I am running out of time before the auction ends. Here goes massive listening.
HONOLULU SERENADERS - VICTOR 21120 Honolulu Stomp / Mele Of Hawaii Didn't expect this to be the sort of thing I was looking for. Chill song, though.
UNCLE ECK DUNFORD - VICTOR 20880 The Whip-poor-will's Song / Mountaineer's Courtship Uncle Eck Dunford worked as part of Ernest Stoneman's Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers in the 1920s and was part of the recording group with Stoneman at the Bristol Sessions. This record, in fact, comes out of the Bristol Sessions, and I own it digitally. I've never liked either recorded side, but cool to come across a Bristol Sessions disc!
SMOKY MOUNTAIN SACRED SINGERS - VOCALION 5119 'Tis A Picture From Life's Other Side / Where We Never Grow Old Too smooth and sappy for my tastes. And to be clear: Never Grow Old is a song I tend to enjoy. The vocals are Vernon Dalhart (oh hello there, omnipresent man), Wilfred Glenn, Robert A. Gardner (also guitar), and Lester McFarland (also mandolin).
CARL PERKINS - SUN 234 Blue Suede Shoes / Honey, Don't! Well, here's gonna be a change in sound. Hello, New Year's 1956. Carl Perkins was the one who originally composed and wrote Blue Suede Shoes. And his version is QUITE fun. XD Both sides have great energy. There are a fair number of Shellacs on discogs ranging in price from $30 to $80. So at least it's not as inaccessible as certain other Sun records [glares in the direction of the first Johnny Cash and Elvis releases].
JOHNNY CASH - SUN 232 So Doggone Lonesome / Folsom Prison Blues Speaking of Johnny Cash. The raw, early Johnny Cash in all its glory, including the song with my favorite Johnny Cash line of all time. If the copy were in better condition, I'd consider it. But there's other copies available and not out the wazoo price-wise.
WARREN SMITH SUN 239 Rock 'n' Roll Ruby / I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry This is one of those sheepish "I should've known this artist" moments. But I don't know my rockabilly and rock histories like I do country and bluegrass. This is his first record. It's fun and has a hard-hitting edge. I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry is slower and gives me more honky-tonk vibes. The 78 rpm on discogs is going for $325 in NM condition. Nice affordable price there, seller buddy. Another copy on eBay is $150. The one at this current auction has multiple bidders going already. I can see the value of this record, but I'll leave this to you rockabilly nerds since you'll get better value and appreciation out of ownership.
HANK SNOW - RCA VICTOR 20-5296 Spanish Fire Ball / Between Fire And Water I appreciate Hank Snow and I want to delive into his music more, but this record isn't hard to find cheap, so now isn't the time to explore Hank Snow. Currently passing.
ELVIS PRESLEY - RCA VICTOR 20-6540 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You / My Baby Left Me I Want You, I Need You, I Love You was Elvis's seventh single release with RCA Victor, released May 1956. It was his second number 1 single on the country music charts and peaked at 3 on the Billboard Top 100. My Baby Left Me was originally a blues song written by Arthur Crudup. It has been very Elvis-ified. I'm not charging after Elvis records at this time and I won't regret not bidding on this.
WM. B. HOUCHENS - SILVERTONE 4056 Fisher's Hornpipe And Opera Reel / Temperance Reel And Reilly's Reel Nice fiddling. There's a real (reel? ;) ) dark, crunchy, moody quality to Temperance Reel and Reilly's Reel that I LOVE. This is a highlight for today's listening. I'll have to do research on these songs later.
ALLEN BROTHERS / MODERN MOUNTAINEERS - RCA VICTOR 20-2132 A New Salty Dog / Loud Mouth I've been holding out hard to get the original Allen Brothers release of Salty Dog. Since this is the new version, I'm not gonna pounce.
