I’ve been listening to a lot of prewar – even pre-20th Century – music these days. After reading the Wiki entry for it, I’m not at all sure the term "Old-Time Music" or "Old-Timey Music" is a good description for this long period of music, with all its disparate styles; at the moment, though, it’s the best term I’ve got. There are a few ILM threads that involve this period of music – e.g., S&D: Yazoo Blues Comps . . . – but I didn’t find any threads that went beyond focusing on an single artist or reissue label.
There are such great artists and songs from this period, e.g., Blind Willie Johnson (Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground, a wordless spiritual so moving that it was included on the Voyager Golden Record), Bob Miller (Ohio Prison Fire), the NuGrape Twins (Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape), Alfred Karnes (you’ve got to hear his bug-eyed evangelical song Called to the Foreign Fields), and all the other artists who took part in the 1927 Bristol Sessions. They’re all raw and dark cautionary tales or religious hymns.
Anyway, I’d like to know more about this stuff. So, if anyone here is familiar with, and interested in, this period of music, search-and-destroy and all that. . . . Thx.
― Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 December 2007 19:15 (5 years ago) Permalink
Search: Coon Creek Girls, especially their version of "Pretty Polly"
― babyalive, Monday, 10 December 2007 00:36 (5 years ago) Permalink
might want to check out Joe Bussard's homepage - he does a kickass radio show called "Country Music Classics" and the online store has some CD compilations of old country/bluegrass/blues/gospel/jazz 78s.
― Curt1s Stephens, Monday, 10 December 2007 01:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
oop, forgot to link: http://www.fonotone.com/
Will do! Great song. I've got a few versions of Pretty Polly (but I'd like more). One I like, in particular, is by B.F. Shelton, from this comp. It's a really ghostly, haunting version.
The Coon Creek Girls turn up on aCounty Records comp that I had been considering, too.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 01:14 (5 years ago) Permalink
Curt1s, thank you. I've bookmarked the page.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 01:15 (5 years ago) Permalink
New John Folk III reissue is quite good.
― forksclovetofu, Monday, 10 December 2007 01:33 (5 years ago) Permalink
Definitely check out the greatest box set of all-time, the nine-disc American Pop: An Audio History. Not all "old-timey" (an awful, awful term anyway) but it includes "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" which is indeed Voyager-worthy.
My taste/knowledge in this stuff runs to the pop side of the street, obv. A lot of what counts as "old-timey music" counts as pop too, I suppose. But if you're interested in less folky directions, lemme know.
― Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 10 December 2007 01:35 (5 years ago) Permalink
I'm absolutely interested in exploring the ''pop side,'' Kevin (and I'll check out the disc you suggested). What counts as ''pop music'' from this period (as opposed to strictly country, bluegrass, mountain music or similar genres)?
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 01:49 (5 years ago) Permalink
Old Homestead Records has loads and loads of old, semi-obscure country music for sale. I'm currently drooling over the Coon Creek Girls and Wade/J.E. Mainer comps, and the only thing that's holding me back from buying a pile of CDs is the suspicion that this is really just a high quality bootleg operation. But I'm sure my greed will overcome my morals within a week or so.
― hawth, Monday, 10 December 2007 02:13 (5 years ago) Permalink
Ragged But Right: 30's Country Bands: single disc compilation of Appalachian dance music from acts like the Skillet Lickers, the Mainers, and Riley Puckett. In many ways this is the tradition from which bluegrass arose, but imho this stuff is more fun and less workmanlike than most of the proper bluegrass I've heard.
The Blue Sky Boys (JSP): a 5-disc set of nearly every recording the Boys made between 1936 and 1950, featuring some of the most beautiful two-part close harmonies I've heard on record. The material is mostly archaic mountain ballads performed with minimal instrumentation (mandolin & guitar, with the addition of fiddle & bass on their later sides), but it's very accessible, especially if you're already familiar with the Louvin Brothers.
Mountain Gospel: another strong JSP set featuring a good range of southern gospel acts from the '20s, '30s, and '40s. My favorite is Alfred G. Karnes, a Kentucky preacher armed with a double-necked Gibson guitar and the voice of a grizzly bear.
Southern Journey, Vol. 10: And Glory Shone Around - More All Day Singing From The Sacred Harp: dozens of average-joe churchgoers singing in four part harmony at the top of their lungs. Spooky.
