Sonntag, 24. Oktober 2010

The 1927 Bristol, TN/VA sessions

The 1927 Ralph S. Peer recording sessions in Bristol, VA/TN (Bristol is located right on the Tennessee/Virginia stateline) have been described as "the big bang of Country Music". They proved that recordings of folk songs and by rural traditional artists could actually sell and established the first commercially highly sucessful performers in that genre, The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.


On July 21, 1927, Ralph S. Peer, aided by his wife Anita and two recording engineers named Echbars and Lynch, set up his portable recording equipment on the second floor of the Taylor-Christian Hat Company warehouse at 410 State Street and ran ads in the local newspapers advertising for local talent to be recorded on the spot for $50 a selection plus royalties of about 2.5 cents per side.

"Musicians from the region had been recording mountain music since 1923, but they had to travel to New York and New Jersey studios to do it. The Fiddlin' Powers Family from Scott County had already recorded several records. Henry Whitter, from Fries, VA, along with fiddler G.B. Grayson, had produced notable recordings, such as "The Wreck of the Old Southern 97." Ernest Stoneman of Galax, VA had become very popular with the enterprising record producer Ralph Peer as a musician who could bring the music of the southern mountain region to the studios of the north.


Peer recognized the possibilities of this mountain music sound. Record playing machines were becoming popular, both with electricity in the urban regions and with hand-cranks in the non-electrified areas of the country, and the technology of recording this music had developed so that portable recording studios were possible. Peer decided to pack the recording equipment into a car and travel to the southern Appalachian region and find new talent. He knew of the region and decided that Bristol, a thriving town on the Tennessee-Virginia border, was to be the first stop on the recording tour.

The mountains clearly held musical talent, and Peer simply had to find a way of drawing it off the front porches....  He... placed advertisements in local newspapers that announced the Victor Recording Company was coming to town. These notices were also inserted in the advertisements for the local dealer of the Victrola company, the Clark-Jones-Sheeley Co. at 621 State Street. Accompanying these notices were news articles stating that "In no other section of the south have the pre-war melodies and old mountaineer songs been better preserved than in the mountains of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia...and it is primarily for this reason that the Victrola Company chose Bristol as its operating base..." The news articles also mention that in the previous year, Ernest Stoneman had received $3,600 in royalties from the records which he had made. In 1927, like today, money talked, and musicians who had struggled to make a living on the hillside farms and the coal mines decided that they were quite capable of making music like Stoneman, and they came to record in Bristol."
-- Dave Winship


The 1927 Bristol Recording Sessions 
Source: Wikipedia

The Poor Orphan Child (The Carter Family) and A Passing Policeman (Johnson Brothers) added, minor corrections, further corrections welcome.

Titles in bold can be downloaded with links provided below, addenda (missing titles) welcome!




July 25, 1927:
  • Ernest Stoneman/M. Mooney Brewer: The Dying Girl's Farewell, Tell Mother I Will Meet Her
  • Ernest Stoneman/Eck Dunford/Miss Frost: The Mountaineer's Courtship, Midnight on the Stormy Deep
  • Stoneman's Dixie Mountaineers: Sweeping Through the Gates, I Know My Name is There, Are You Washed in the Blood?, No More Goodbyes, The Resurrection, I Am Resolved 
July 26, 1927:
  • Ernest Phipps and His Holiness Quartet: I Want to Go Where Jesus Is, Do Lord Remember Me, Old Ship of Zion, Jesus is Getting Us Ready for That Great Day, Happy in Prison, Don't You Grieve After Me   
July 27, 1927: 
  • Uncle Eck Dunford/Ernest Stoneman/Hannah Stoneman/T. Edwards: The Whippoorwill's Song, What Will I Do, For My Money's All Gone, Skip to Ma Lou Ma Darling, Barney McCoy
July 27/28, 1927: 
  • Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers (Ernest Stoneman/Hannah Stoneman/Eck Dunford/T. Edwards): Old Time Corn Shucking Part 1 & Part 2
July 28, 1927: 
  • Charles and Paul Johnson with the Tennessee Wildcats: Two Brothers are We (From East TN), The Jealous Sweetheart
  • Blind Alfred Reed: The Wreck of the Virginian, I Mean to Live for Jesus, You Must Unload, Walking in the Way With Jesus
  • Charles and Paul Johnson: The Soldier's Poor Little Boy, Just A Message from Carolina, I Want to See My Mother, A Passing Policeman
  • El Watson and Charles Johnson: Pot Licker Blues, Narrow Gauge Blues
July 29, 1927: 
  • B. F. Shelton: Cold Penitentiary Blues, O Molly Dear, Pretty Polly, Darling Cora
  • Alfred G. Karnes: Called to the Foreign Field, I Am Bound for the Promised Land, Where We'll Never Grow Old, When I See the Blood, When They Ring the Golden Bells for You and Me, To the Work
August 01, 1927: 
  • J.P. Nestor: Train on the Island, Georgia, John My Lover, Black Eyed Susie
  • Bull Mountain Moonshiners: Sweet Marie, Johnny Goodwin
August 01/02, 1927: 
  • The Carter Family (A.P., Sara and Maybelle): Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow, Little Log Cabin By the Sea, The Poor Orphan Child, The Storms are on the Ocean, Single Girl, Married Girl, The Wandering Boy   
August 02, 1927: 
  • Alcoa Quartet: Remember Me O Mighty One, I'm Redeemed
  • Henry Whitter: Henry Whiter's Fox Chase, Rain Crow Bill
August 03, 1927: 
  • The Shelor Family: Big Bend Gal, Billy Grimes the Rover
  • The Shelor Family (as Dad Blackard's Moonshiners): Suzanna Gal, Sandy River Belle
  • Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Baker: The New Market Wreck, On the Banks of the Sunny Tennessee
August 04, 1927: 
  • Jimmie Rodgers: The Soldier's Sweetheart; Sleep, Baby, Sleep
  • Red Snodgrass and His Alabamians: Weary Blues
  • Tenneva Ramblers (Jack Pierce, Claude Grant, Jack Grant, Claude Slagle): The Longest Train I Ever Saw, Sweet Heaven, When I Die; Miss Liza, Poor Gal
August 05, 1927: 
  • West Virginia Coon Hunters (W.S. Meadows et al.): Greasy String, Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy
  • Tennessee Mountaineers (20 mixed voices): Standing on the Promises, At the River (Beautiful River)


