Monday, November 30, 2009

Kalama`s Quartette - Early Hawaiian Classics

Here is a good LP from the Folklyric label, number 9022. There is some great music here, even though I of course don`t speak Hawaiian, so I can`t understand a word they are singing. I listen mostly to the instruments playing, but even though I can`t understand their language on the songs they sing in Hawaiian, I still enjoy the sounds and especially the harmony of their voices.
I don`t know anything about these guys, so I`m just posting the notes from the back of the album cover, which were written by Bob Brozman. There is likely nobody that is more knowledgeable about Hawaiian music, especially lap slide style.
As you listen to this, keep in mind, if it wasn`t for this type lap slide playing, we might not have pedal steel, electric lap steel and dobro in country music today. All the acoustic resonator instruments were invented as a way to amplify volume for Hawaiian lap style guitarists. When these instruments such as the National Tri-Cone, National "biscuit" style resonator and the dobro style guitar were developed, it was more volume the inventors were looking for, not the unique tone each of these types of instruments produced. The same goes for electric guitars. The first electric guitars were Hawaiian style, that is made to play laying down.
Here are the notes from the back of the LP cover (click on them to enlarge them)---

Track listing----

Click here to download Kalama`s Quartette - Early Hawaiian Classics

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bascom Lamar Lunsford - Minstrel Of The Appalachians

Here`s a great LP with a great cover. This LP is on the Riverside label, number RLP 12-645. This LP must be pretty rare, I looked for this one for a few years. That`s one of my favorite album covers! I guess I`ll stick to talking about the music. Album cover art could be a subject for a whole blog page on it`s own.

This autograph isn`t a real autograph, it`s printed on the back of the album cover. How many Bascom Lamar Lunsford autographs do you suppose exist? And what a unique autograph at that. Of course the uniqueness of the autograph matches the uniqueness of the man. Not only was he a great old-time singer and banjo picker, he practically invented the idea of what we now call an old-time music festival, which could be considered the daddy of the bluegrass festivals today. He started the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at Asheville, North Carolina. This became the biggest festival of this type in the 30`s through the 50`s. (I`m not 100% sure when this festival got it`s start, but I believe in the mid to late 30`s) This festival was the daddy to what we consider the greatest old-time music festivals today like the ones at Galax & Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
I`m not going to try to go into Mr. Lunsford`s biography as there are a couple videos out about him and also a book I believe. None should be hard to find by doing an internet search. I am including a piece of what is written on the back of the LP cover.

Track listing---
Poor Jesse James
Go To Italy
The Merry Golden Tree
I Shall Not Be Moved
The Derby Ram
The Old Man From The North Country
The Miller`s Will
Fly Around, My Blue-Eyed Girl
Black Jack Davy
Weeping Willow Tree
Swing Low, Chariot
The Sailor On The Deep Blue Sea
John Henry

Click here to download Bascom Lamar Lunsford - Minstrel Of The Appalachians

Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stanger - 10 inch Stinson LP!!

Here`s something that is surely un-common. A Burl Ives 10 inch LP on the Stinson Records label. The catalog number for this LP is SLP #1, so this must have been the first LP this label issued.I don`t know what year this was issued (there`s no date on the LP cover) but ole Burl looks pretty young. I think Columbia was the first out with 10 inch LP`s around 1948. I bet this is not much newer than 1948.
Any folk music fan will be familiar with Burl Ives. Besides maybe Pete Seeger, he is likely about the best know folk type singer. He was pretty popular in the 50`s.
I usually am not a fan of folk type music, especially protest type songs. I don`t really know why, I just never could get turned on to that. I wouldn`t call Burl a strictly folk singer though. His material had lots of old-time type songs and also alot of old ballad type stuff, especially English isle type ballads.
I really don`t know much about the personal life of Burl Ives. He was popular though. He was particularly good at connecting with children and had many kid type songs he performed. He was also in some movies. I remember seeing him in a western playing sort of a mean good guy once!
Now, I`ll give you a few words about 10 inch LP`s. Most of the 10 inch LP`s I`ve ever heard didn`t have any better sound quality than the 78`s that were being pressed at the same time. We usually think of LP`s having superior sound to the old 78`s, but that`s not usually the case with 10 inch LP`s. I just thought I`d say this so if you download this and the sound isn`t as good as you`d expect for an LP, this is the reason why. Hope you all like this one!