― hawth, Monday, 10 December 2007 02:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
I just noticed this thread, about the kick-ass Revenant Records label. Their American Primitive comps are treasures.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 02:50 (5 years ago) Permalink
You should also get your hands on anything and everything by Charley Patton. If "Shake It And Break It" isn't the pop side of old-time music, I don't know what is.
― hawth, Monday, 10 December 2007 02:51 (5 years ago) Permalink
Hey, thanks! Yeah, Alfred G. Karnes is the artist who reignited my interest in this music, with his crazy song Called To The Foreign Fields.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 02:51 (5 years ago) Permalink
Shake It And Break It is included on this Revenant comp, which is available on eMusic. But even at 200 downloads a month, it would take months to get all seven discs. Better off buying the physical discs, I think.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 02:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
Geez, I looked up that Patton comp up on Amazon once, and it was something like $200 new. The one I have is The Definitive Charley Patton, which doesn't quite round up his complete works, but at least it's somewhat easy on the wallet. I don't think I could ever shell out even a third of that amount for a box set, as tempting as those Revenant and Bear Family releases may be.
― hawth, Monday, 10 December 2007 03:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
I won't either; didn't realize it was that much. On the other hand, here's another early American comp I wanted. It's also available on eMusic (as you'll see), but given the $20 price of the physical disc, it makes more sense to just order it. That way, I'll also get the photos and booklet, too.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 03:12 (5 years ago) Permalink
While not exactly on point, Elijah Wald's book "Escaping the Delta--Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues," has some interesting discussion on what was pop and what wasn't back then plus how 'rockist' historians in search of their own version of authenticity hailed certain old performers over others.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 10 December 2007 06:44 (5 years ago) Permalink
OK well definitely start with American Pop: An Audio History.
Frémeaux & Associés has released some yummy twofers. My fave is Rock N' Roll 1927-1938 Volume 1 (was there ever a Volume 2?). Includes The Boswell Sisters' gulping "Rock and Roll" (from 1934) and Louis Armstrong's madcap "Swing That Music" which closes out on a punk-as-fuck one-note trumpet solo. First disc's got more of the "old timey" feel: Memphis Jug Band, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Grayson & Whitter, Mississippi John Hurt, etc. Second disc's more pop, faster: Bob Wills, Django Reinhardt, Kokomo Arnold, Harlem Hamfats, etc.
From Cake-Walk to Ragtime 1898-1916 is very stodgy. It's hard to hear how this stuff gave birth to jazz or any music of high spirits. But it's always fascinating from a historical standpoint. And it includes my man james Reese Europe.
Pop Music - The Early Years: 1890-1950 (Columbia/Legacy) - Nothing but hits. Or nothing but songs that were meant to be megahits. You probably know at least a third of the names if not the songs themselves (a good thing). Picks to click: Gene Greene's "King of the Bungaloos" (ends with a remarkable "jig chorus" that looks forward to "Double Dutch Bus"), Nora Bayes' "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?" ("and who the heck can parlez-vous a cow?"), Ruth Etting's devastating "Ten Cents a Dance," The Boswell Sisters' "Everybody Loves My Baby" (looks forward to "Double Dutch Bus" too), Eddy Duchin & His Orchestra's "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" (sung rather naughtily by Mary Martin!), Walter Huston's gut-wrenching and definitive "September Song," etc.
Check out Bert Williams, probably the first black star famous internationally. Archeophone has a 3-disc set which I haven't swam through yet. But he appears all over most of the comps above. He was an extraordinarily complex vaudeville performer with flawless timing and a fetching sing-speak. Louis Chaude-Sokei's book The Last "Darky" works through the layers.
Lately, I've been branching off from Anthology of American Folk Music and delving deeper into particular artists where possible. Memphis Gospel 1927-29 contains Sister Mary Nelson's "Judgement" along with three other cuts all featuring that young girl with the phlegmy, Fannypack-ish voice. On Document (I think), a label you should look into if you have completist tendencies.
If you have vinyl capabilities, seek out a cheesy but potent 10-disc Reader's Digest box The Golden Age of Entertainment. Very Tin Pan Alley, classical Hollywood cinema with better-than-you'd-expect notes.
Again, little of the above qualifies as "old timey" in the way Wiki's defining it. But voila.
And buy the new three-disc DVD of The Jazz Singer. But I'll praise that in another thread.
― Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 10 December 2007 07:51 (5 years ago) Permalink
Mississippi have put out a few great comps, but they're usually limited runs, I believe.
There's one particularly outstanding collection called I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, which mixes American gospel/folk type sounding stuff with the folk songs from immigrants to the US in that period. So there's some Rembetika, Calypso and far Eastern music etc but it all somehow shares a similar sad feel. You can listen here.
