Thursday, November 27, 2008
According to Archie Green:
"Uncle Am" Stuart (was) a 73-year-old safe and vault salesman, champion fiddler, and raconteur from Morristown, Tennessee. In the first week of June (1924) he was in Manhattan recording "Cumberland Gap/Grey Eagle" (14839). While in the Aeolian Hall studio, he favored New York's WJZ radio audience with a program – perhaps the first Tennessee mountain music to be broadcast in the metropolis."
Other than this reference, there has been scant information through the years about this Tennessee fiddler who recorded sixteen sides for Vocalion records in 1924, twelve of which are featured here. He is often seen in pictures of old Tennessee fiddler's conventions, but I don't believe there was ever an LP on County, Old Homestead or Rounder featuring his playing. This album was put together by the late Graham Townsend and issued privately by him. My copy is on cassette, there may have been LPs of this as well but very few if any.
These were exceedingly raw transfers, they sounded very noisy. I have done as much as possible to clean them up without impairing the original performances. I constantly referred to the raw transfers while performing the process. Considering that the source was at least third generation recordings of less than perfect originals, I feel the result is a great improvement.
I hope you enjoy one that never made it to the County 500 series!
A couple of pages from a descendant of Uncle Am Stuart:
1. Old Liza Jane
2. Cumberland Gap
3. Grey Eagle
4. Forki Deer (River)
5. Sourwood Mountain
7. George Boker
8. Leather Breeches
9. Dixie (with variations)
10. Old Granny Rattletrap
11. Rye Straw Or Unfortunate Pup
12. Sally Gooden