For over 30 years the Georgia Sea Island Festival on St. Simons Island, Georgia has celebrated the African American musical traditions, crafts, and food of the coastal barrier islands. Smoked mullet, fried fish, sweet potato pone, homemade ice cream, and demonstrations of traditional Gullah Geechee knitting cast net and sweet grass baskets attract visitors from around the nation.
Each year the highlight of the festival are the musicians – young, old, and some "with an old heart" -- who perform traditional spirituals, work songs, and plays handed down by their ancestors. The festival on St. Simons Island was first organized in 1977 by members of the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Mable Hillery and Bessie Jones, and carried on today by Frankie Quimby and the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition.
You can hear some of the great songs recorded in 1960 online at the Cultural Resources website.