They also just put out a gospel collection, and there was a real nice-looking early blues compilation, but I can't seem to find a copy anywhere. I can't even seem to find the website . Pretty sure there is one though!?
― Michael Dudikoff presents Action Adventure Theatre, Monday, 10 December 2007 10:42 (5 years ago) Permalink
Great! Thank you.
On cue, Pitchforkmedia lauded Dust-to-Digital label's new comp, The Art of Field Recording, Vol. I, today.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 12:17 (5 years ago) Permalink
A bunch of CD compilations I'd recommend from the era (sorry, don't have time to describe them today):
The Cornhusker's Frolic: Downhome Music and Entertainment from the American Countryside (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Doity Reocrds Vol. 1: Risque Disks From the Thirties and Forties (Doity)
Down in the Basment: Joe Bussard's Treasure Trove of Vintage 78s 1926-1937 (Old Hat)
Good For What Ails You: Music Of THe Medicine Shows 1926-1937 (Old Hat)
Hard Times Come Again No More: Early American Rural Songs of Hard Times And Hardships (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Jazz the World Forgot: Early Roots and Breaches of Jazz, Classics of the 1920s (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
The Music of Prohibition: The Soundtrack to the A&E Special Presentation (Columbia/Legacy)
My Rough and Rowdy Ways: Early American Rural Music Badman Ballads and Hellraising Songs (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
The Rose Grew Round the Briar: Early American Rural Love Songs (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Ruckus Juice & Chitlins: The Great Jug Bands (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Shake Your Wicked Knees: Rent Parties and Good Times: Classic Piano Rags, Blues & Stomps 1928-43 (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Southern Journey: Bad Man Ballads: Songs of Outlaws and Desperation Volume 5 (Rounder)
Stomp & Swerve: American Music Gets Hot 1843-1924 (Arceophone; soundtrack to a great book by David Wondrich. CD is actually even wilder in its pre-release CD-R version, which apparently includes lots of tracks Wondrich was unable to license, or something. But both versions are indispensible.)
Times Ain't Like They Used To Be: Early American Rural Music (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
Violin, Sing the Blues For Me: African-American Fiddlers, 1926-1949 (Old Hat)
When I Was a Cowboy: Early American Songs of the West (Yazoo, 2 vols.)
White Country Blues: 1926-1938: A Lighter Shade of Blue (Columbia/Legacy)
And that's probably only a partial list (not all "old timey" per se, but pretty much from that era), and doesn't include stuff that I've only ever found on cassette (e.g., Mister Charlie's Blues on Yazoo, more white guys singing blues in the late 20s) and LP (e.g., Songsters and Saints -- google that one; there's a book, too; recordings go back to the 19th Century, and they're great, especially some drunken ones from Irish immigrants.) Also, definitely check out anything you can find by Dock Boggs, Charlie Poole, Charley Patton, Uncle Dave Mason, or the Allen Brothers (for starters). (And that doesn't even take into account Western Swing, which came later!)
Also, yeah, that Dust-to-Digital The Art of the Field Recording box does have some great stuff on it.
― xhuxk, Monday, 10 December 2007 12:41 (5 years ago) Permalink
Early Roots and Breaches
Branches, I meant.
And the Stomp & Swerve label is spelled Archeophone.
― xhuxk, Monday, 10 December 2007 12:44 (5 years ago) Permalink
This website http://eldiablotuntun.blogspot.com/ is recommended.
― mulla atari, Monday, 10 December 2007 12:46 (5 years ago) Permalink
xp And he's Uncle Dave Macon, not Mason.
― xhuxk, Monday, 10 December 2007 12:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
Also check out:
Memphis Jug Band
Hoosier Hot Shots
Gene Autry, per-cowboy-star blues-singer era (1929-31)
― xhuxk, Monday, 10 December 2007 12:51 (5 years ago) Permalink
Also, can't believe I left out this great one (though it is mentioned on that Yazoo thread linked to above):
The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings From the 1920s and 30s (Yazoo)
― xhuxk, Monday, 10 December 2007 13:08 (5 years ago) Permalink
Thanks, xhuxh. All the Yazoo titles are available on eMusic, so I can check them out right away. I assume most of these titles have well-presented, informative booklets, though, so I may want to buy some of the physical discs, too.