 
DOWNLOAD LINKS:

ERNEST V. STONEMAN et. al., (July 25, 1927, INCOMPLETE)
(9 tracks, 19.92 MB)
ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET (July 26, 1927, COMPLETE)   
(6 tracks, 13.34 MB)   
UNCLE ECK DUNFORD (July 27, 1927, INCOMPLETE)
(1 track, 1.95 MB)
BLUE RIDGE CORN SHUCKERS (July 27/28, 1927, COMPLETE)
(1 track, 4.37 MB)
BLIND ALFRED REED (July 28, 1927, COMPLETE)   
(4 tracks, 8.41 MB)  
CHARLES & PAUL JOHNSON (July 28, 1927, INCOMPLETE)
(2 tracks, 4.61 MB)
EL WATSON (& Charles Johnson) (July 28, 1927, COMPLETE)   
(2 tracks, 3.71 MB)  
B. F. SHELTON (July 29, 1927, INCOMPLETE)
(1 track, 2.06 MB)
ALFRED G. KARNES (July 29, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(5 tracks, 10.7 MB)  
J. P. NESTOR (August 01, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(2 tracks, 4.04 MB)
BULL MOUNTAIN MOONSHINERS (August 01, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 2 MB)  
THE CARTER FAMILY (August 01 & August 02, 1927, COMPLETE)   
(6 tracks, 11.42 MB)   
ALCOA QUARTET (August 02, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 2.16 MB)  
HENRY WHITTER (August 02, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 2.27 MB)  
THE SHELOR FAMILY (August 03, 1927, INCOMPLETE)   
(1 track, 2 MB)  
DAD BLACKARD'S MOONSHINERS (THE SHELOR FAMILY)
(August 03, 1927, INCOMPLETE) (1 track, 2.13 MB)  
MR. & MRS. J. W. BAXTER (August 03, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 2.03 MB)  
JIMMIE RODGERS (August 04, 1927, COMPLETE)  
(2 tracks, 4.08 MB)  
TENNEVA RAMBLERS (August 04, 1927, COMPLETE)  
(3 tracks, 6.37 MB)  
WEST VIRGINIA COONHUNTERS (August 05, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 1.93 MB)  
TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS (August 05, 1927, INCOMPLETE)  
(1 track, 1.86 MB)  

DOWNLOAD "THE GREATEST YEARS OF COUNTRY MUSIC presented by LEE CASH"
episode about the 1927 Bristol sessions 
(Jimmie Rodgers & The Carter Family) (9.21 MB)


DOWNLOAD ALL 52 TRACKS & "THE GREATEST YEARS OF COUNTRY MUSIC"
(120.56 MB)


TO BE CONTINUED and completed (hopefully)....

1 Kommentar:

  1. Two more Tenneva Ramblers tracks from another CD reissue added (now COMPLETE) -- Download Links corrected

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