I own the second record by Fiddlin' John Carson. His first release was the first successful record in the history of country music. I also know about him due to his song Mary Phagan, as well as his other extremely racist beliefs and activities.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON AND HIS VIRGINIA REELERS - OKEH 45347 Moonshine Kate / John Makes Good Licker Both sides were recorded August 10, 1928 and are far from his first records. John Makes Good Licker is primarily spoken conversation with a 'sheriff' coming to arrest them for making liquor, but they play a tune to get out going to jail. The sheriff is a bad voice actor. The song they play is pretty rough haha.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON AND HIS VIRGINIA REELERS - OKEH 45096 Don't Let Your Deal Go Down / In My Old Cabin Home Don't Let Your Deal Go Down is a folk tune I like. There's unique harmonies in Carson's version; I've heard similar harmonic choices in a Chieftains / Nashville artists collaboration album. This is cool. This is my favorite thing I've heard from Carson. There's also a nice slip and slide sound to the measures; I swear Carson drops a few beats here and there, though I'd have to check. In My Old Cabin Home is also very old-timey. Shocker, on an old-time record! I don't care for the group of voices on the chorus; a few of them are out of tune.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON AND HIS VIRGINIA REELERS - OKEH 40263 Old Dan Tucker / Old Uncle Ned Both recorded December 18, 1924. Old Dan Tucker has a great old, old-time feel to its performance. It's simple in the exact right ways. It's pure old-ways Americana. You feel like you're back a hundred and extra years ago. I like that side far better than Old Uncle Ned, which doesn't get performed as smooth rhythmically, and which has more, shall we say, outdated language, though both cuts have the same old-time taste. Since whenever I come across the n-word I want to know its context: Old Uncle Ned is an 1848 Steven Foster minstrel tune. Ahaaaa.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON AND HIS VIRGINIA REELERS - OKEH 40108 Old Aunt Peggy, Won't You Set 'Em Up Again? / Arkansas Traveler You think you can't be impressed by the omnipresent Arkansas Traveler, then you get smashed on your face by the first note, the high energy of the full band barrelling at you. Holy cow, this is SO COOL. The rapid chaos of Arkansas Traveler, however, doesn't translate to the slower Old Aunt Peggy, where every wrong note and out-of-tune and scraping fiddle (and there's tons of that) makes it sound bad rather than folk goodness. It took me a while to recognize the melody, and halfway, there's an abrupt tempo change attempt that goes poorly. The tempo struggles afterwards. If you can believe it, Old Aunt Peggy is the Battle Hymn of the Republic. As far as whether this record has any collector attention? I guess there is one VG+ copy of this record on discogs being sold for $120.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON - OKEH 40038 Casey Jones / Fare You Well Old Joe Clark These recordings came out of Fiddlin' John Carson's second recording session from November 7-8, 1923. The Casey Jones recording has to be some of the best tone I've heard from Carson thus far. It's recorded in the same manner as his first-ever release.... just him singing on top of a fiddle. He sings on top of Old Joe Clark, too. It's good for continuing education of American folk music, but collection-wise, this doesn't add anything extra to the Fiddlin' John Carson record I already own.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON - OKEH 4994 You Will Never Miss Your Mother Until She Is Gone / Papa's Billy Goat Also from the November 1923 session. A bit of Turkey in the Straw on Papa's Billy Goat.
FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON - OKEH 4890 The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane / The Old Hen Cackled And The Rooster's Going To Crow Now here's history! THIS IS IT! This is his first record! This is the first successful country music record and genuinely considered the first country record with music and singing! History history history history history!
LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS - OKEH 05610 South / Rainbow A rather important Western string band. This is pretty deep into their recording career, recorded April 24 and 26, 1940. Musicians in the band were Kenneth Pitts (vocals), Ramon DeArman (vocals), Paul Waggoner (guitar), Marvin Montgomery (banjo), Joe Ferguson (vocals/bass), Cecil Bower (fiddle), and Babe Wright (piano). Parker Wilson was on bass and vocals on the April 26 session for South instead of Joe Ferguson. Rainbow is fun, but I'm not going to grab a random record from a band like this... I need history and intentionality.
LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS - OKEH 06349 I Want A Waitress / Bear Creek Hop These were recorded March 3, 1941 with Parker Wilson (vocals), Dolores Jo Clancy (vocals), Muryel Campbell (guitar), J. B. Brinkley (vocals/guitar) I ALMOST SCREAMED BECAUSE OF HOW CLOSE HIS NAME IS TO GOAT GLAND DOCTOR, Marvin Montgomery (vocals/banjo), Ted Daffan (steel), Joe Ferguson (vocals/bass), Kenneth Pitts (vocals/fiddle), Cecil Bower (fiddle), and Frank Reneau (piano). I'll check out the material later.