I'm headed for that Roots of Rap title today.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 13:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
roots of rap is a cool record, although the title/concept is a little silly. those songs are kind of the roots of rap, but they're the roots of a lot of other things too. but any way you hear "jonah in the wilderness" is a good way.
definitely second white country blues. a few other good collections:
roots 'n' blues, apparently out of print now. (i got it cheap back when it was remaindered, well done me.) 4 discs, a mish-mash of stuff pulled from the vaults of the various labels columbia ended up with, by someone who seems to have had a lot of fun putting it together.
and i have 6 or 7 discs in rca's when the sun goes down series, which are all good. what's kind of amazing is that with so many compilations around mining the era, how little overlap you find with a lot of these -- not just songs, but artists. you get a handful of names that show up over and over (blind willie johnson, frank hutchinson, clarence ashley), but a lot of people who probably only recorded a handful of sides.
also, in case it needs to be said, everybody should have everything recorded by skip james and dock boggs -- at least their pre-rediscovery recordings -- each available on single-disc compilations (skip on yazoo, dock on revenant). and mississipi john hurt's okeh recordings (available in their entirety as avalon blues). on the new orleans front, champion jack dupree's early stuff is essential (and awesome and hilarious). lonnie johnson. big bill broonzy. bukka white. i mean, just so much amazing stuff from those years.
― tipsy mothra, Monday, 10 December 2007 15:20 (5 years ago) Permalink
there's a good blind alfred reed comp too. "how can a poor man stand such times and live" is on a bunch of these anthologies, but all his stuff is good. ("why do you bob your hair girls?" is a great bit of anti-feminism.)
― tipsy mothra, Monday, 10 December 2007 15:26 (5 years ago) Permalink
Excellent. I'm on it.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 10 December 2007 15:41 (5 years ago) Permalink
You MUST tell us what was on the CD-R, xhuxk. Yousimply must (esp. cuz the final release is a bit stiff all around).
― Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 10 December 2007 22:27 (5 years ago) Permalink
I just want to BRAG to you all, that it is my JOB (i get PAID FOR THIS) to post 78s on ebay, and in the process learn a shit ton about early 20th century American popular music.
― ian, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 00:37 (5 years ago) Permalink
basically any LP put out by the COUNTY label is good, btw. Mostly string bands.
― ian, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 00:38 (5 years ago) Permalink
Show off. I want your job, Ian.
― Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 11 December 2007 00:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
basically any LP put out by the COUNTY label is good, btw.
Coincidentally, your comment is almost identical to the opening lines I was reading from an AMG review of this County Records comp:
Certain issues/reissues are greeted warmly by both reviewers and listeners because the name of a certain label guarantees a quality product. Such is the case with County, one of the premier traditional music labels.
You're right, BTW. Everything I've heard from County Records is outstanding.
― Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 11 December 2007 03:13 (5 years ago) Permalink
that blurb reminds me that ol bascom is pretty cool too. (for whatever contractual reasons emusic won't let you have the most famous songs there, but the rest is plenty worthwhile.) one of the original appalachian folklorists, responsible for preserving a lot of those tunes.
― tipsy mothra, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 03:17 (5 years ago) Permalink
I don't have that one Daniel, but it does look good! I do have one banjo comp on County--"Banjo Songs From The Mountains" or something like that. Whenever you get a title like "Old-Time Songs From The Southern Mountains" you know it's gonna be good. On our radio show a while back I played "The Broken Wedding" by Emry Arthur which is maybe my favorite cut as far as down n out pre-war country ballads goes.
― ian, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 05:28 (5 years ago) Permalink
also for like the sun sessions of prewar country-folk-appalachian stuff, there's the bristol sessions, 1927. first appearances of jimmie rodgers and the carter family, i think. maybe blind alred reed's first recordings too. i only have that, vol. 1, i don't know if there's a vol. 2. the full reissue from '91 is out of print. anyway great stuff. i went to bristol looking for traces of it, but apart from some plaques there's not much to see. (the carter family fold isn't too far away though, worth a visit.)
― tipsy mothra, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 07:40 (5 years ago) Permalink
Anyone know anything about this label or line of comps?
I don't recognize the label, which makes me a bit wary. But that's a rebuttable presumption against the discs.
― Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 11 December 2007 21:09 (5 years ago) Permalink
JSP was actually mentioned above. It's a reputable label. I have a Hoagy Carmichael disc put out by them (I think) and other titles which I can't recall right now. But no need to proceed with caution.
― Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 23:57 (5 years ago) Permalink
I forgot to mention the existence of a 1.23 GB torrent of approx. 1400 songs recorded 1888-1919. Here's a list of the titles:
The only problem is that it will probably take you months (literally) to download the thing. But I have a copy (finally!) and can work a trade.
