Tag Archives: Johnson City Sessions

‘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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Recorded by Uncle Fuzz in Johnson City

“The 1927 Sessions in Bristol [TN] were so successful artistically and in terms of commercial sales,” says Dr. Ted Olsen, interim director of East Tennessee State University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, “that the other labels said, ‘Aha, Victor is doing something really smart’ … by going to the mountains to get the music […]

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