Monday, July 13, 2009

Kirk McGee on the Guest Star label.

Here is an artist not many of you may know of. Kirk McGee (Nov. 1, 1899-Oct. 24, 1983) was an old-time banjo picker, fiddler, guitarist and singer. Kirk was on the Opry with his guitar-virtuoso brother Sam McGee & Uncle Dave Macon, starting likely in 1926 till his death in 1983, making 57 years of service on the Opry.
Throughout this long music career (he sold real estate also) he done may things. He was a great banjo picker in both finger picking & claw hammer styles. His finger picking almost has a machine gun sound to it with the rapid fire sound of notes, but he was not a bluegrass banjo style picker. It was a pre-bluegrass style all his own influenced by old-time country, ragtime & even blues music. His claw hammer style was a great driving rhythmic style. He was also an old-time fiddler, good but not great. He played fiddle for years on the Opry for The Fruit Jar Drinkers. He was also a good back-up guitarist for his brother Sam`s guitar solo songs as well as a proficient finger style guitarist himself, but not on-par with Sam`s guitar.
These 2 LP`s are sort of odd in a few ways. I have no idea when they came out, mid to late 60`s I`d say. They both list Sam & Kirk as the artists, but Sam isn`t to be heard on any songs unless he just played back-up rhythm in the distant background. Another odd thing is Kirk had played a big part in defending old-time music staying on the Opry on through the years as country music modernized, but on these records we have elctric guitar leads and someone on bluegrass style banjo on some of the banjo instrumental tunes which make sort of an interesting contrast between bluegrass banjo and Kirk`s raggy banjo picking style.
We have quite a range of songs here. Some Kirk wrote like Blue Night & Brentwood Shuffle. Others are hard-core old-time like Comin` From The Ball & Roll On Buddy, old re-worked pop songs like Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight & Let`s Meet By The Old Oaken Bucket, old blues tunes like Sittin` On Top Of The World & Milk Cow Blues, & even some old minstrel type tunes like Massa`s In The Cold, Cold Ground & My Old Kentucky Home.
Kirk surely had a wide range of material in his basket------so enjoy!!

Track list for Whoop `Em Up Cindy---
Whoop `Em Up Cindy
Darlin` Rose Malone
Blue Night
Let`s Meet By The Old Oaken Bucket
Brentwood Shuffle
What Does The Deep Sea Say
My Long Journey Home
Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight
Comin` From The Ball
My Old Kentucky Home

Click here to download Whoop `Em Up Cindy




Track list for Stars Of The Grand Ole Opry---
Chittlin` Cookin` Time In Cheatham County
Massa`s In The Cold, Cold Ground
Sittin` On Top Of The World
Roll On Buddy
Milk Cow Blues
Raining Teardrops
Ten Years
The Leaves Mustn`t Fall
Waltz Medley

Click here to download Stars Of The Grand Ole Opry

5 comments:

  1. Very good couple of albums! Thanks very kindly!

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  2. Have had these albums for years. The "Stars of the Grand Ole Opry" lp was often found to have only one side with McGee, and the other had some insipid pop or comedy routine. I bought three with only one side before I got the original. Some Guest Star stereo Lps had updated instrumental accompaniment added to one channel. I still play cuts from these on my radio show, "Phonographic Memories" here in Washington State. df

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  3. Guess I was lucky to get Kirk on both sides!

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