Hells no I haven't waded through the entire thing yet. But what's fascinated me the most so far is the non-music stuff - Cal Stewart's "Uncle Josh" monologues, little "scenes" by Weber & Fields, etc. If we only had several lifetimes...
― Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
Gracias! This will help me as I work through the night on a (semi-)deadline.
― Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:49 (5 years ago) Permalink
holy christ that's amazing.
― ian, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:50 (5 years ago) Permalink
http://oldhatrecords.com/isbf.html Old Hat Records who have reissued various old-timey things are sponsoring a neat event down in Georgia today--
Calhoun plans String Band Festival
The Second International String Band Festival will be on Saturday April 26 in downtown Calhoun. The festival was started to honor the tradition of string instrument performers who came from the region, including the Georgia Yellow Hammers, Andrew and Jim Baxter and Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers.
The event will feature a host of free performances throughout the day and a special evening concert in the Ratner Theater at the Harris Arts Center. The evening concert, which will feature several acts including the Red Mountain Band and the Skillet-Lickers II.
Free performances begin at 10 a.m. at the Old Hat Records Stage (on Court Street) featuring bands like the Cherokee Promenaders, the Little Country Giants and the North Georgia Ramblers. Performers will also take the Northside Bank Stage (in the park) beginning at 10 a.m.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 26 April 2008 17:19 (5 years ago) Permalink
― Kevin John Bozelka, Saturday, 26 April 2008 17:46 (5 years ago) Permalink
Anyone heard 'People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs (1913 -- 1938)? I got it from eMusic, so I don't have the (what I understand to be) wonderful packaging and liner notes, but the songs themselves are -- by and large -- outstanding, albeit maudlin and/or depressing, e.g., Memphis Flu, Storm That Struck Miami (since I live there (Coral Gables)), Burning Of A Cleveland School, Murder Of The Lawson Family, and Trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Pts. I -- II. At three discs, it can be a bit much, especially given the subject matter, so it's best in small doses.
― Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 26 April 2008 19:34 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've been curious about it, read several reviews of it, but never did seek it out.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 28 April 2008 16:09 (5 years ago) Permalink
This website http://eldiablotuntun.blogspot.com/ is recommended.
This ... site ... is ... incredible. All kinds of treasures, including ... ahem ... "Goodbye Babylon" (although not the sixth disc yet).
― Jazzbo, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:48 (4 years ago) Permalink
Question about Washington Phillips--Should I go with the one on Sanachie or is the cd on Document with the extra takes of the same songs by Blind Mamie And A.C. Forehand?
― RabiesAngentleman, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 14:14 (4 years ago) Permalink
― ian, Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:29 (3 years ago) Permalink
― sleighdog mcdonald (unregistered), Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
― sleighdog mcdonald (unregistered), Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:43 (3 years ago) Permalink
I wonder if eMusic's scattered offerings from Alfred Karnes represent all his recorded output. This disc is the most complete collection I've seen, and it only has eight songs by Karnes.
― Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
I wish there were some Kathy & Carol clips on youtube. great, great guitar-and-autoharp duo from SoCal who put out a single LP of old-time ballads in the mid-60s, featuring some of the closest and prettiest female folk harmonies I've heard. It's similar I guess to Joan Baez's first two records, but the harmonies make it so much more palatable to my ears.
― sleighdog mcdonald (unregistered), Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, this JSP compilation includes all 8 of those sides, and the liner notes describe them as his complete surviving output. he only recorded two sessions (the first was part of the famed 1927 Bristol sessions & the second came about a year and a half thereafter) before retiring to his post as a Baptist minister and singing solely for the benefit of the church.
― sleighdog mcdonald (unregistered), Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
He had the "bug-eyed evengelical fervor"-vibe down to an art.
― Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
the second session really falls flat in terms of capturing the raw power of the guy's voice (as heard in that youtube clip). I wonder why. maybe he just wasn't miked properly on the second go...
― sleighdog mcdonald (unregistered), Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
― ian, Tuesday, 10 November 2009 17:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
Tommy Jarrell is great. Wonderful banjo player too.
I've been listening to this a lot lately:
Hobart Smith recorded shortly before he died by Fleming Brown at the latter's home. Great stuff -- banjo, guitar, piano accompaniment.
― Duke, Tuesday, 10 November 2009 17:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
here's my attempt at compiling Bascom Lamar Lunsford's early commercial records, which don't seem to be available on CD all in one place (only 5 of them appear on Smithsonian's Ballads, Banjo Tunes... compilation).
