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  • “Welcome to Rainbow Springs” is an example of the traditional tour guide performances delivered by guides at Florida’s natural springs, which were the first tourist attractions widely promoted in the state’s long history as a tourist destination. The speech is part welcome message, part folk song, and part tall tale, and demonstrates how African Americans were integral to the early tourist trade in Florida. The performance style is evocative of the minstrel songs and theatricals of earlier years. Rainbow Springs boat captain Skipper Lockett gives his recitation while conducting a glass bottom boat tour. This piece was recorded on May 4, 1956 by Foster Barnes of the Stephen Foster Center at the 1956 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs.

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  • Audio recording reel