UNC professor nominated for 2 Grammy awards

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bill Ferris, an emeritus history and folklore professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.

"Voices of Mississippi" was nominated in the Best Historical Award and Best Album Notes categories.

"I feel over the moon," Ferris said. "It's something that I never dreamed would happen in my lifetime."

"Voices of Mississippi" is a box set compilation of songs, films, and stories. It features an archive of blues and gospel recordings, interviews and storytelling, documentary films and a book.

"My category is historic music, the roots of music, and in the case of the American South, the blues, the gospel, and storytelling," Ferris said. "The oral traditions define us as Southerners. I grew up on a farm in Mississippi and was surrounded with music and story, and that really inspired my career to teach and do the work the box set captures."

His childhood in Mississippi was the inspiration for the compilation.

"I'm thrilled for the people who are in this box," Ferris said. "They asked me to promise that if they did the recordings that I would promise to share their story with people around the world. Well, the box set and its recognition by the Grammy's assures that they will never ever be forgotten."

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards are Feb. 10.

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