Leon Overbay (1947-2016)

Leon Overbay 1-cSpecialized in Southern Humor and Performance Poetry.

Lived all his life in the Boones creek Community, Leon writes poems and stories about growing up in rural East Tennessee. He sometimes changed the names to protect the guilty. He was very comfortable sharing wisdom and wit to all audiences. He was a founding member of The Jonesborough Storytellers Guild and a charter member of the Barter Storytellers. He is published in the Cowboy Poetry anthology The Last Roundup. He rounded out his repertory with Cowboy Poetry, Appalachian Stories and Southern Humor.

Leon Overbay “The Boones Creek Bard”
Gray, TN

Linda Poland

Linda Poland, Jonesborough’s Resident Storyteller, also called “The Jonesborough Flame,” teaches storytelling at the John C. Campbell Folk School and is a founding member of the Jonesborough Storyteller’s Guild. Using her talents as a storyteller she was one of the first in the country to use of the art of storytelling when developing tours to share a town’s history. She has created award winning historical storytelling tour programs and directed Tennessee Humanities oral history projects throughout Tennessee and beyond. Because of these accomplishments she was officially honored in 1997 with the title of Resident Storyteller for the Town of Jonesborough, TN. This was and is quite an honor since Jonesborough is the home of the International Storytelling Center and the National Storytelling Festival. A Resident Storyteller is like a public minister in a foreign court that uses the art of storytelling to craft stories about people and places they represent.

Linda not only teaches storytelling, but she conducts a variety of workshops throughout the country that incorporate the use of storytelling for “Opening Doors for Change,” “Empowerment Through Stories,” and “Building Teams and Enhancing Teamwork Through Stories.” She has both original and traditional material, which enables her to custom design programs to fit any agenda. Her repertoire includes a multitude of stories collected over the years while traveling, teaching and telling.

There’s so much more to tell…for instance, Linda was born in a Florida avocado grove two weeks early and delivered by her father. That’s perhaps one of the reasons people who know her think that she steps to the toot of a different flute…but that’s another story.

Quotes shared by some listeners:

“Ms. Poland’s use of story creates a positive atmosphere for making necessary changes.”
L. Mandel, Springer & Associates, Miami, FL

“Linda’s dedication, creativity, infectious enthusiasm, and love for the human spirit are evident in everything she does.” Katie Doman, Musician & Storyteller

“I can say with confidence that Linda Poland and Positive Solutions Tours have-through the power of the told story-been major forces in “selling” our region to people throughout the nation.” Jimmy Neil Smith, President, International Storytelling Center

“When I first heard Linda introduced as “The Flame” I thought it was because of her red hair. I was soon to learn it was because of her style. Her stories burn into your memory and ignite your senses.” Pat Corkin, Boone, NC

References available on request.

Types of stories: Historical, Appalachian, Family, Scary, Original/Creative, Humorous, Adventure, Personal, Inspirational/ Religious, World War II
Preferred Audience: Adults, Mixed Ages
Preferred Settings: Churches, Hospitals, Festivals, Civic Organizations, Businesses, Workshops, Schools
Special Talents: Costumed Characterization

Mountain Man Bob Phillips

Mountain Man Bob creates and tells his own stories from the mountains. Every once in a while he will recall some of the older tales from the turn of the last century. He takes pride in the fact that all of his stories are true, based on the remote possibility that there exists a slim chance of possible fact. Audiences have marveled at his sense of humor, his creativeness and how he manages to relate his stories to their everyday lives and past experiences.

He is a writer of stories and a teller of tales.

His stories about the South Central Community and its people will keep you in stitches. Stories about Crazy Willie, the Coffie Boys and Bob’s experiences growing up will make you feel as though you are there and experiencing the same thing.

In 1997 he was selected as one of eight semi-finalists to compete in the National Storytelling competition held in Hillsboro, OH and finished third. In 2000 he was again selected and captured First Place.

In March of 2001 he brought forth to the public his new invention – The Modie-Harp. This is a mountain musical instrument made from a toilet lid and seat. He has now incorporated this musical instrument into his storytelling with a new line of stories and soon even songs.

Stories have always been a part of his life. He started telling professionally in 1994 and will venture forth to spin his mountain, children, ghost, or inspirational tales to any group, organization or audience.

Mountain Man Bob Phillips

Jonesborough, TN

Types of stories: All
All settings and audiences


David Joe Miller

djm telling one

David Joe is the former staff storyteller for the National Storytelling Association in Jonesborough, TN. In 1994 he created the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild. He tours the United States and internationally. Previous audiences include Disney, Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Philips Medical, World Bank, Shell Oil, The Nature Conservancy and former Vice President Al Gore and family. He has toured school districts all across the country offering single performances as well as week long writing residencies. Currently David Joe lives in Asheville, NC. where he is the executive producer of Black Box Storytelling Theater and David Joe Miller Presents! He’s a dynamic storyteller on stage and an extremely talented presenter in the boardroom.

David Joe Miller, Storyteller
Asheville, NC.
Types of stories: Folk tales, personal stories, and scary stories.
Preferred settings: Festivals, family gatherings, corporate and business events, schools and libraries