Rev. Frank Newsome at home

Old Regular Baptist preacher Frank Newsome photographed at his home in Haysi, Virginia on 6/16/15. Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program
Old Regular Baptist preacher Frank Newsome photographed at his home in Haysi, Virginia on 6/16/15.

Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

On a recent field recording trip to southwest Virginia we stopped by and checked on Rev. Frank Newsome at his Haysi home. If you’ve never heard the Reverend’s voice, some compare it to that of Ralph Stanley. In fact, Ralph sometimes is known to attend services at the Little David Old Regular Baptist Church in Buchanan County.

Frank worked in the coal mines for years and suffers from Black Lung. In this recording you can hear him sing the first lines of Wayfaring Stranger and the clicks from his breathing apparatus.