The Professors were a bluegrass-singing group made up of actual professors from the University of Central Arkansas’ College of Natural Sciences.  The five members all taught in either the chemistry, physics, or biology departments, located in Lewis Science Center.  The group was organized in the fall of 1967, and made their debut for the Kiwanis Club of Conway.  In addition, several of the members belonged to the Kiwanis Club of Conway.  The individual members were Ralva Bass-guitar, Neal Buffaloe-fiddle, Jerry Manion-Banjo, Denver Prince-Bass, and Faril Simpson-Mandolin and Guitar.

Ralva Bass, hailed from Butlerville, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas Tech University, and a Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  He was an Associate Professor of physics, and served as chairman of the physics department.  Mr. Bass began his career at the University of Central Arkansas in 1958.

Neal Buffaloe, was born at Leachville, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from David Lipscomb College, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Buffaloe arrived at UCA in 1957, was a professor of biology, and also served as chairman of the department of biology.  In addition to playing with The Professors, Dr. Buffaloe played viola with the Little Symphony Orchestra, on campus of the University of Central Arkansas.

Denver Prince was reared at Magnet Cove, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, and an Ed.D. degree from Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Prince began teaching physics at UCA in 1959, and has also served as chairman of UCA’s physics department.

Faril Simpson is from Grant County, Arkansas and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas, and an Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas.  Dr. Simpson is Associate Professor of Chemistry and also served as chairman of the chemistry department.  He began teaching at UCA in 1958.  Along with playing guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, Dr. Simpson also served as the “lead singer” of The Professors.

Jerry Manion, was the youngest member of the group, having arrived at UCA in 1965.  Jerry was from Beebe, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Harding College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.  Dr. Manion was professor of chemistry and also served as chairman of the chemistry department.

Arrangement: This Collection contains photographs, recordings, correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, and is arranged chronologically.

Tracings: College and Universities; State College of Arkansas; University of Central Arkansas; Bluegrass Music; Bass, Ralva; Buffalo, Neal; Manion, Jerry; Prince, Denver; Simpson, Faril; The Professors


Box 1

File 1 – The Professors Bluegrass Band organized, 1967

File 2 – Photographs of The Professors

File 3 – Programs from various performances

File 4 – Copies of newspaper clippings of The Professors, 1970-1996

File 5 – Original newspaper clippings of The Professors

(Note:  This file is very fragile; please use File 4 for research purposes)

File 6 – Correspondence, 1971-1972

File 7 – Correspondence, 1973-1976

File 8 – “Old Granddad” arrangement by The Professors

File 9 – Bluegrass Festival at Petit Jean Mountain to help raise money for children with learning disabilities, Jun. 3-5, 1977

File 10- “Bluegrass Unlimited” article on The Professors by Arlie Metheny, Aug. 1983

File 11- Two forty-five rpm records by The Professors- received 2nd copy from Norma Tio

A side – “Weeds in the Tater Patch” by Professor Simpson, c. 1972

B side – “Gonna Lay It By” by Professor Simpson, c. 1972

File 12- Forty-five rpm record by The Professors, who played for the Faulkner County Centennial

A side – “Faulkner County” by Professor Buffalo, c. 1973

B side – “Arkansas Hornpipe” by Professor Manion, c. 1973

File 13- Two forty-five rpm records by The Professors

A side – “Salty Dog Blues”, c. 1971

B side – “When it’s Time for the Whippoorwills to Sing”, c. 1971

File 14- Cassette & CD recording: “Remember Me” by The Professors, 1985

File 15- Newspaper clipping from the Log Cabin Democrat, 1984 – “Professors Release New Album”

File 16- The Log Cabin Democrat article “The Professors Long Time Act to be archived at UCA,” Feb. 28, 2001

File 17- Arkansas Democrat Gazette article “The Professors’ Beat Goes On”, Mar. 5, 2001

File 18- A compact disc “The Best of Times” by Faril Simpson with bluegrass accompaniment

File 19 – Newspaper Clipping – Log Cabin Democrat – Oct. 1, 2004 – Dr. Faril Simpson’s 80th Birthday, Sunday, October 3, 2004.

File 20 – Newspaper – Log Cabin Democrat – Oct. 12, 2011 – Dr. Faril Simpson’s Obituary (Oct. 3, 1924 – Oct. 11, 2011)

Item 1 – Album: “Introducing The Professors”

Item 2 – An album: “Remember Me” by The Professors, & color photographs (12” x 12”) of the album cover

Item 3 – Color photo of The Professors (15” x 20”), c. 1975

(Note:  Item 3 is hanging on the wall in Office #148)

End of Box 1

End of Collection