Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bad news for a little while.

Sorry, but my computer is in the shop for a while. It`ll likely be about the end of the month of so before I can post some new stuff. Stay tuned!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

That`s My Rabbit, My Dog Caught It - Taditional Southern Instrumental Styles

Well folks, here`s an interesting LP. It`s on the New World Records label and was issued in 1978.
One thing neat about this LP is that some of the tracks are from 78`s recorded by commercial companies in the 20`s some are field recordings from the 30`s on up to the 70`s.
There is quite a variety of stuff here too, such as Obed "Dad" Pickard`s jew`s harp solo recording of The Old Grey Horse.
Other unusual stuff here is a fife solo by Marion Reese, which is not really the type of stuff I like, but interesting none the less.
We also have solo fiddling such as Allen Sisson`s Rymer`s Favorite from the Edison label.
Pete Steele`s banjo solo Spanish Fandango is great also.
This LP would be a great way to be introduced to old-time music styles as we have solo stuff, cajun music, string band stuff, a dulcimer tune and just a large variety of stuff---so ENJOY!!

Track list---
Groundhog - Marion Reese (home recording, 1937)
The Old Grey Horse - Obed "Dad" Pickard (Columbia 78, 1927)
My Pretty Little Pink - I.D. Stamper (home recording, 1977)
Granny went To Meeting With Her Old Shoes On - Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Judd
(home recording,1973)
Spanish Fandango - Pete Steele (home recording, 1938)
Run, Banjo - Justis Begley (home recording, 1937)
Pearly Dew - Lena Hughes (home recording, 1969)
Blues - Hobart Smith (home recording, 1942)
Lights In The Valley - Neriah & Kenneth Benfield (home recording, 1961)
Lost Boy Blues - Palmer McAbee (Victor 78, 1928)
Fe Fe Ponchaux - Joseph Falcon & Clemoa Breaux (Columbia 78, 1928)
Kimball House - Ezra "Ted" Hawkins & Riley Puckett (Bluebird 78, 1939)
The Last Of Sizemore - Luther Strong (home recording, 1937)
Hunky Dory - Alva Greene & Francis Gillum (home recording, 1973)
Bigfooted Nigger - The Helton Brothers (home recording, 1941)
That`s My Rabbit, My Dog Caught It - The Draper Walter Family (Champion 78, 1933)
Rymer`s Favorite - Allen Sisson (Edison 78, 1925)
Le Rille Cajun - Dennis McGee & Ernest Fruge (Brunswick 78, 1930)
Lost Indian - Louis H. Propps (home recording, 1936)
Peacock Rag - Fiddlin` Arthur Smith & His Dixieliners (The Delmore Brothers)
(Bluebird 78, 1941)
Bibb County Hoedown - Seven Foot Dilly & His Dill Pickles (John Dilleshaw)
(Brunswick 78, 1930)
Jig - Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers (Bluebird 78, 1938)

Click here to download LP

Friday, July 17, 2009

Short biography of Arthur Tanner

Here`s a short biography on Arthur Tanner that Mellow`s Log Cabin sent. Mellow is a friend of the Archive under Country Music, Rockabilly & Hillbilly.

Crazy Hillbillies radio shows

Hello folks-----here we are with some neat radio shows of The Crazy Hillbillies. Now I can`t really tell you any information as to who these people actually are on these shows or when they were made. I do know that the Crazy Water Crystal company was a "patent medicine" type product made from evaporating water from a well or spring in Mineral Wells, Texas. The water was heavily laden with natural minerals that would be left over after they evaporated the water, then packaged and sold in some stores, but mostly by mail order. The "crystals" had mostly a laxative effect. If you want to know more just do an internet search for Crazy Water Crystals, you will be able to learn plenty about them on the internet I believe.
I`m pretty sure these shows would have been made in the 1935-40 period. Crazy Water Crystals hired mostly country & hillbillie groups to play on radio stations (and they also made transcriptions of the shows to play in other areas of the country) to advertise their product, which was then to be mostly mail ordered from them. People today don`t realize the power radio had before tv came out as an advertising medium. Anyhow---some of the advertisements for the crystals would tell you about the product in sort of semi-vague descriptions, then tell you where to send payment for orders to. Usually the advertisements would request you to write what radio station you heard about their product from so they could determine where best to spent their advertiseing money.
Now about the recordings---I don`t know who the musicians are, but some of the more popular artists Cray Water Crystals used were Snuffy Jenkins, Wade & J.E. Mainer. I think the artists here are likely some combination of these artista, as Snuffy Jenkins, Wade Mainer & J.E. Mainer all had their own groupas that worked for the company, and for awhile there was different combinations of these three artists that worked together even. J.E. & Wade Mainer started out together as J.E. Mainer`s Mountaineers. Then Wade Mainer went out on his own as Wade Mainer & The Sons Of The Mountaineers. After Wade & J.E. Split, J.E. & Snuffy Jenkins played together for a while and I believe they used The Crazy Hillbillies as their name. I think there`s a good chance this is the Snuffy Jenkins, J.E. Mainer group.
One more interesting little fact is that Crazy Water Crystals required most outfits playing for them to use the word "crazy" in their band name, hence The "Crazy" Hillbillies. Any mid to late 30`s group you hear of usinh the word "crazy" in the name of their group was likely working for Crazy Water Crystals at the time--------Happy listening!!

