University professor; folk musician; literary and linguistic scholar. BornРJanuary 1, 1939, Chattanooga. ParentsРJames Will and Miriam (Crick) Foster. MarriedРAnne Brandon. ChildrenРTwo. EducationРUniversity of Chattanooga, B.S., 1951; East Tennessee State University, M.A., 1962; University of Alabama, Ph,D., 1968. Served in U.S. Army, 1961. Taught at the University of North Alabama, 1968-2007; served as Head of the English Department at UNA for 31 years. Named to the Alabama Committee for Humanities and Public Policy. Field worker for the Dictionary of American Regional English.; founder of the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States. Member of the American Dialect Society; National Council of Teachers of English, and the Tennessee Folklore Society.  Appeared frequently as a folksinger and banjo-picker; won many performance awards. Died September 7, 2012.


Contemporary Authors online; obituary, Florence Times-Daily, September 9, 2012.


Directory of Reading Services in the U.S. Johnson City, Tenn.; East Tennessee State University Press, 19–.

The First Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1818-1968. Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Weatherford Printing Co., 1968.

The Phonology of the Conjure Tales of C. W. Chesnutt. University, Ala.; American Dialect Society, 1971.

A Sense of Place: The Folk Heritage of North Alabama.  Troy State University Press, 1978.


A Manual for Dialect Research in Southern States. Athens, Ga.; University of Georgia Press, 1973.