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Johnny Rhymer Music and Papers

Identifier: AC-825

Scope and Contents

Series 1 has correspondence between Johnny Rhymer and the State of North Carolina about his job and receiving disability, tax receipts of his father, A.G. Rymer back to 1906, several deeds between Rymer/Rhymer family members dating back to 1869, photographs, birth certificates, timber-cutting receipts from which Rhymer built his house, and numerous other papers.

Series 2 has original audiocassettes and phonograph records of 1940s country and bluegrass singers and pickers, a black and white photograph of Henry Frisbee, Johnny's uncle who gave him his fiddle, certificates of distinction from Mars Hill College festivals, old programs and song lyrics published and mailed by popular bands and entertainers, and a myriad of other memorablilia of Johnny's musical days.

Series 3: Armed Forces Papers and Mementos contains a variety of papers, booklets, two New Testaments, two histories of Rhymer's unit, and a handmade wooden box fashioned while serving active duty during World War II for the safekeeping of his photographs.


  • 1869-2004, undated


All materials are in English.

Biographical Note

Johnny H. Rhymer was born in 1920 in North Carolina and died in 2001. He married Hazel Martha Boone (1923-2013) from Yancey County, North Carolina. He served in the Armed Forces in World War II, registering in 1941.

Hazel's brother Claude Boone was also a singer and recorded a cassette for her. Johnny sang and played fiddle with Farmer's Federation with Chub Parham, Phil Rhymer and Louie Taylor in the 1970s. Several of the original cassettes state "at Chub's" when recorded. This band traveled throughout western North Carolina playing at picnics of farmers.

He also played with the Bear Creek Ramblers. This band was awarded a certificate from Mars Hill College, North Carolina in 1972 for their efforts to preserve the culture of the Appalachian Mountain Region via the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of the Appalachia Festival. Johnny also received several of these certificates between 1972-1981.


6 Linear Feet


The Johnny Rhymer Music and Papers gives a wide assortment of items and memorabilia collected in the life of a fiddler/singer from western North Carolina in the 1940s and 1950s, along with pieces of his and his wife's families' histories and everyday labor and struggles, from old photographs and song lyrics to World War II literature and photographs to Rhymer's musical career and samples of his actual music.


This collection is divided into three series: Series 1: Personal Papers and Photographs; Series 2: Rhymer's Music and Papers; and Series 3: U.S. Armed Forces Papers and Mementos. The original audiocassettes have been digitized into user and archival CD copies, found in Series 2. Phonographs will be reformatted upon request.

Acquisitions Information

This collection was donated by Hazel Boone Rhymer (Johnny's wife) in 2004 and accessioned as AC.2005.001.

Processing Information

This was processed by Anita Elliott, February-March 2014. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.
Johnny Rhymer Music and Papers
Processed by Anita Elliott
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Repository Details

Part of the Appalachian State University Special Collections Repository

218 College Street
Boone U.S.A. - North Carolina 28608-2026 United States
8282624975 (Fax)