GEORGIA YELLOW HAMMERS / BUD BILLINGS - MONTGOMERY WARD M-8054 Pass Around The Bottle / The Wreck Of Number Nine Skillet-Lickers rivals! Pass Around The Bottle was the first song they recorded at their first session on February 18, 1927. The other side is by Bud Billings. I'd rather get *THE* actual first Georgia Yellow Hammers release, Victor 20550, so I'm not bothering listening now.
JESSE RODGERS - MONTGOMERY WARD W-4788 The Sun Goes Down / Jesse's Talking Blues This might be the wrong recording linked since it's "When The Sun Goes Down," so maybe it's a re-recording. Too lazy to check. Cool song, I definitely like it, but not interested getting it on Shellac. And there's another real cheap copy on discogs if I ever changed my mind.
THREE TOBACCO TAGS - MONTGOMERY WARD M-7165 My Girl Of The Golden West / Mother's Old Rockin' Chair Recorded February 15, 1937. Not their first recording session.
BUD AND JOE BILLINGS / STUART HAMBLEN - The Utah Trail / My Brown-Eyed Texas Rose Not bothering to check records with split artists.
HANK WILLIAMS - MGM 10832 Moanin' The Blues / Nobody's Lonesome For Me I deeply want Hank Williams Shellacs, but they're everywhere. I am not priotizing one in this auction.
HANK WILLIAMS - MGM 10961 Howlin' At The Moon / I Can't Help It
FRANK QUINN - OKEH 21026 Father O'Flynn / Get This A name I've never heard. Father O'Flynn is an Irish song. I can't find either side on YouTube, but I hear the Irishness through songs like this.
ARTHUR SMITH - MGM 10832 Redheaded Stranger / Sobbin' Women Rich, deep baritone. Chorus has strong harmonies. Good singer, song has an interesting narrative, but not what I'm looking for.
VERNON DALHART - DOMINO 21271 The Mississippi Flood / The Engineer's Dream I am only interested in a Vernon Dalhart record if it has particular historic note. This is not one of them.
BILL MONROE AND HIS BLUE GRASS QUARTET - DECCA 29436 Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus / Let The Light Shine Down On Me Released February 28, 1955 . This is a small handful where 'Blue Grass Quartet' is listed. I had to pull out my Rosenberg discography to find the personnel: Bill Monroe (m, LV/TC), Charlie Cline (f, LC), Bobby Hicks (f, B), William D. Killen (BS), and Jackie Phelps (g). This is not when Monroe introduced twin fiddles, for the record.
SALTY HOLMES AND HIS BROWN COUNTY BOYS - DECCA 46116 Mama Blues / John Henry VERY much non-bluegrass. Salty Holmes was an American country musician and Western B-movie actor, and the Western very much encapsulates every second of the audio. Electric guitar, harmonica, the whole works. This is a rare aberration of the band being called the Brown County Boys; he formed the band The Kentucky Ramblers in 1930, which changed names to the Prairie Ramblers. AH. The Prairie Ramblers. Yes. Know those folks.
JIM WRIGHT - HERWIN 75580 Arkansas Traveler / Turkey In The Straw Hey look, yet another combo of these two tunes on one disc. Could not find the audio by Jim Wright.
VENRON DALHART / ANNE, JUDY AND ZEKE CANOVA - CONQUEROR 7724 The Cowboy's Lament / The Fatal Shot Not interested.
WILMA LEE AND STONEY COOPER - COLUMBIA 21221 Bamboozled / You Can't Feel The Way I Do Interested! I love Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper. Good group. I'm not too familiar with their repertoire beyond the biggies like Big Midnight Special and There's A Big Wheel, which are positive bops. I'm legit hoping this is an early 1950s one where Josh Graves is part of the band. [looks up] MY LUCKY DAY. Their first recordings were in 1947 and they've had many sessions by now. It's December 28, 1953 in Castle Studio. Band members are Wilma Lee Cooper (vocals, guitar), Stoney Cooper (vocals, fiddle), Howard Johnson (guitar), Josh Graves (dobro), Albert Ray Cole (bass), and Tommy Jackson (fiddle). Produced by... eeyyy... Don Law, hello thar. There are quite a few Shellac records available at good prices of Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper on discogs. So now it becomes a matter of taste. Bamboozled starts strongly, exactly the sort of stuff I like, very country, cool chord progression, and Josh very prominent. XD Yes, yes this is good! Oh gosh, that is SO Josh.