1. Fate of Santa Barbara2. Sherman Valley3. Lost John Dean4. Get Along Home Cindy5. Old Mountain Dew6. "Nol Pros" Nellie7. Lulu Wall8. Darby's Ram9. Stepstone10. I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground11. Kidder Cole12. Italy13. Little Turtle Dove14. Dry Bones15. Speaking the Truth16. A Stump Speech in the 10th District
tracks 1-2 were recorded for Okeh Records in 1925; 3-14 for Brunswick Records in 1928; and 15-16 for Columbia Records in 1930. he put out another record on Okeh in 1924 ("Jesse James" b/w an early version of "Mole in the Ground"), but I haven't come across it on my internet trawls. more discographical info available here.
― 'I Was Bees,' Says Hiker Stung 300 Times (unregistered), Monday, 15 February 2010 20:04 (3 years ago) Permalink
I can do a similar roundup of the Coon Creek Girls' output if there's a demand for it.
― 'I Was Bees,' Says Hiker Stung 300 Times (unregistered), Monday, 15 February 2010 20:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, i'd like to see that roundup. unfortunately, very little of the coon-creek girls' output is available on emusic.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 15 February 2010 21:32 (3 years ago) Permalink
thanks for this! I'm attempting to do something similar with Emry Arthur--there are about 80 sides iirc and only a fraction of them have been reissued.
― Joint Custody (ian), Monday, 15 February 2010 22:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
hey here is some biographical alfred karnes stuff i havent' read before--
― ian, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 18:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
thanks for this. a hard-luck early life (mother died during childbirth; father left them in the care of an aunt).
― Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 8 June 2010 19:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
Despite the fact that there may be some anti-Mississippi Records sentiment floating around, I'd like to point out that they have some compilations that might benefit visitors to this thread. They all have some post-war tunes as well, but here ya go:
uI Woke Up One Morning In May/uuI Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore/uuDeath Might Be Your Santa Claus/u
― ImprovSpirit, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 14:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
OK - guess my attempt at underlining was a bust...
― ImprovSpirit, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 14:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
I can do a similar roundup of the Coon Creek Girls' output if there's a demand for it.― 'I Was Bees,' Says Hiker Stung 300 Times (unregistered), Monday, 15 February 2010 20:05 (3 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalinkyeah, i'd like to see that roundup. unfortunately, very little of the coon-creek girls' output is available on emusic.― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 15 February 2010 21:32 (3 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
― 'I Was Bees,' Says Hiker Stung 300 Times (unregistered), Monday, 15 February 2010 20:05 (3 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalinkyeah, i'd like to see that roundup. unfortunately, very little of the coon-creek girls' output is available on emusic.
― Daniel, Esq., Monday, 15 February 2010 21:32 (3 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
New member and I've come very late to this thread. Is there any change of seeing some Coon Creek Girls stuff please?
― Z99G186, Sunday, 13 June 2010 14:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
well that was an empty promise, wasn't it? I'll try and get that up sometime this week.
only vaguely related, but this looks like an interesting compilation. it collects various acts that appeared on John Lair's Renfro Valley Barn Dance radio show starting in the late '30s — Lair being the Coon Creek Girls' somewhat ruthless manager, with ties to acts like Homer & Jethro, Karl & Harty, and Homer & Jethro. he also formed the New Coon Creek Girls with a completely different lineup in the '70s; I have no idea if they're any good.
― if you see her, say ayo (unregistered), Sunday, 13 June 2010 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
You all may know this, but the Down Home Radio Show is a good resource for contemporary old-time: http://www.downhomeradioshow.com/
― Duke, Sunday, 13 June 2010 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
― Duke, Sunday, 13 June 2010 18:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
― banjoboy, Sunday, 13 June 2010 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
ok, here's some Coon Creek Girls stuff, finally:
Vocalion sides, recorded May 30, 1938:1. Sowing on the Mountain2. Old Uncle Dudy (Keep Fiddling On)3. Banjo Pickin' Girl4. Little Birdie5. Pretty Polly6. Flowers Blooming in the Wildwood
from the Renfro Valley Folks TV program, mid-'50s:
you can read biographies on the group here and here. the songs above aren't a complete discography; they recorded at 5 other sides in 1938 that I wasn't able to track down online, and they made a few more records in the '50s. their reunion album from 1968 is not very exciting.
