Folklore celebration honors South Georgia icons - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Folklore celebration honors South Georgia icons

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September 14, 2006

Valdosta - Lonnie and Mary Johnson have been singing together almost as long as they've been together.  "We've been married 42 years and singing for 36," Mary says.

Born and raised in Georgia, the Johnson Two have performed throughout the South and around the nation.  "We just go around singing!  Where ever we're asked to go, we go," she adds.

Their longevity has made them a South Georgia staple in Gospel Music.  Tonight, they are being honored in the Wiregrass Folkways Celebration at Valdosta State University.  The Johnson will be just two of the guests who gather here tonight in the Odum Library to talk about traditions and culture of South Georgia. 

The celebration will also feature fiddle demonstrations and the tasty samplings of a famous South Georgia recipe, swamp gravy.  "It's really a fish camp stew that has the leavings from when you fry up a good mess of fish and hush puppies along with onions, potatoes, and tomatoes," says Laurie Sommers, folklorist and director of the folk life project at VSU.

Sommers says the celebration will help bring to light every day traditions that have been passed down through generations in South Georgia.  "We feel it's really important for people to understand and appreciate the traditions, heritage and culture of this region," she said.

The Johnson Two plans to carry on their tradition for many years to come.

The Celebration will take place at the VSU Odum Library Thursday 7:00PM-9:00PM.  The Folkways Celebration is part of the Wiregrass Literacy and Literature Festival of the Deep South that will continue through Saturday.

To find out more on the Literature Festival, click here.

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