Me: I don't know their material, but I hope this is from the 1950s and has Josh Graves
[looks it up]
[is from 1953, has a very catchy tune with a unique chord progression, and Josh Graves is playing every inch of audio]
You Can't Feel The Way I Do is slower but also very nice. It's in three. Has twin fiddles. Josh is still prominent. XD There's a missing credit, isn't there? It's a women's duet. Their daughter, I'm sure. I would buy this record. It might not be a particular Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper record, but it hits several things I've wanted to get in a Shellac: Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, and with Josh Graves. And if Carol Lee Cooper is also involved, that hits yet another checkbox!
LESTER FLATT, EARL SCRUGGS AND THE FOGGY MOUNTAIN BOYS - COLUMBIA 20805 I'm Head Over Heels In Love / We Can't Be Darlings Any More I love my boys extraordinarily, but I am not buying a random record of theirs. I'm looking for specific F&S material.
STANLEY BROTHERS - COLUMBIA 20577 Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet / The White Dove It is frustratingly hard to find Stanley Brothers records, so I tend to pounce on whatever I see. I've managed to purchase one Stanley Brothers record, from their Mercury period, which nicely includes one of my all-time favorite songs from them. This is from their early Columbia period - in fact, it's their first Columbia release with material from their first Columbia session on March 1, 1949! Without magically tracking down a Rich-R-Tone record that doesn't shoot into the $200 range, this is *THE* earliest I can get Stanley Brothers music! It also includes one of Carter's earliest and most iconic compositions, The White Dove. 200% a priority, I am chasing this sucker down Sunday.
Charlie Poole is extremely important to me regarding country music history (and banjo history -- what can I say, I'm biased?). His three-fingered banjo roll is an important precursor. To be clear, while he developed his own three-fingered roll (on account of having several fingers broken and not set right after a baseball accident / dumb dare), and while it was an early form of North Carolinian three-fingered styles, it was NOT a DIRECT link to the Snuffy Jenkins/Earl Scruggs lineage. According to p. 254 of my fat Barry Willis book: By 1923, Poole had a form of three-finger banjo playing, just as concert banjoists of late 1800s had their own. Some history buffs may recall that Charlie Poole's version of "Flop Eared Mule" for Puritan Records (3002) showed an inclination toward a three-finger style earlier than 1923. He died before he fully developed the style. (Snuffy Jenkins, whom we will discuss later, had never heard of Poole or followed his style. Jenkins' style was patterned after individuals near his North Carolina home.)
Unless I'm missing a few pieces of information, which is possible, I think the author made a few errors; the Puritan 3002 record is Charlie Poole and the Highlanders: Great Original Recordings - 1927-1929. This is not earlier than 1923. The Highlanders 78 rpm Paramount 3171 Flop Eared Mule / Lynchburg Town had both sides recorded in May of 1929. Other sources I've read say Columbia 5038-D was Charlie Poole's first record.
I am high-key attempting to collect Charlie Poole records. The seller has a specific Charlie Poole record I've been looking for for months. Now is my chance to scope out other Charlie Poole records that I could nab. Let's see if anything particular catches my attention.
CHARLIE POOLE ACCOMP. BY THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS - COLUMBIA 5038-D Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister / Don't Let Your Deal Go Down This is the record I've been chasing. It's the first release by Charlie Poole under his own name, recorded July 27, 1925. Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister is a fun song; both the fiddle and the banjo are clear, and the instruments play tightly with one another. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down is another folk song I've always loved, introduced to me via Flatt & Scruggs. Charlie Poole's version is iconic. This record sold 102,451 copies, an enormously high amount considering as Columbia's typical hillbilly record was about 5,000 then.
NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS - COLUMBIA 15106-D Flyin' Clouds / Forks Of Sandy Both sides were recorded September 16, 1926. Forks Of Sandy is cleaner performance-wise.