Click here to download 3 radio shows

Click here to download 2 more radio shows

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hank Williams on the radio

Hi folks, here we are again with another good offering. This Hank Williams LP is of 3 different radio shows, two from the Grand Ole Opry and a March of Dimes show transcription.
I`m not going to go into a bunch of history writting here, Hank Williams is plenty easy to find information on just by doing an internet search.
Show number one is a Grand Ole Opry show from 1952 and is about 24 min. long. Sound quality isn`t very good, it may be a home recording off the radio onto a home disc cutter. Guests are Rod Brasfield, Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl, Tommy Jackson, Lew Childre, Stringbean and Audrey Williams.
Show number two is a March Of Dimes transcription from 1950. It`s about 13 min. long and sound quality is great. No guests here, just Hank and Audrey.
Show number three is from 1951 and is another Grand Ole Opry show about 11 min. long. Sound quality is about the same as show number one. Guests are Sam & Kirk McGee and Audrey Williams. It sounds to me like on this show Hank might be drunk, he seems like he just can`t talk right to me, Audrey don`t sound too sober herself.
All in all, considering some of the sound quality and the drunk sounding Hank and Audrey, it`s still a good record with some of the "second string" Opry stars that we don`t hardly ever get to hear, especially Sam & Kirk McGee, which had been on the Opry pretty much since it started.

Track list show #1-Grand Ole Opry 1952---
Baby We`re Really In Love-Hank Williams
Comedy-Rod Brasfield
It May Be Silly-Little Jimmy Dickens
Square dance with calls-Tommy Jackson (fiddle) and Lew Childre (calls)
The Old Country Church-Hank Williams and Little Jimmy Dickens duet
Comedy-Minnie Pearl
They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain-Little Jimmy Dickens
Cripple Creek-Stringbean
I Can`t Help It-Hank Williams

Track list show #2-March of Dimes Show from 1950---
Moanin` The Blues-Hank Williams
Help Me Understand-Hank & Audrey Williams
When God Dips His Love In My Heart-Hank Williams

Track list show #3-Grand Ole Opry 1951---
Crazy Heart-Hank Williams
I Was Sorta Wonderin`-Sam & Kirk McGee
Bonaparte`s Retreat-Audrey Williams

Click here to download

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rare Cousin Jody material.

Cousin Jody (real name Clell Summey, Dec. 11, 1919-Aug.17. 1975) was a virtuoso on dobro & lap steel, but is better remembered for his comedy and novelty material. He was in the music scene of Knoxville, TN in the 30`s where he got aquaintted with Roy Acuff becoming his first dobro player. They wound up auditioning for WSM`s Grand Ole Opry I believe first in 1937 some time. Apparently they didn`t pass audition and had a second chance later. Seems that most of Roy`s band (including Jody) wanted to go in a more "pop" style direction than Roy cared for. They went to the Opry with plans behind Roy`s back to desert him as they went on stage, but Jess Easterday (one of Roy`s band members for several years) warned Roy of what the others had planned and had another band secretly lined up (including Lonnie Wilson who played rhythm guitar, Pete "Oswald" Kirby on dobro and keeping Jess Easterday on bass) and when they were ready to go on stage the "new band" just crowded out the old members and went on with Roy and left the old band just standing left alone in the wings.
So now Jody was out of a job and started playing for Pee Wee King. I believe about this same time is when he switched from the dobro to electric lap steel, which was better suited to Pee Wee`s musical styles. I don`t know how long he played with Pee Wee King, till the mid to late 40`s at least.
After playing with Pee Wee King, I think he was a solo act awhile till him and Lonzo & Oscar joined up and this is where the comedy & novelty stuff really started. They were hilarious and if you`d like to see them in action there are some clips on You Tube a person can search for.
After Lonzo & Oscar Jody was pretty much a solo novelty act (with some different occasional partners such as Oral "Cousin Odie" Rhodes on bass, which had toured some with Roy Acuff in the 40`s) up until his death in 1975.
He was hilarious to watch with his outrageous outfit, such as pants made from a Purina checkerboard feed sack, no teeth and some musical acrobatics with his "biscuit board" (that was his nick-name for his Gibson lap steel). He also had suffered an accident in the late 40`s where he dropped a trailer hitch on his left hand (his bar holding hand) resulting in the loss of some fingers and some of the palm of his hand. He seems to be absent from music in the late 40`s, likely due to this accident.
I hope you all enjoy these crazy songs. Some are novelty songs, some parody songs and some mighty hot instumentals.

