4/11/2022 Huge Stash Of Records For Sale!

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Hello first neocities blog post!

While perusing eBay, I came across a seller who dumped a few hundred records (all at once!) for auction. AUGH. It's overwhelming how cool it is. The collection is largely 1920s and 1930s country music, a veritable list of artists I've either wanted to collect records of, or research and learn more about - THEN collect records of. This might as well be future!me time travelling back to 2022 to sell off my amassed collection.

It's the perfect opportunity to explore. I've written down most of the record numbers, artists, and songs. This will be my week's playlist. Obviously I can't dump all my money on these records, but I might see about picking up one or two... or three or four.

Here are my notes as I go through each record:


My Favorites

ALLEN SHELTON - COLONIAL CR 407 Old Kentucky Home / Allen's Dream Whoa. WHOA. How did I not know Allen Shelton's name before? Here's proof my knowledge of bluegrass is narrow and concentrated, far from complete. I was shocked how incredible the banjo playing (and full bluegrass everythingness) was for a name I hadn't heard, especially as recorded in 1955. Are those Scruggs tuners on the A side? Given the timeline, that'd place him among the earliest to record with tuners outside Scruggs if so (McCormick Brothers being the first with "Banjo Twist", 1954, as I recall). Whatever technique this is sounds subtly different, though. Turns out Allen Shelton is a member of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, inducted 2018, who worked with acts like Jim & Jesse and whose unique playing style imitated steel guitar licks. I'm sure that steel influence is what's intriguing me about the A side. With his connections to Jim and Jesse, I've likely heard Shelton's playing before and didn't know it. Both sides of this record are TIGHT bluegrass, the banjo blazing, and I might consider plopping this on my "to buy" list. I suspect this record doesn't come by often.

Highlights

LESTER FLATT, EARL SCRUGGS AND THE FOGGY MOUNTAIN BOYS - MERCURY 6287 My Little Girl In Tennessee / I'll Never Love Another Flatt & Scruggs records are everywhere, of course. But it's not every day I see a promo copy of the earliest times of their band.

HARRY F. RESER - ZONOPHONE 2960 Lolly Pops / The Clock And The Banjo. Oh HECK YEAH this is high-skill banjo playing! Nothing hillbilly about this. This is the earlier ragtime / dance band tenor banjo technique (hope I'm getting my genres right). From what I'm reading up on him, Reser is considered one of the greatest banjo pickers of the 1920s and of all time. I am much more taken by Lolly Pops than by The Clock And The Banjo, but both are extraordinary displays of skill and creativity. Goodness, but he can pick both fast and clear. Someday, I will have to own a record for him due to his historic place in Banjodom.

HARRY F. RESER'S BANJO BOYS - ZONOPHONE 5170 Down South / When The Robert E. Lee Comes To Town If you liked Reser playing solo, now add a full band (I mean band behind him, more banjos, and vocals! It's the type of hokey band music I don't care for, but it's quite well-put together and a standout from the rest of this seller's current stock.

LOWE STOKES AND HIS NORTH GEORGIANS Take Me To The Land Of Jazz / Wave That Frame Lowe Stokes! I was excited to see a recording under the name of this fiddler. He was part of the Skillet Lickers but rarely had his name on records. I'd read that "His own discs with his North Georgians, like McMichen's with his Melody Men, can fairly be described as the progressive country music of their day. They are rags, blues, old pop songs . . . anything but what we think of as 'old-time.'" (Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost, Tony Russell, p. 45). This is DEFINITELY the case. The jazz elements are heavily pronounced and the guitar-work SO unique for string band music. Let's be real: the guitarist is stealing the show. THOSE RUNS! (looked his name up... Perry Bechtel). Heckin' awesome mandolin break on the B side, too. Clayton McMichen is the vocals on both sides.

YOUNG BROTHERS TENNESSEE BAND - COLUMBIA 15219-D Are You From Dixie? / Bill Baily Won't You Please Come Home I know nothing about this band, but they hit right into my expected palette of 1920s/30s hillbilly artists. The musicians demonstrate hesitance, particularly the fiddler, and particularly during instrumentals. They're in tune, though, and on par with the skill levels of string groups in this era. It's once the singing starts that this group stands out. What warm singing! Their vocalist has a beautiful, resonant, well-supported voice. "Are You From Dixie?" is a bouncy number in that bright, old style I usually don't care about, but again, once that SINGING starts, I'm pulled in. Both sides are of equal quality. I'm not going to try to purchase this record, but the music was well-worth the listen.

The Other Recordings

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN GIRLS - CHAMPION 4508 There's A Mother Always Waiting / When It's Prayer Meetin' Time In The Hollow Regrettably, I could neither find recordings for these specific songs nor for the band. Big bummer. I was particularly curious about this record, it being a women's group.

CHARLIE BOWMAN AND HIS BROTHERS - COLUMBIA 15387-D Moonshiner And His Money / Forky Dear Both sides recorded February 20, 1929. Charlie Bowman has a fair chunk of sides recorded. Gotta appreciate the aptronym... Bowman for a fiddler! It's not uncommon for hillbilly records to start with scripted dialogue before going into a tune or two. "Moonshiner And His Money" has a fair bit of dialogue as well as two wonderfully played tunes, the banjo picker's rolling-esque style particularly catching my attention. Forky Dear is straight instrumental. It is, typically, fiddle-centric, with guitar and banjo. My ears are saying that banjo is doing a three-finger style.

BUSH BROTHERS - COLUMBIA 15368-D Called Home / Mother Dear Is Waiting Couldn't find any recordings of this act. YouTube, please don't suggest me President Bush material.

REX COLE MOUNTAINEERS - MELOTON M 12085 There's A Blue Sky Out Yonder / The Waltz Of The Hills Couldn't find either side.

JACK RIVERS BOYS - MAC GREGOR 10-412 Varsovienna / Swing In The Center Swing On The Side Couldn't find either side.

JACK RIVERS BOYS - MAC GREGOR 10-413 Dive For The Oysters / Rye Waltz Couldn't find either side.

JACK RIVERS BOYS - MAC GREGOR 10-401 Heel And Toe Polka / Cage The Bird Different record, but could listen to Heel And Toe Polka by the band. Fitting for a polka, they've got accordion.

WENATCHEE MOUNTAINEERS - MELOTONE 93041 I Like Mountain Music / Wait For The Wagon Their most distinctive feature is tight mixed gender harmony vocals. Also superb yodeling on the A side.