Entries - Entry Category: Arts - Starting with F

Fairchild, Barbara

  Throughout her career, Barbara Fairchild has been an influential singer and songwriter in both country and gospel music. Barbara Fairchild was born in Lafe (Greene County) on November 12, 1950, to Opal and Ulys Fairchild. She was raised in Knobel (Clay County) until she and her family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, when she was thirteen. Fairchild’s passion for performing began early; she first performed in front of an audience at age five in a school talent show. Two years after moving to St. Louis, Fairchild released her first single, “Brand New Bed of Roses,” for the Norman label, and it appeared on local television channels. After graduating from high school, Fairchild moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in …

Falco, Tav

aka: Gustavo Antonio Falco
Tav Falco is an innovative rock musician who combines rockabilly, blues, and fractured noise. He has created films and documentaries about musicians and the cultural scene in Memphis, Tennessee, in addition to touring across the globe. The New York Times describes Falco as a “singer, guitarist and researcher of musical arcane who hasn’t let his increasingly technical expertise and idiomatic mastery compromise the clarity of his vision.” Tav Falco was born Gustavo Antonio Falco on May 25, 1945, to Rita Rose Falco on the East Coast. After his mother married Horace Homer Nelson, a sailor from Arkansas, they settled in the rural land between Gurdon (Clark County) and Whelen Springs (Clark County), where Falco was raised. Falco moved to Memphis in …

Farkleberry Follies

The Farkleberry Follies were a popular musical and theatrical stage show that spoofed politicians and other newsmakers. The show was performed every other year for more than thirty years in the late twentieth century. Journalists and other media professionals produced, directed, and acted in the show, which was staged for part of a week each spring in odd-numbered years, when the Arkansas General Assembly was in session. Legislators were the objects of parodies in nearly every show. The Arkansas Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which was chartered in 1961, began the Follies as a way to raise money for college scholarships for aspiring journalists. The seventeen shows—they began in 1967 and ended in 1999—produced more than $125,000 for …

Faucett, Adam

Adam Faucett is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Benton (Saline County). With his trademark long beard and powerful voice, one critic called him an artist who “roams the backroads and gas station parking lots of some strange, haunted country, hinting at a terrifying truth behind mundane imagery.” By 2019, he had released five albums as a solo artist, the last two on the Little Rock (Pulaski County) label Last Chance Records. Faucett lives in Little Rock, but he tours regularly with his band, the Tall Grass, across the country and in Europe. With its often dark lyrics and subject matter, he has described his music as “Arkansas Gothic” and “swampy soul.” Adam Faucett was born on February 24, 1982, …

Faulkner County Courthouse

The Faulkner County Courthouse, located at 801 Locust Street in Conway (Faulkner County), consists of brick and concrete masonry construction standing four stories tall. This building blends Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles, with the Colonial Revival details including the arched fanlight windows, accentuated front door, and classic pilasters. The Art Deco style has been artfully merged into it, evidenced by the smoothly rising vertical projection above the straight roofline, as well as the decorative accents on the building, such as the corner quoins and the symmetrical façade. The Faulkner County Courthouse was not the first courthouse built in Conway. In September 1873, the Board of Commissioners of Faulkner County selected Conway as the county seat. Asa Robinson, the chief …

Faulkner, Sandford C. “Sandy”

Sandford C. (Sandy) Faulkner is an iconic individual from Arkansas’s early statehood. Although he never held elective office, his political and economic activity made a significant contribution to the development of the young state. Moreover, Faulkner is largely responsible for the story of the “Arkansas Traveler,” which has shaped the image of Arkansas since the 1840s. Sandy Faulkner was born on March 3, most likely in 1803, in Scott County, Kentucky, to Nicholas Faulkner and Sally Fletcher Faulkner. Much confusion surrounds Faulkner’s early history; many sources spell his first name “Sanford,” and one researcher even suggests that at birth he was given the name “Sanderson.” The 1850 census appears to record his age as forty-four, suggesting that he was born …

Fayetteville Polka

“The Fayetteville Polka” was written by Austrian immigrant Ferdinand Zellner in honor of his adopted hometown of Fayetteville (Washington County). It was accepted for publication in 1856, becoming what is said to be the first published piece of sheet music by an Arkansan. Ferdinand Zellner came to the United States in 1850, when the showman P. T. Barnum brought Swedish soprano Jenny Lind from Europe to the United States on a concert tour that ran through 1852. Called the “Swedish Nightingale,” she was one of the greatest coloratura sopranos of the nineteenth century, possessing a voice of outstanding range and quality. Zellner, a young Austrian violinist, accompanied her on her prestigious U.S. tour. At the end of Lind’s U.S. tour …

