I Ain’t Lying

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

16mm color documentary based on fieldwork William Ferris conducted with African American storytellers and bluesmen in the communities of Leland and Rose Hill, Mississippi. The stories include include folk and religious tales, jokes, toast telling sessions, and characters from African American oral tradition. The film also includes footage filmed at churches and juke joints. Principal performers are Shelby "Pappa Jazz" Brown (1903-1974), James "Son" Thomas, Joe "Sheet" Skillet, Joe Cooper, Amanda Gordon, Mary Gordon, and Reverend Isaac Thomas.

  • Film by: Bill Ferris
  • Produced by: A production of Yale University Media Design Studio in association with Center for Southern Folklore, produced in association with Howard Sayre Weaver
  • Cinematographer: Dale Lindquist
  • Sound: Robert Slattery
  • Editor: Sara Miller
  • Other Credits: Production assistant: Sara Miller
  • Funding: With support from Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Edward W. Hazen Foundation
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1975 William Ferris, Yale University
  • 22mins, Color