Portrait of Connye Florance

Jazz has long been on Nashville airwaves and in Nashville clubs and nightspots. North Carolina native Connye Florance is one of the most admired jazz artists in Music City. 

Pictured above: Pink Floyd, whose namesake has an interesting North Carolina tie

North Carolina is among the most celebrated musical states in America — a place that gave the world Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Nina Simone, Superchunk, the Piedmont blues, beach music, and more. Beyond the obvious headliners, however, the Old North State has also contributed more than its fair share of mysteries and legends to the wider story of popular music. Here are seven such tales.

NC Master Chorale members performing "You Do Not Walk Alone" via video conference call

In a typical choral performance, singers file onto a stage, climb risers, and arrange themselves by sections; soprano, tenor, bass, and alto singers stand shoulder to shoulder, primed to create collectively a big, beautiful sound known and loved by many. But it’s a tradition that requires two elements that are non-negotiable during the coronavirus pandemic: large gatherings and close proximity to other people. Following a trend directly related to performance cancellations these days, the North Carolina Master Chorale is going virtual.

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Carey Rowland (right) performing in front of King Street Pharmacy, 1981.

Jonathan Kirby

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Carey Rowland forged an early fascination with the music of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. He began taking guitar lessons at age 12 and formed his first band, the Blazers (later, Unsoul Property) in high school. After graduating from Louisiana State University, Rowland drifted around a bit before migrating north to Asheville, where he would fall into formation with informal architects of the city’s burgeoning folk scene. 

Jim Lauderdale "When Carolina Comes Home Again" album cover

Come Hear North Carolina

Jim Lauderdale, the prolific, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning American music icon, shares the video for “Cackalacky,” from his new bluegrass album, When Carolina Comes Homes Again, out March 27 on Yep Roc Records. 

Grammy winner J. Cole performing at the inaugural Dreamville Festival

Come Hear North Carolina

North Carolina was well represented in this year’s Grammy nominations. See who took home awards!

The Popes at "Cradle Turns 50" on Jan. 4, 2020 | Photo by David Menconi.

David Menconi

Nightclub lifespans are akin to dog years, which makes it all the more remarkable that the Cat’s Cradle has been around Chapel Hill and Carrboro for more than half a century.

North Carolina Arts Council

Country-rock outfit American Aquarium's 6th Annual Roadtrip to Raleigh homecoming shows are already sold out. Presented every year by The Lincoln Theatre, the annual series has become a staple of Raleigh's music culture.