Since 1969, the small town of Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina has held their annual National Hollerin’ Contest although the name changed to Hollerin’ Heritage Festival in 2013. This festival brings people from all over the country to demonstrate their skills in hollerin’, “a controlled sound that farmers used to communicate with one another before they had modern conveniences like electricity or telephone”. Great Big Story visited with Tony Peacock, Robbie Goodman and Sheila Frye, each of whom has won the contest several times over. Frye skillfully described and demonstrated the four categories of hollerin’.
There isn’t just one type of holler. There are actually four types of hollers. Number one – functional. It serves a purpose such as calling down to a field or calling up from a field when you needed something. Number two – communicative. You’re communicating a message such as good morning, good evening. Number three – distress you need help. Number four – expressive. Just for sheer fun many times that could be in the form of tunes or ditties.