Felts, Narvel

Albert Narvel Felts is a singer and songwriter best known for a string of commercially successful country music recordings in the 1970s. Over the course of his career, Felts has been known for performing a wide range of music, including rockabilly, pop, R&B, soul, and gospel, but it is his traditional country and rockabilly recordings that gained him the most attention. Narvel Felts was born on November 11, 1938, near Keiser (Mississippi County) to Albert and Lena Felts. In 1953, when he was fourteen, the family, including Felts and his older sister Ogareeda, relocated eighty miles north to the community of Powe, Missouri. As a teenager, Felts taught himself to play a guitar that, he has said, “was held together with …

Ferguson House (Pine Bluff)

The Ferguson House, sometimes referred to as the Ferguson-Abbott House, is located on West 4thAvenue in the historic district of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). It was the first home in Pine Bluff to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which noted its historical and architectural significance within the community of Pine Bluff, as it has a unique architectural design and was the birthplace and childhood home of Martha Mitchell. The house was built by Calvin M. Ferguson, who was born in Chester, South Carolina, in 1852 and moved to Pine Bluff in 1893. Upon moving to Pine Bluff, he opened a grocery store with M. P. Russell, and he later started a wholesale grocery company with his son, …

Ficklin-Imboden Log House

The Ficklin-Imboden Log House, located in Powhatan (Lawrence Country), is considered the earliest house representing residential construction and architecture still standing in the twenty-first century in Powhatan. John A. Lindsay divided land in Powhatan into lots when the town was platted in 1849. The year before, Andrew Imboden married Lusinda E. Ficklin, niece of John Ficklin, who is credited with founding Powhatan. The newlyweds bought the lot where the log home would soon stand. The house is believed to have been constructed sometime between 1850 and 1853. The Ficklin-Imboden Log House location influenced the development of Powhatan. As imports and shipping on the Black River increased, jobs associated with lumber, trade, gristmills, farming, pearling, and fishing also emerged and attracted …

Fiddlin’ Bob Larkan & His Music Makers

aka: Bob Larkan
aka: Bob Larkin
  Fiddlin’ Bob Larkan was a well-known country fiddle player whose Music Makers band played on the radio stations of charlatan medical messiahs Dr. John R. Brinkley and Norman Baker and made a number of recordings. The group’s song “Higher Up the Monkey Climbs” became notorious for its suggestive, ribald lyrics. Although “Larkan” was the correct spelling of Bob Larkan’s name, record companies and even his hometown newspaper in his obituary rendered the name “Larkin.” Robert William (Bob) Larkan was born on November 18, 1867, in New York City, his father having migrated from Ireland and his mother from England. A musical child, he learned the violin, banjo, and guitar. The family moved to Boone County, Missouri, by 1870. In 1888, he married …

Fisher, Rosemary Beryl Snook “Snooky”

Rosemary Beryl Snook Fisher was an artist and pottery instructor for the Arkansas Arts Center for several years. She had an active interest in the preservation of the art forms of the Ozarks but was influenced by many diverse cultures. As a devoted teacher into her last years, she influenced many future artists. She had added local notoriety as the wife of George Fisher, the chief editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette. Her husband regularly wove her nickname, Snooky, into his cartoons; for many years, a favorite game among readers was to find the hidden nickname. Rosemary Snook was born in early 1927 in Burnham-on-Sea, England, to Harold George Snook and Rose Annie Elliott; she had three younger siblings. On …

Fitzgerald Station and Farmstead

Fitzgerald Station and Farmstead in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 2003. Focusing on the time period 1857–1953, the National Register listing includes a barn used by Butterfield’s Overland Mail Company (1858–1861), an 1870s house, a stable, a pump house, a chicken house, a cistern, native stone entry markers, and an outdoor fire pit. Fitzgerald’s Station and Farmstead has also been designated by the National Park Service as a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. John Fitzgerald Sr. (1783–1875) and his wife, Mary Fitzgerald (1794–circa 1865), moved their family from Alabama to Washington County, Arkansas, in the late 1820s or early 1830s, settling on a …

