The National Hollerin' Contest was annually held the third Saturday in June in Spivey's Corner from 1969 through 2015. The festival celebrated the old rural art of "Hollerin'" a form of communication in rural areas well before modern technology.
The first contest was won by 70 year old Dewey Jackson of Roseboro. His hollerin' rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" earned him not only the title but a letter from President Richard Nixon and an appearance on the Tonight Show.
|H.H. Oliver winner of the 1970 Hollerin' Contest (NC Office of Archives & History)
Trailer to the 1978 film, "Welcome to Spivey's Corner." The entire film can be found here.
By the 2010's, the popularity of the contest had dwindled as a result of many earlier contestants passing away and lack of interest from younger generations. After the 2016 contest, organizers announced that they would no longer hold the festival.
In an effort to revive the festival, former champions, Robby Goodman and Iris Turner, organized the Worldwide Hollerin' Festival. The festival was held in October 2016 in Hope Mills. The festival is no longer held.
Spivey's Corner and The Hollerin' Festival are links to Eastern North Carolina's rural past. Though the festival is no more; if you listen closely you may still hear those loud hollers coming from the countryside.