Track list---
Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Buckeyed Jim
The Foggy Foggy Dew
The Fox
Henry Martin
The Blue Tail Fly
Brennan On The Moor
The Bold Soldier
The Sow Took The Measles
Black Is The Color

Click here to download Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stranger

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Country Music Cannonball on Starday LP

Here`s an LP by the great Smoky Mountain Boys & Girls, Roy Acuff`s Band. All of Roy`s band had made records on their own, mostly in the 60`s, but Oswald recorded on his own up into the 90`s.
The best well know would be Bashful Brother Oswald, playing dobro & 5-string banjo. The banjo he is holding on the album cover was one he had inherited from the great Dixie Dewdrop, Uncle Dave Macon.
Next in order of seniority would be Jimmie Riddle on piano & harmonica. He is holding a bass harp in the picture and was known to play this on Hee Haw when they had the harmonica band on the show. He is also famous for "Eeephing" on Hee Haw. I`ll be posting some Jimmie Riddle stuff on here someday. If you don`t remember him eeephing on Hee Haw, or even know what eeephing is, do an internet search or stay tuned here for when I post his stuff that I have.
Next we have Howdy Forrester, one of the best ever country fiddle players. He started playing professionaly around 1940 with Sunshine Slim Rutledge, then was with Bill Monroe in the late 40`s before Roy Acuff hired him. Check out my other post on Howdy if you want to learn & hear more.
Next is Jackie Phelps on electric guitar. Jackie was a good lead electric guitar picker and also played several other instruments including lap steel and a 2-finger bluegrass style banjo. His is likely most famous for being Jimmie Riddle`s partner on Hee Haw in the Eeephing & Hambone feature on the show. Jackie done the "hambone", which is a rhythm technique where a person slaps various body parts with their hands to keep time, sort of the same idea as playing a washboard.
June Stearns was a fairly new addition to the band when this LP was made. She was a good singer and had a real strong honky tonk type voice.
Lastly is Gene Martin on rhythm guitar and also as a lead singer. He was a brother to Benny Martin, who had at times fiddled for Roy some. Gene had a pretty good country voice and was good at imitating other country artists. He made at least one other LP for Starday that was mostly comedy doing imitations, I`ll post it sometime soon.
Starday albums such as these were nearly always songs recorded by artists for solo LP`s, sort of like a complimation record. Some of these songs are on other Starday LP`s, some were recorded just for this release I believe.
Starday would take material and put them on one LP to make it sound like a live show or some theme type thing. Sometimes the material used would be un-released stuff by a particular artist, material that didn`t make it onto the original released LP by the artist. One that comes to mind was by The Crook Brothers, Lost Indian. Lost Indian didn`t make it onto their LP with the McGee Brothers, but came out on a fiddle music themed LP Starday released later.
Starday was sort of a second string country label, although about at the top of the second string. If Starday hadn`t existed there is a lot of good country music by lesser known artists we likely would never have heard.
I hope you like this one!!

Track listing---
Y`All Come - Jackie Phelps
The Longest Train - Gene Martin
Still On The Hill - Howdy Forrester
Family Man - Gene Martin & June Stearns
Courtin` In The Rain - Bashful Brother Oswald
Just Another Song - June Stearns
Gospel Guitar - Jackie Phelps
Smoky Mountain Train - The Smoky Mountain Boys
Dobro Chimes - Bashful Brother Oswald
Mister Piano Man - Gene Martin
Coon Hound - Jimmie Riddle
We`ve Got Things In Common - Gene Martin & June Stearns
Rabbit In The Log - Bashful Brother Oswald
Wabash Cannonball - Jackie Phelps

Click here to download Country Music Cannonball

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cecil Campbell & The Tennessee Ramblers - Steel Guitar Classics

Cecil Campbell played the old style lap steel. He was heavily Hawaiian influenced, like many of the first generation country steel players were.
This LP has some good, solid, real country music on it and some Hawaiian influenced instrumentals.
Here is a paragraph from the back of the LP cover as sort of a biography --- "Cecil Campbell Got His Professional Start On Radio In Winston-Salem, North Carolina after being born and raised on a Carolina tobacco farm. He has appeared in a half dozen motion pictures and has made many tours and personal appearances with such movie stars as Johnny Mack Brown, and others. Cecil Campbell is also an accomplished banjo player, band leader, and master of ceremonies. He was featured for many years on CBS coast to coast radio shows and appeared in a number of motion pictures with Gene Autry and other western stars. The recordings on this album were made in the early 1950`s when Cecil Campbell & The Tennessee Ramblers were at their peak."
A few of the songs on this LP have been issued on a cd. I used the cd tracks where I could as the sound of the cd tracks are better than my LP. Hope you all enjoy this LP.

Track listing---
Steel Guitar Ramble
Left All Alone With A Broken Heart
Steel Guitar Wiggle
Tear Drops
Steel Guitar Tango
Please Daddy Don`t Drink No More
Steel Guitar Dig
Tennessee Border
Steel Guitar Swing
Please Don`t Call In Any Help
Beaty Steel Blues
No Wedding Bells For Me

Click here to download Cecil Campbell - Steel Guitar Classics

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Benny Martin - Old Time Fiddlin` & Singin` LP

Hello folks, here`s a good one for Benny Martin fans. There`s plenty of information about Benny Martin out there, so I`m not going to go into anything here. I`ve had to start working nights, so the blog stuff is likely gonna slow down some. Especially the information department. So--I hope you all still enjoy my page, it`s all about the music anyhow!!

Track listing---
Coming Attractions
Me And My Fiddle
(By The) Law Of My Heart
To Cry The Blues Each Day
Slim Chance
Lover Of The Town
I`m Right And You`re Wrong
Girls, Girls
I`m Checking Out
Take My Word

Click here to download Benny Martin - Old Time Fiddlin` & Singin`