he recruited Banks' students.

Keywords: Appal Core; Bill Richardson; Cameras; English; Film; Herb E. Smith; High schools; Journalism; Teaching; Woodrow Cornett

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Teachers--Kentucky; Whitesburg (Ky.)

00:29:04 - Banks' involvement with Appalshop / Community reception of Appalshop projects

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Partial Transcript: So, um, uh, in, in '66, in other words, there's this great--uh, pardon me, in '69, there's this great contact and you see, uh, the potential, and, and, and bring everyone together.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about some Appalshop projects. He talks about losing the journalism class. He talks about the community reception of Appalshop and their movies about issues.

Keywords: Actors; Censorship; Films; Jeff Kiser; Parents; School newspapers; Whitesburg High School

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalshop, Inc.; High school teaching--Kentucky

00:38:56 - Teaching Appalachian studies / Continued involvement with Appalshop

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Partial Transcript: I wanna, uh, talk a little bit about your--the rest of your time at, at Whitesburg High School 'cause you were telling me before the camera was rolling, uh, you showed me this amazing bibliography you have.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about teaching an Appalachian studies class at Whitesburg High School. He talks about staying involved in Appalshop, and his radio show.

Keywords: Appalachian studies; Bill Richardson; Friends; Health care; James Still; Jazz; Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation; Music; Radio; Screamin Kurt Henderson; Southeast Community College; Teachers; WMMT (Radio station); osephine Richardson

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; High school teaching--Kentucky; Mass media and technology.; Teaching

00:50:51 - Community attitudes towards Appalshop and political tensions

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Partial Transcript: So, um, I'm curious then, just, going forward in time now, 'cause I was asking you to recall your role from '75 to '85 and then you get on the air in, in the '80s and stay on for a solid 12, 13 years.

Segment Synopsis: Banks talks about some of the more negative attitudes that some in the community have against Appalshop. He talks about some of the political tensions that surround Appalshop.

Keywords: Appalachian Media Institute (AMI); Coal industry; Community; Films; Politics

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Mass media--Political aspects; Whitesburg (Ky.)