― if you see her, say ayo (unregistered), Wednesday, 23 June 2010 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
― if you see her, say ayo (unregistered), Wednesday, 23 June 2010 16:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
Does anyone know of a good sheet music collection (piano) from this era?
― john. a resident of chicago., Friday, 25 June 2010 14:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Belated thanks. You must think me very rude for waiting so long before replying. My excuse is that after posting I just forgot.
― Z99G186, Monday, 20 September 2010 19:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks in advance to all, I need to digest this thread fully having just started to immerse (ha!) myself in this stuff after being bought Take Me To The Water.
― It would have been better with burger sauce (aldo), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 06:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
some nice trax here:http://soupgreens.com/ghostsolos/
― a pun based on a popular ilx meme (forksclovetofu), Monday, 8 November 2010 05:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
also this is a good place for me to talk up the amazing "There Breaths a Hope" collection of the Fisk Jubilee Quartet '09-'16 work on Archeophone. This is very important music to me; I grew up listening to it constantly and my father wrote the extensive (roughly 40 single spaced pages?) liner notes. It's powerful stuff, dense colorful and complex as can be. John Work II, the quartet leader, intellectualized post-slave era music into something like a new american opera and it can be difficult to digest. It's well worth your time though.More background and sound clips here; would love to talk about this album more if anyone's into the discussion:http://www.archeophone.com/product_info.php?products_id=104
― a pun based on a popular ilx meme (forksclovetofu), Monday, 8 November 2010 05:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
that looks cool forks!
― not everything is a campfire (ian), Tuesday, 9 November 2010 04:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
anyone have an opinion of this album by the coon creek girls? i've wanted something from them for a while, and this just appeared on emusic. looks good enough, but seemingly nothing available online to judge the authenticity, sound quality (if that matters with recordings this old), or representativeness of the CCG's work.
― Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 19 January 2011 15:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
btw, dad's album mentioned above was nominated for best liner notes.Good WSJ piece on it here by teachout that calls it "the most important historical reissue of 2010": http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704828104576021680985545912.html
― thank you based jättegod (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 19 January 2011 16:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
it's been a while since I've heard that Coon Creek Girls album, but it's pretty good. keep in mind that it was released in 1967 and recorded around that time, so it came along about 30 years after their brief commercial recording career. Lily and Rosie Ledford were both original members, and Susie was recruited after two of the other original members left the group in the late '30s. the trio is the same lineup that sang some backing vocals for Ferlin Husky in the '50s, broke up in 1957, and resurfaced at the Newport Folk Festival a decade later.
three songs on this album ("Banjo Picking Girl", "Pretty Polly", and "Little Birdie") are re-recordings of the group's early (1938-9) material, one ("East Virginia Blues") was recorded by Lily May Ledford in 1944, and one ("How Many Biscuits Can You Eat", which they once performed at the White House in front of Franklin Roosevelt) was recorded in the mid-'50s and released years later on a Renfro Valley Barn Dance compilation.
the sound quality isn't super lo-fi by '60s standards, but the production is simple and homey, just as it should be. it's the sound of three middle-aged players running through part of their barndance repertoire, omitting neither the cornball hilbilly sizzlers nor the stately ballads more typical of the folk boom. Compared to the original Coon Creek Girls 78s, the performances here are a little less boisterous. the banjo playing is slower and less frilly, sounding less like the proto-bluegrass they're remembered for and more like creaky Appalachian country blues. Rosie and Susie still sound very youthful, but Lily sings in a lower register than she used to. her voice has a dour, lived-in quality that adds emotional weight to sad songs like "Pretty Polly" and East Virginia Blues" but falls a bit short on some of the livelier cuts. as a casual, earthy recording of a reunited old-time string band (cf. J.E. Mainer's album Run Mountain from the same era), I definitely recommend it.
in a way, I guess this album is more "authentic" than the original Coon Creek Girls singles. back in the '30, radio station boss John Lair brought together two of the Ledford sisters and two other players he'd discovered, gave them stage names, told them what instruments to play, wrote a couple of their songs, and oversaw all their recordings, radio appearances, and concerts. not quite the organic, homespun model that most people associate with early American roots music. it's obvious from the records, though, that Lair didn't manage to quash the creativity and energy and personality that made the Girls legends.
― the loneliness of the dexys midnight runner (unregistered), Wednesday, 19 January 2011 20:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
one ("East Virginia Blues") was recorded by Lily May Ledford in 1944, and one ("How Many Biscuits Can You Eat", which they once performed at the White House in front of Franklin Roosevelt) was recorded in the mid-'50s and released years later on a Renfro Valley Barn Dance compilation.
hmm, I didn't word this too well. all versions of these songs on the Lily May, Rosie & Susie album are re-recordings from 1967 or so, and the originals have been released elsewhere.