Flanagin Law Office

The Flanagin Law Office is located at 320 Clay Street in Arkadelphia (Clark County), across the street from the Clark County Courthouse. The building was finished by 1858 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1977. The office is named for Harris Flanagin, governor of Arkansas from 1862 to 1864. A New Jersey native, Flanagin moved to Arkansas from Illinois. Settling in the Clark County seat of Greenville, Flanagin moved to Arkadelphia when it became the county seat in 1842. The same year, he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives, and in 1848 he was elected to the Arkansas Senate. In 1851, he married Martha Nash of Washington (Hempstead County). Sometime in that …

Foley, Blaze

aka: Michael David Fuller
Singer-songwriter Michael David Fuller worked under the names Depty (or Deputy) Dawg and then Blaze Foley, being best known by the latter. His songs have been recorded by singers such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and John Prine. Blaze Foley was born on December 18, 1949, to Edwin Fuller and Louise Fuller in Malvern (Hot Spring County). His family traveled as gospel performers and were known as the Singing Fuller Family. Foley began singing with the group at the age of eleven with his mother, brother, and sisters. When Foley was a baby, the family left Arkansas for Texas, settling in San Antonio and later the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While an infant, he contracted polio, which was cured …

Folk Music

Folk music is part of a society’s “unofficial culture,” much of which is passed on through face-to-face contact among close-knit people. Early folk music in Arkansas falls into two broad categories: folksongs (which do not present a narrative) and ballads (which tell a story). Folksong collectors sought to record and preserve this traditional music in the twentieth century, with Vance Randolph, John Quincy Wolf, and others working in Arkansas. The lyric folksong form of the blues developed in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta regions in the late nineteenth century among the first generation of African Americans to come of age after slavery. Protest music of the early to mid-twentieth century, dealing with labor and social conditions—as well as war, civil rights, and …

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM) is an art museum with exhibits, art classes, and a studio art school for children and adults. It serves as a regional center for art education and appreciation in the greater Fort Smith (Sebastian County) area. What today is RAM began in 1948 as the Arkansas Association of University Women (AAUW). In September 1950, the AAUW held its first exhibit at the KFPW Studios Fine Art Gallery in Fort Smith. The AAUW also formed a sketch class at Fort Smith Junior College, now the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS). In 1951, the AAUW became the Associated Artists of Fort Smith (AAFS) and began exhibiting art and holding classes across the city. …

Fowler House

aka: Absalom Fowler House
The Absalom Fowler House, located at 502 East Seventh Street, is one of the few remaining antebellum houses in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the twenty-first century. Constructed in 1840, it served as a private residence until 1923, when it was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock. Due to its distinctive Greek Revival–style architecture and unique design, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1973. Is also part of the MacArthur Park Historic District. In 1976, the Absalom Fowler House became the centerpiece of the Flower Square apartment complex. The exteriors of both the house and the detached kitchen remain relatively unaltered from their original state. Due to its state …

Franklin County Courthouse, Northern District

The Franklin County Courthouse for the Northern District, located at 211 West Commercial in Ozark (Franklin County), was constructed as a two-story structure fashioned in Classical Moderne style with Italian Renaissance design influences. This building is the fourth courthouse in this county seat. Franklin County emerged from part of Crawford County late in 1837. Ozark was designated as the county seat in 1838, and the first court proceedings were held in a school house without windows. The first building designated as a courthouse was built in 1840 on the northwestern corner of the square. This one-story, frame building, which measured twenty square feet, included fifteen windows, one door, and a stove. D. L. Bourland, the county treasurer, submitted the $400 bid for …

Franklin County Courthouse, Southern District

The Franklin County Courthouse for the Southern District, located at 607 East Main Street in Charleston (Franklin County), was constructed as a two-story structure fashioned in Classical Revival Style. Franklin County emerged from part of Crawford County late in 1837. Between 1838 and 1885, Ozark (Franklin County) was the only county seat. Due to difficulty people faced in crossing the Arkansas River, Governor Simon P. Hughes approved an act on March 14, 1885, that created two court districts within Franklin County. The court in Ozark became the Northern District, and Charleston was designated as the county seat for the Southern District in 1901. The Arkansas River drew the boundary line between districts. In June 1885, the sheriff of Franklin County obtained a two-story …

Frederick Hanger House

aka: Hanger House
One of the most picturesque, best preserved, and most carefully restored houses in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is the late-nineteenth-century Frederick Hanger House. It retains a high percentage of its original fixtures, fittings, and architectural features and is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style of architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 1974. Peter Hanger, originally from Kentucky, moved to Arkansas in the 1830s, settling first in Chicot County and, by 1848, in Little Rock. In 1850, he married Matilda Cunningham, daughter of Dr. Matthew Cunningham and his wife, who were among Little Rock’s earliest settlers. He invested in real estate and was active in a variety of businesses, including U.S. Mail …