45 RPM titles include---sound quality on some of these are pretty poor.
Ramblin` Sam
I Miss Him So
Blues In Reserve
Beyond The Next Hilltop
Mr. Farnsworth`s Rooster
On Top Of Old Smokey
Lady Cop
Television Set

Click here to download 45`s

Opry transcription tracks from my good friend Robert Montgomery. Robert is a fine old-time & bluegrass musician and has cd`s you probably should buy at
Opry transcription tracks---
Cripple Creek
A 20 Acre Farm And A Television Set
Dear Joan
2 versions of The Mockin` Bird
2 versions of Jody`s Chimes
2 versions of Wabash Cannon Ball
No Help Wanted
Wabash Blues

Click here to download Opry transcriptions

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Snuffy Jenkins & Pappy Sherrill "Crazy Water Barn Dance" LP on the Rounder label

We have another fine LP for you here. Snuffy Jenkins, born in 1908, is pretty much credited with "almost" inventing bluegrass 3-finger style banjo. He was a great banjo picker (he could also play claw-hammer style pretty dang good, too), a fine old-time all-around entertainer in the old medicine show style by being sort of a clown and playing a pretty good washboard set-up. Sometime he would play 3-finger and claw-hammer style in the same song.
Homer "Pappy" Sherrill was a fine "pre-bluegrass" fiddler. I say pre-bluegrass meaning he sort of bridged the gap between old-time fiddlin` and bluegrass style.
Another artist of note on this lp is Julian "Greasy" Medlin. He was a fine guitar picker and medicine (or even minstrel) style entertainer, performing in make-up sort of in the black-face tradition, except he used white paint instead of black. He favored novelty and parody songs. Greasy and Snuffy teamed up as sort of a novety act and I`m sure was hilarious to see!!
There music is sort of "pre-bluegrass". They were almost too hot on their instruments to be called old-time, but were mabey just a little shy of the "slickness" to be called bluegrass. They had been big radio stars starting in the 30`s playing the different stations as was common then. The were often sponsered by Crazy Water Crystals (if you want to know about Crazy Water Crystals just do a Google search, I`m not going into the colorful history of that on here!!) and were sent by them to play all over the eastern part of the country to play for that sponsor. The also recorded some in the late 30`s with different line-ups and different artists.

Song list---
Wang Wang Blues
No Name Blues
Down Yonder
Peekaboo Waltz
The Preacher And The Bear
Franjie And Johnnie
Sugar Tree Stomp
House Of David Blues
Draggin` The Bow
Wake Up, Susan
Careless Love
Greasy`s Blue Heaven
Nine Pound Hammer
Home Brew Rag
Missouri And Goodnight Waltzes
Sally Johnson
Home Made Ice Cream
Green Mountain Polka
Room 202

Click here to download.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The 4th Annual Fan Fair Reunion Show

All-righty folks, here`s a really neat LP and really should be called Opry Old Timers Reunion. This material was recorded at the Ryman Auditorium at the Fan Fair Reunion Show in 1975. Most of the artists on this I know of, but there were 2 or 3 I don`t know anything about.
One of my favorite things on it is Alcyone Bate Beasley, Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters daughter, singing a song. Starting on the Grand Ole Opry at age 13 in 1925, she stayed on for years and also became an employee of WSM.
Another highlight to me is Sid Harkreader, also starting on the Opry in 1925. He gives the little nonsense poem that the "Solemn Ole Judge" George D. Hay always closed the show with, but unfortunately didn`t get a song included. Too bad too, because he was a great old-time artist
One more of my favorite cuts is Kirk McGee & The Fruit Jar Drinkers doing a tune I`ve never heard before called Nubbin Ridge. All the members of this band are veterans from the very start of the Opry in 1925. All the people in this version of the Fruit Jar Drinkers are "consolidated" from other old-time string bands from the early days of the Opry like The Possum Hunters, The Dixie Clod Hoppers, the original Fruit Jar Drinkers and The Gully Jumpers.
Too bad they don`t have performances of Sam & Kirk McGee doing a solo, DeFord Bailey the Harmonica Wizard or The Crook Brothers as all were still living at the time. Of course there is only so much stuff an LP will hold. I sure wish I could have been AT the show!!!!!-----Allen

Track list---
Hot Time In Nashville Tonight - Joe & Rose Lee Maphis
Comedy/Nubbin Ridge - Minnie Pearl/Kirk McGee & The Fruit Jar Drinkers
Silver Threads Among The Gold - Alcyone Bate Beasley
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - Lulu Belle & Scotty
Take Me Back To Happy Valley - Bailey Brothers
Panhandle Rag/Steel Guitar Rag - Leon McAuliffe
I Betcha My Heart I Love You - Laura Lee McBride
Peace In The Valley - The Jordanaires
Opry Memories/Hominy Grits - Sid Harkreader/Ernie Lee
Silver Bell - Doc & Chickie Williams
Comedy - The Duke Of Paucah
Dust On The Bible - Bailes Brothers
Shenandoah Waltz - Clyde Moody
Down Yonder - Del Wood
Back In The Saddle Again - Ray Whitley
Slow Poke - Pee Wee King
When The Bloom Is On The Sage - Red River Dave
I Saw The Light - Roy Acuff

Click here to download.