― the loneliness of the dexys midnight runner (unregistered), Wednesday, 19 January 2011 20:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
great cover of "Banjo Pickin' Girl" by Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard:
― the loneliness of the dexys midnight runner (unregistered), Wednesday, 19 January 2011 20:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
oh, cool, the Digital Library of Appalachia has a bunch of songs that the Coon Creek Girls performed live on radio between 1939 and 1951. it also has some live material that Lily May Ledford performed at a college campus in 1980.
― unregistered, Monday, 7 February 2011 18:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
NPR piece on "There Breathes A Hope": http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=134028602&m=134083522
― bang-proof-bling-mans (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 27 February 2011 00:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
now this is some impressive footage. it's a 40-minute-long documentary by Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard (who were married at the time) that shows them playing as a duo at home and in concert and meeting up with folk legends like Elizabeth Cotten, Roscoe Holcomb, and Lily May Ledford. it's a treat to watch Elizabeth Cotten sitting at the couple's kitchen table, playing "Freight Train" and reminiscing about her stint as the Seeger family's housemaid.
Mike and Alice's Bowling Green, which came out a year after the documentary, is one of the more "authentic" old-time albums to come out of the folk boom. they try their hardest to sound like an old backwoods couple dragged out of obscurity to document their repertoire, and the result is as homey and chilling as any real field recordings I've heard. "Love Was the Price," in which Alice sings a dead-eyed, suicidal lover's lament with nothing but a barely-audible droning cello for accompaniment, is the highlight for me.
― administratieve blunder (unregistered), Sunday, 27 February 2011 08:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Not read the book mentioned but I was struck by how different the styles in Robert Johnson's work were. almost like he was a human jukebox rather than a single stylist.I've heard he was viewed as anachronistic at the time and only really picked up on by people outside the original medium getting interested. Like Lomax had a different agenda than a party-throwing record buyer in trying to book him for the major New York event I can't think of the name of right now. & then he became famous among a bunch of later white record collectors who went onto create the 60s blues revival.
― Stevolende, Sunday, 27 February 2011 11:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
Can't find a dedicated Bristol Sessions thread, so I'll put this here.
Sometime last year, while I wasn't paying attention, Bear Family released a 5-disc box: "The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music".
Looks pretty cool. Oddly enough, Amazon has it twice with slightly different prices but the item look identical to me...
― Edward Bax, Thursday, 9 February 2012 06:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
My friends did this lo-fi cover of "All the Good Times". I love this version of the song so much.
― Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
― one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
JSP was actually mentioned above. It's a reputable label. I have a Hoagy Carmichael disc put out by them (I think) and other titles which I can't recall right now. But no need to proceed with caution.― Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 6:57 PM (4 years ago)
― Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 6:57 PM (4 years ago)
JSP has gone to shit in recent years. they used to pay a lot of attention to sound quality (John R.T. Davies was a dedicated remastering engineer who did a lot of work for the label before he died in 2004), but now the quality control is very uneven, and it says here (I haven't fact-checked) that they lift mastering jobs from other companies' releases.
the first disc of their Leadbelly box sounds full and dynamic and has an ever-present but unobtrusive level of surface noise. weirdly, most of the material on the other three discs suffers from the heavy-handed use of noise reduction — a muffled, unlistenable mush that does no justice to the material. It's a shame, because there aren't many comprehensive Leadbelly sets, and the tracklisting is great.
but yeah, JSP has been suspect for at least the past six years, and if one of their sets doesn't have Davies' name on it, I'd recommend sampling it before you buy it.
― barman's bar mitz (unregistered), Thursday, 17 May 2012 17:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
― one dis leads to another (ian), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 17:55 (10 months ago) Permalink
another great old-timey tune with piano --
― one dis leads to another (ian), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:02 (10 months ago) Permalink
no piano on this one but i love it
― one dis leads to another (ian), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:44 (10 months ago) Permalink
great reminiscence by bert layne of the skillet lickers about getting into trouble with lowe stokes, clayton mcmichen etc. primarily abt the time lowe stokes got his hand shot off--
― one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 16 July 2012 17:30 (10 months ago) Permalink
― one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 15:31 (8 months ago) Permalink
― i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Tuesday, 26 March 2013 17:23 (1 month ago) Permalink