CHARLIE POOLE AND THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS - COLUMBIA 15116-D Leaving Home / There'll Come A Time Recorded September 18 and 20, 1926. The band's second recording session was a long stint between September 16-20. Leaving Home is a version of Frankie and Johnny, an American folk tune based (loosely) off actual historic events. The fiddle is a bit scratchy at the start of There'll Come A Time, a slower song in 3/4. It's not a song I gravitate to.
CHARLIE POOLE WITH THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS - COLUMBIA 15138-D Budded Rose / Good-Bye Booze Charlie's banjo during the breaks of Budded Rose, recorded September 18, 1926, is curious, combining slow melody picking and occasional mandolin-esque shimmers. I vaguely believe that this song becomes a standard in music later, but it's not of emotional value to me. This won't be the first time I've listened to Good-Bye Booze. It didn't stand out to me last time, and it doesn't stand out this time.
CHARLIE POOLE WITH THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS - COLUMBIA 15160-D Hungry Hash House / The Highwayman These two songs were the last recorded in the second session, on September 20, 1926. They're rushing Hungry Hash House. The Highwayman is in 6/8. The instrumentation is disciplined. Fine listens, but not going to chase records after.
IRA AND CHARLIE LOUVIN - CAPITOL 3715 Plenty Of Everything But You / The First One To Love You Plenty Of Everything was recorded May 4, 1956 and The First One To Love You was recorded March 25, 1956. Plenty Of Everything But You was one of twelve singles of theirs to hit the country music charts. This one peaked at 14. However, there are other records more important. This isn't a priority. I love their harmonies, but there's no reason to chase after this one.
RILEY PUCKETT - COLUMBIA 107-D Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane / Rock All Our Babies To Sleep The seller has more Riley Puckett records than anyone else in the inventory. There are a MASSIVE number of Riley Puckett recordings. Riley Puckett isn't so important to me that I want to chase after favorite recordings, but something of historic note is something I'll peep at. So this is the record in the bunch that's got some historicity: it's his first record. He recorded this March 7, 1924, two years before the first (April 17, 1926) Gid Tanner and His Skillet-Lickers session. The fiddler in this recording, though, is Gid Tanner! Riley Puckett's voice is nice in this recording, a notable, more resonant quality higher than most Southern 1920s hillbilly artists. Gid Tanner makes rare whoops (or are they dog howls?) in the background, despite the fact that Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane is not the sort of song to whoop on (he is not too distracting, but he comes off as wanting attention -- or maybe it's an intentional sound effect, given its placement at the chorus, and the bad audio quality is obscuring this to me on a first listen). There is no fiddle and no Gid Tanner on the B side. Riley Puckett yodels, which is nowhere close to as satisfying as his singing, though he doesn't not know what he's doing.
THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND - LIBERTY 56197 Mr. Bojangles / Uncle Charlie Interview No. 2 and Spanish Fandango The NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND had 78s???? They had MR. BOJANGLES on 78?????? I am dumbfounded. I AM DUMBFOUNDED. They released Mr. Bojangles in 1970. Was this John McEuen being sentimental for the old times? What is this? How many other NGDB records are 78s? The novelty of this. This feels like Disney releasing Frozen on a VHS.
ROY SMECK AND HIS VITA TRIO - IMPERIAL 2824 A Boy And A Girl Were Dancing / Till To-morrow I know the name Roy Smeck. This is not a record I'm inclined to buy.
I am turning it in. There are at least a hundred more records I haven't checked out. They cover the Delmore Brothers, Riley Puckett, Kessinger Brothers, Riley Puckett, Leake County Revelers, Roy Smeck, Hank Penny, Riley Puckett, The Jenkins Family, the Prairie Ramblers, the Cumberland Ridge Runners, McMichen's Melody Men, Chris Bouchillon, Gid Tanner and His Skillet-Lickers with Riley Puckett, Riley Puckett, and Riley Puckett. (There are many more artists. Even beyond Riley Puckett.) This has been an extraordinarily interesting excursion. I'm sure these notes won't be interesting to anyone but me, but it was nice taking notes when I had so much to juggle in such a short time. My future blog posts will have better appeal to more folks. Though likely, the only person who'll read them is me. ;) And that's perfectly fine with me, too. XD