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Paul is research professor and director of the College of Social Work Office of Research and Public Service and became a UT faculty member in 1972. At that time, he was teaching a course on the People and Problems of Appalachian in the College of Social Work, which also was an elective for other helping profession academic programs. As the identified resource on the region at Appalachia’s largest university at a time when regional interest was growing, there were frequent requests for information from other universities. Since many of these requests related to the region’s music, it was difficult to admit that there was no traditional Appalachian music or bluegrass on the radio in Knoxville, one of the places central to the existence of Appalachian music.
As a UT faculty member invested in preserving the music and culture of the area, Paul created The Music of the Southern Mountains, a 30-minute weekly program, for WUOT. This interest also led to Paul’s early involvement with Jubilee Community Arts (JCA), an organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Appalachian culture. A companion program sponsored by JCA, Live at Laurel was added to WUOT’s schedule, and in 1999 the programs were combined into Mountain Jubilee. In January 2004, Mountain Jubilee also began rebroadcasting on WDVX as the opener of its Sunday Jubilee series. The show has also been rebroadcast on WDCV in Carlisle, Pa. Paul is proud of the fact that since WUOT went on the air in 1949, he has been on the air for almost two-thirds of the station’s lifetime.