Hamper McBee

This is a short preview trailer. You can watch the entire film at no charge on the Folkstreams website. Folkstreams is a nonprofit whose mission is to find, preserve, contextualize, and stream documentary films on American folklife.

Watch the entire film at Folkstreams

A candid portrait of the Tennesse ballad singer, storyteller, and part-time moonshiner Hamper McBee. Hamper learned much lf his music from his father and friends around Monteagle Mountain and had established a reputation at folk festivals in the 1970s as an accomplished and expressive ballad singer.

The film follows Hamper as he works, socializes, and talks about his music. He sings "Black Jack Davy," "Nine Hundred Miles," Wayfaring Stranger," "Rye Whiskey," and a song he wrote himself "Bill Malone," about the local constable who routinely arrested Hamper when he had too much to drink.

Hamper McBee is also a moonshiner, and "Raw Mash" shows him plying his trade at this nearly lost art.

  • Film by: Bill Ferris, David Evans, Judy Peiser
  • Produced by: Bill Ferris, Judy Peiser, David Evans
  • Cinematographer: Bill Ferris
  • Sound: David Evans
  • Editor: Judy Peiser
  • Funding: Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1971, Bill Ferris, David Evans, Judy Peiser
  • 10mins, Color