Hello All,

We’re taking a small hiatus.  We’ll be back the first Sunday in June with regular postings.  Enjoy the nice weather and see you in two weeks with some more Boxwell history!

The VirtualBoxwell Team

From the Archives, May 13, 2018

Boxwell Music, Part VI

We’re going to wrap up our exploration of Boxwell musicians by ending pretty close to the modern day. This week is a little different than the other weeks in that it is a song that brings us this week’s entry. And the song? “Carl Call the Crab” from 2011.

The song (available here: emerged from a running joke at camp. Mike DeGuira, the Crab office manager, would often call Reservation Director Carl Adkins on camp radio telling Carl to call the Crab over his cell phone. A group of Camp Craig musicians found the idea that Carl would be called told on the radio to call on the phone so amusing, they wrote a song about it, with each line relating to some sort of inside joke about camp life.

The group has gone by several names, includes Crunch and Camp Craig Band, the Bloodworth Borthers, and Cole Slaw. Whatever the name, they could play more than the one song. With guitars, a banjo, a mandolin, and a bass, the acoustic tradition carried on with songs like “Boiling Cabbage Down,” “Fire on the Mountain,” “Shady Grove,” and “Seven Spanish Angels.” The group Consisted (originally) of Crunch (Ryan Crowder), Cameron Grady, Nick Driscoll, and Luke Boruff. The group still exists today, but the line up has changed quite a few times.

The image here is a from a reunion of sorts in 2017. Pictured are (L-R) Luke Boruff, Cameron Grady, Ryan “Crunch” Crowder, Calvin Alcorn, Carl Adkins, and Thomas Stroud; Mike Deguira is sitting up front.

Camp Craig Boys

From Left to Right: Luke Boruff, Cameron Grady, Ryan “Crunch” Crowder, Calvin Alcorn, Carl Adkins, and Thomas Stroud; Mike Deguira is sitting up front.

From the Archives, May 6, 2018

Boxwell Music, Part V

If you’re going to discuss musicians at Boxwell Reservation, you have to spend some time at Stahlman at the turn of the century. For a few years, roughly 1998 to 2001, there were a group of staff there who found music as a common bond and they played!

There were several players at Stahlman tading ideas and teaching each other little tricks. Among the many were Roman Reese, Cory Younts, Charlie Pitcock, Patrick Davis, Brian Barnes, Brian Rappold, Carl Hofstrum, Trip Arnold, and Clay Miller. They played an assortment of instruments, including banjo and mandolin, and regularly entertained at the Stahlman Friday Night Campfire and the Sunday Night joint campfire.

In terms of types of music, not surprisingly, it was a combination of folk, bluegrass, and some really old school stuff–like jug band music! “Stealin'” was a regular performance and the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” often showed up as well. And musically, the guys were solid. Most of the list above even joined together and recorded an album: The Damn Ol’ Tennessee Boys.

The image here is the part of what would be come the Damn Ol’ Tennessee Boys. On the back row (L-R): Cory Younts, Trip Arnold, Patrick Davis, and Charlie Pitcock. On the front row (L-R): Brian Rappold, Brian Barnes, and Clay Miller.


2001 Stahlman Music Crew. On the back row (L-R): Cory Younts, Trip Arnold, Patrick Davis, and Charlie Pitcock. On the front row (L-R): Brian Rappold, Brian Barnes, and Clay Miller.

From the Archives, April 29, 2018

Boxwell Music, Part IV

We continue our look at Boxwell musicians, continuing to move forward with Old Hickory Lake. With a history of almost 60 years at this one location, there are undoubtedly quite a few musical acts. However, after the Hooten-nannies, we have no documentation for anyone throughout the next two decades! We’re sure they exist, but we have no photos of them to share.

So, the next musical entourage we do have evidence for comes in 1997. That summer was the first for Ron Turpin as Reservation Director and we wanted regular joint campfires, not just a joint campfire at July 4th as had become the custom. Thus, every week, there was a Sunday night campfire in camp and a Friday night campfire at the Amphitheatre. It was this joint campfire we see this week’s musicians.

There are four people on the stage here. Three of them are from Parnell, one is from the reservation staff. Left to Right are Ben Houser (guitar, front), Jason Bradford (guitar, front), Bo Collier (drum, back), and Red Kirby (harmonica, front). The four played two songs at the joint campfire that summer: the Grateful Dead’s “I Know You Rider” and a mash-up of “Amazing Grace” with the Eagle’s “Peaceful, Easy Feeling.” The group existed this one summer and were no more.

As for the image, it is still from a short film Jason Bradford created, entitled “Boxwell Reservation.” It has never (and probably wont’) seen the warm glow of a general audience, but it captures life at Boxwell from a Parnell staff member’s perspective in the mid-1990s.


Left to Right: Ben Houser (guitar), Jason Bradford (guitar), Bo Collier (drum), and Red Kirby (harmonica).

From the Archives, April 22, 2018

Boxwell Music, Part III

We continue our look at Boxwell musicians, this week arriving at Old Hickory Lake. There have been plenty of musicians at the current Boxwell location. So many in fact, it is unlikely we will cover them all if for no other reason than we just don’t know them! (You can help out here by soliciting some suggestions in the comments!) For this week, we’ll focus on the earliest act we know of: The Parnell Hooten-nannies.

The Parnell Hooten-nannies started in 1963 with Phil Roe and Pat Bray on guitar and Mark McWhorter on banjo, but as the years went by, the group evolved. Other players included John Bryant, Wes Frye, Jerome Terrell, John Hudson, David Farrar, and James Henry. The various incarnations kept the Hooten-nannies part of the Boxwell program through 1970. They played Parnell campfires, often a meal in the dining hall, and were even known to go on “tour” to Camp Murrey to perform at the family camp.

The name apparently came from Program Director Jimmy Joe Jackson, though the origin there is a little fuzzy. What isn’t fuzzy is that Jackson seriously promoted the group and some of the song choices were directly influenced by Jackson’s likes. When Jackson left camp in 1970, the Hooten-nannies left as well.

In terms of style, the group performed primarily folk songs, but there were some patriotic and camp songs in the mix as well. Among the tunes performed by the group include “This Land Is Your Land,” “The New Frontier,” “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” “Salty Dog Rag,” “My Girl,” and the Beverly Hillbillies theme. And of course, there was the occassional song with lyrics just about camp.

Seen here are two photos of the Hooten-nannies. One is from a Parnell Friday Night campfire in 1970. From left to right are John Hudson, David Farrar, and James Henry. The other is from the 2014 Staff Reunion. From left to right are Patrick Bray, Jerome Terrell, Phil Roe, Wes Frye,and James Henry.


The last incarnation of the Hooten-nannies at a Friday Night campfire in 1970. L-R: John Hudson, David Farrar, and James Henry.


A Parnell Hooten-nannies reunion at the 2014 Staff Reunion. L-R: Patrick Bray, Jerome Terrell, Phil Roe, Wes Frye,and James Henry.