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 a …

Fielder House

The Fielder House is a historic home located in Fordyce (Dallas County). The original structure was constructed around 1875, making the home the oldest building in the city. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983. Created in 1845, Dallas County is located in south-central Arkansas. Most early settlement in the county took place in the western and central areas. In the southeastern corner of the county, early settlers included Henry Atkinson, an African-American man who purchased the land in the 1870s that would become the core of Fordyce. Incorporated in 1884, Fordyce was laid out by the Cotton Belt Railroad and served as a stop on the line. Growing quickly, the town became …

Fine Arts Club of Arkansas

In 1914, a group of women formed the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas, an organization dedicated to the establishment of a permanent art gallery in the state. The group was instrumental in the creation of the Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock (Pulaski County), which opened in 1937 and was renamed the Arkansas Arts Center in 1961 and then the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in 2021. In the twenty-first century, the purpose of the Fine Arts Club is to promote and extend the activities, usefulness, and enjoyment of the museum. The Fine Arts Club serves as an auxiliary group of the museum, providing volunteers, hosting events with speakers for the public, and conducting special member preview parties. The …

First Hotze House

The First Hotze House at 1620 South Main Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a one-story, wood-frame, Italianate-style residence built in 1869 for businessman Peter Hotze. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2006. Peter Hotze was born on October 21, 1836, in Innsbruck, Austria. He immigrated to the United States around 1856 and settled in Little Rock three years later. When the Civil War began, he enlisted in Company A of the Sixth Arkansas Infantry Regiment (the Capital Guards), serving until he was wounded in the 1864 Battle of Franklin in Tennessee and taken prisoner. His older brother Conrad had moved to Little Rock in 1862 and purchased Block 166 on the …

First United Methodist Church (Fordyce)

Located on East Fourth Street in Fordyce (Dallas County), the First United Methodist Church is a historic place of worship. Constructed in 1925 and designed by John Parks Almand, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983. Incorporated in 1884, Fordyce grew as a stop on the Cotton Belt Railroad. The founding date of the Methodist congregation in the city is unknown, but the first pastor arrived in 1883. Before that date, the Methodists worked with the local Presbyterian congregation to offer Sunday School lessons at the Presbyterian church. The congregation purchased land for the construction of a church in 1886, but a land swap later that same year gave the congregation the …

Fisher, Rosemary Beryl Snook “Snooky”

Rosemary Beryl Snook Fisher was an artist and pottery instructor for the Arkansas Arts Center (now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts) 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 …

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 (or 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 …

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 …

Florence Crittenton Home

Established in 1903, the Little Rock Florence Crittenton Home (LRFCH) operated as a rehabilitative and reform institution for unwed mothers. The LRFCH’s building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1982. In 1883, wealthy evangelist Charles N. Crittenton founded the first Florence Crittenton Home (FCH), which was named after his daughter. Located in New York City, it was a rescue mission for prostitutes. In the early 1900s, the FCH sought to increase its clientele by refocusing its reform efforts on unmarried pregnant women. In October 1903, at the invitation of local ministers, Charles Crittenton visited Little Rock (Pulaski County) and held a series of revival meetings in the city’s churches. Shortly after his visit, civic …

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 …

Fordyce Commercial Historic District

The Fordyce Commercial Historic District includes the core of downtown of Fordyce (Dallas County). Centered on Main Street, the district included sixty-one resources at the time of its addition to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, 2008. Thirty of the resources contributed to the district, with six additional sites being empty lots. The boundaries of the district are roughly Fifth Street to the north, Oak Street to the west, Spring Street to the east, and the railroad tracks south of First Street. Incorporated in 1884, Fordyce served as a stop on the Texas and St. Louis Railway, later named the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas, but commonly known as the Cotton Belt. Named for Samuel Wesley Fordyce, …

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 …

Fuller-Shannon House

The Fuller-Shannon House is located in the Parker’s Woodland Hills subdivision of Jonesboro (Craighead County). The house, completed in mid-1969, was designed by notable local firm of Stuck, Frier, Lane & Scott, Inc. The design of the house was based on the work of internationally renowned architect, and Arkansas native, Edward Durell Stone, specifically his “modern dogtrot” designs of the mid-1950s. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 2020. The Parker’s Woodland Hills subdivision was created by brothers Hubert J. and Olan E. Parker Jr. and was laid out to take advantage of the hilly nature of the area. Streets were placed in the valleys to give the neighborhood natural drainage and inhibit standing …