Freund, Elsie Mari Bates

Elsie Mari Bates Freund was a studio art jeweler, watercolorist, and textile artist. In 1941, she and her husband, Louis Freund, established an art school in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and were major players in preserving and making that town a haven for writers and artists. Elsie Bates was born on January 12, 1912, on a 1,500-acre game preserve in Taney County, Missouri, near the small community of Mincy. She had two sisters. Her father, Ralph C. Bates, who was the superintendent of the game preserve, was of Irish and Cherokee descent. Bates was proud of her Cherokee heritage and claimed that Indian lore kept her close to nature. Bates proclaimed she wanted to be an artist at age five. …

Freund, Harry Louis

Harry Louis Freund was a muralist who became famous for his depictions of life in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas during the 1930s. His artwork is identified with the American scene painters and muralists, such as John Stuart Curry, Grant Wood, and Thomas Hart Benton. He was instrumental in establishing art departments at two Arkansas institutions, Hendrix College and Little Rock Junior College (now University of Arkansas at Little Rock), as well as Stetson University in De Land, Florida. He and his wife, Elsie Bates Freund, founded the Summer Art School in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and helped shape that resort town as a year-round community for artists and writers. Louis Freund was born on September 16, 1905, in Clinton, …

Friedman, Honey Bruce

aka: Honey Harlow
aka: Harriett Jolliff
Harriett Jolliff was an Arkansas-born entertainer best known as the wife and muse of comedian Lenny Bruce. Jolliff maintained ties to her Arkansan maternal grandparents and took Bruce to visit them on at least one occasion. Harriett Jolliff was born on August 15, 1927, in Manila (Mississippi County) to Murl Jolliff and Mabel Layson Jolliff. She had a younger sister, Virginia. Jolliff’s father left the family when Harriett was a young child and Virginia was an infant; he did not maintain contact with his daughters. Mabel traveled to Detroit, Michigan, to look for work. The girls spent much of their early years at the farm of their maternal grandparents, Anna and Oliver Layson, in Poplar Corner (Mississippi County). Jolliff spent …

Frizzell, “Lefty”

aka: William Orville Frizzell
William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell was virtually the prototype of what became known as honky-tonk singers—plainspoken vocalists whose regional roots were immaterial because they sounded as friendly as a storytelling neighbor. Willie Nelson remarked that “without Lefty Frizzell, a lot of us singers wouldn’t have a style.” Lefty Frizzell was born on March 31, 1928, in Corsicana, Texas, but he soon moved from one small town to another in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas as the son of an oilfield worker. Country singer David Frizzell is his younger brother. He debuted as a singer on radio station KELD in El Dorado (Union County) when he was twelve, and he acquired his nickname in a schoolyard brawl. He is widely regarded as one …

Front Porch Stage

Located in Mount Ida (Montgomery County), the Montgomery County Front Porch Stage (MCFPS) is a nonprofit organization that produces free music concerts on the lawn of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Officially incorporated in 2013, MCFPS is governed by a five-member board of directors and raises money to provide musical instruments and equipment to schools in Montgomery County. The original idea for building a stage came from musicians and friends who were meeting on the courthouse lawn on Saturday afternoons to visit and play music. The stage started with a donated flatbed trailer, donated lumber, and volunteer labor in the summer and fall of 2000. Soon, a covered stage was constructed on the eastern side of the courthouse lawn, with a …

Fulbright Industries

Fulbright Industries was a furniture manufacturing business in Fayetteville (Washington County) owned and operated by the local Fulbright family. In the early 1950s, Fulbright Industries produced distinctive modern furniture designed by a native of Fayetteville, the internationally renowned architect Edward Durell Stone. Fulbright Industries was an outgrowth of Phipps Lumber Company, also in Fayetteville and owned by the Fulbright family since 1920. U.S. senator J. William Fulbright, scion of the Fulbright family, served as Phipps’s president. Phipps manufactured farm implements, including wooden plow handles and other tool components. In 1941, the Fulbrights purchased Springfield Wagon Company and subsequently moved the operation to Fayetteville, broadening the family’s manufacturing capabilities. As demand for wagons plummeted following World War II, production dwindled at …