Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another bunch of old 78`s!

My Own Iona/Carolina Glide - OKeh 45142
Scottdale String Band - recorded March 21, 1927
A unique string band with mandolin as the lead instrument. My Own Iona is a song in the vein of Red Wing, Snow Deer or Silver Bell, although Iona is a native Hawaiian girl rather than an Indian.

Bum Song No.2/In The Big Rock Candy Mountains - Champion 15646
Jack Golding (as Jerry Ellis) - recorded Dec. 11, 1928 (from Gennett masters)
Both songs were popular hobo songs of the 1920`s. In The Big Rock Candy Mountains was sort of a hobo national anthem, the Big Rock Candy Mountains being like heaven to a hobo. This song was featured in the movie O! Brother , Where Art Thou, but by the artist that originally recorded the number - Harry "Mac" McClintock.

Dark Eyes/On Top Of Old Smoky - Vocalion 15366
Sid Harkreader/George Reneau - recorded April 13, 1925/Oct. 15, 1925
Dark Eyes is a longing love song, On Top Of Old Smoky is a unique version of this song sang to a tune I`ve never heard it sung to before. I don`t know why sometimes record companys put a different artist on each side of a 78. How did they work royalties on these records I wonder.

The Wandering Boy/The Dying Boy`s Message - Vocalion 5203
Howard Haney - recorded Dec. 21, 1927
Who was Howard Haney??!! I`ve never heard of him before, recorded 6 sides in a 2 day session. Two typical tear-jerker songs here.

Golden Rocket/Shotgun Boogie - Folk Music Center 101
Jimmy Owen - likely recorded about 1950-ish
Who was Jimmy Owen?? I`d never heard of him. Pretty good record of two songs that would have been very popular at the time this record was cut.

Sad Home Of Death/You`ve Got To Lay Down And Die Someday - Victor 20481
Rev. J.M. Gates - recording date unknown to me, likely about 1927
This is the first sermon type record I`ve had. Rev. Gates recorded many sides for more than one label. Pretty interesting record, to me at least.

Charleston No.1/Carroll County Blues - Clarion 5129-C
Narmour & Smith (as Jones & Billings) - recorded March 11, 1929 (from OKeh masters)
Two great tunes that have became old-time and bluegrass standards, especially Carroll County Blues. This is a GREAT record. Excellent examples of what we now call short-bow fiddling, especially the tune Charleston No.1.

Poker Alice/Dangerous Nan McGrew - Columbia 15558-D
Charlotte Miller & Bob Ferguson - recorded April 16, 1930
I know nothing about these artists. Both songs are what is sometimes called "city-billy" songs, an attempt of professional (or semi-professional) songwriters trying to write a hillbilly or old-time song. Dangerous Nan McGrew was originally Dan instead of Nan, this is sort of a re-write to be sang as a woman.

Moonlight On The Colorado/The Broken Engagement - Decca 5540
Riley Puckett & Red Jones - recorded Sept. 28 & 29, 1937
Two old pop type numbers done up in Riley Puckett country fashion. Who was Red Jones?? On the first few sessions Roy Acuff recorded in the mid 30`s there was a Red Jones in his band at the time they were called The Crazy Tennesseeans, could he be the same Red Jones I`ve always wondered??

"Argufying" Part 1&2 - Columbia 14234-D
Slim Henderson & John Mason - recording date unknown to me, likely 1927-ish
What we have here is a minstrel type skit. I`m guessing this is the only record they made. It just isn`t very funny, not as funny as Sam & Henry (aka Amos & Andy) or The Two Black Crows were.

