Tag Archives: appalachian music

‘Can You Sing Or Play Old-Time Music?’ — The Johnson City Sessions

A few of the 78 RPM records made in Johnson City in 1928 sold well when released by Columbia in early 1929. One record by the duo of Earl Shirkey and Roy Harper, “Steamboat Man” backed with “When the Roses Bloom Again for the Bootlegger,” sold nearly 75,000 copies. Walker decided to return to Johnson City the following October to make additional recordings.

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Oh brother I am dying now

Listen to Buell Kazee play “The Dying Soldier”   Oh brother Green, oh come to me, For I am shot and bleeding, Now I must die, no more to see, My wife and my dear children. The southern () has layed me low, On this cold ground to suffer, Stay brother stay and lay me […]

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Final Note: Placement of Rattlesnake Rattles Inside Instruments

Fiddler Bev Conrad, experimenting with a rattlesnake rattle in her fiddle, removed it the next day to find the rattle dust coated—“a big ball of lint, fuzz, dust, and cobwebs had been gathered up by the sweeping motion of the rattle as it wandered around the inside of the fiddle”.

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The art and influence of fiddler Henry Reed

James Henry Neel Reed, known as Henry Reed, was born on April 28, 1884, in Monroe County, WV,  a rural county lying along the Virginia border in the Appalachian Mountains of southeastern West Virginia. Reed grew up in Monroe County as a member of a large extended family. His father and at least one uncle […]

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Samantha Bumgarner records the first banjo record ever

It took awhile for the promising young musician to gain widespread recognition, though. She was 37 years old when Columbia Phonograph Company took notice of her and invited her and Eva Smathers Davis to New York City to record for them.

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