Pretty Little Widow/Liberty - Vocalion 02948
Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers - recorded Oct. 22 & 23, 1928 (from Columbia masters)
What`s up with this being on the Vocalion label?? Apparently sometimes labels would lease masters from another company when the original company had quit issuing songs. I`m guessing Vocalion issued this possibly in the 1930`s, the label is just gold and black, earlier they were gold, black and white.
These may also be alternate takes than what was issued on Columbia. At the end of Liberty on the Columbia record, Lowe Stokes says "scat" at the end of the song and the word "scat" is absent here.
Something interesting about the tunes---Pretty Little Widow is the same tune as Sugarfoot Rag. Clayton McMichen claimed his dad wrote this tune and seems to have tried to sue over it. It had not been copywrited by his dad unfortunately, and the case either was lost or dismissed.
This Liberty tune is one of my favorte fiddle tunes. It is a different song than the fiddle tune we call Liberty now. Most people call this song Liberty Off The Corn Licker Still, which is really wrong. Clayton McMichen introduces the song as "We`re gonna play the tune you all been askin` for, Liberty - off the corn licker still" Meaning this tune was on one of the Corn Licker Still In Georgia skit records where they just played snippets of tunes during the skit. All the old 1920`s recordings of the tune Liberty is this song, not the song we call Liberty today, which the second part of is from the tune Soldier`s Joy. I don`t know where this "new" Liberty came from and don`t know when the "new" version was first recorded. I like this Liberty much better than the "new" one!

My Sweet Sweeting Waltz/Aloha Sunset Land - Edison (no catalog number on the label)
Helen Louise & Frank Ferera/Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra - recording date unknown to me, could be from about 1913-ish up till maybe 1920-ish
I love the old steel guitar like played on these two instrumentals. Likely Helen Louise or Frank Ferera is playing on the Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra side also.
This disc was in sort of rough shape around the edges and is fairly noisy for an Edison disc for about the first minuet on both sides.

Whoa Bill - Universal Zonophone No. P. 5244.
Vess L. Ossman - recording date could be anywhere from the late 1890`s till maybe around 1910 - this is a seven inch diameter disc
Here`s a neat early disc record. The record is actually dark brown in color, but looks black in the scan. It`s a fairly noisy record (although it`s in pretty decent condition) as most earlier records usually are.

Click here to download My 78`s #3


  1. Hello. Something about Columbia masters on Vocalion: Vocalion became a part of the American Record Corporation (ARC) in the early 1930s and Columbia in 1934, too. ARC issued many old Columbia masters on its budget labels in the 1930s, and here you have an example.

    Thanks for your hard work!

  2. Thanks a lot from me, too! I especially enjoy the Narmour & Smith disc but also the final Vess Ossman title is a hoot! You have a very good musical taste, it is an interesting mixture and great to listen to.

    Long time lurker here, just wanted to say thanks :)

  3. Thank you very much for sharing these. Wonderful. :)


  4. thanks very much. scottdale string band are new to me - I play in a string band which has mandos as the lead instrument, so always interested to hear older stuff which features this instrument. If you have any more by thme I'd love to hear it

  5. Thanks so much for doing this. It's an incredible resource.

  6. Do you have a copy of anyone singing Sunset gates of Gold ?

  7. Sorry, I don`t believe I have that song an anything at all. Good luck hunting!!

  8. I maintain a site that identifies the first recorded versions of numbers later recorded by Elvis Presley, at http://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/ together with a subsite that shows the labels of many of those original recordings at http://davidneale.eu/elvis/labels/index.html
    One of the numbers I list is, perhaps surprisingly, "On Top Of Old Smokey." May I copy the scan of the original label for use in my own site, please (I can acredit it, if you wish)? Also, any further information you can provide, particularly with regard to the tune used, would be useful (and why Smoky instead of Smokey?)

    email: david at davidneale dot eu

    Many thanks in advance.

  9. "Smoky" is the way the Smoky Mountains is spelled (without an "e", like Roy Acuff`s Smoky Mountain Boys), so, likely they are referring to the Smoky Mountains. George Reneau was based from Knoxville, Tennessee, smack dab in the Smoky Mountains.

  10. Can you tell me why I can no longer access Friends of old time music #3 blog site. Says I have to be an invited guest to view it. Can you give me a contact for the person in charge of that site. I play bluegrass on the radio and used the site quite a bit. Thanks.
    bhdj@live.com or bhdjusa@gmail.com