Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ola Belle Reed (nee Campbell, 1916-2002) and her brother Alex recorded two LPs for Starday in the '60's, this being the second. On both they were accompanied by their band of the time, the New River Boys, featuring notables Deacon Brumfield on dobro and Ted Lundy on banjo. Lundy would go on to make some top notch albums for Rounder in the 1970's before unfortunately commiting suicide by jumping from a bridge.
Ola Belle (or Olabelle, as she's credited on the Starday albums) and her husband ran the legendary "New River Ranch" country park at Rising Sun, Maryland before moving their operations to Sunset Park in West Grove, Pennsylvania. She became somewhat of a legend in her later years, and made albums for Rounder in the '70's as well.
Below are two links to biographies of Ola Belle and her Brother:

Ola Belle Reed

Alex Campbell & Ola Belle

If any followers of this blog could help me in finding a copy of Alex & Ola Belle's first Starday LP (SLP-214) to transfer, it would be most appreciated. Contact me at Thanks!

1. Travel On
2. All The World Is Lonely Now
3. I Threw Away The Key
4. You Don't Even Know
5. I Can't Be Satisfied
6. When My Time Comes To Go
7. When I Lay My Burden Down
8. Just Over In The Gloryland
9. I Marked The Spot
10. Indecision
11. Paul & Silas
12. Forever I Know

*download here*

MILLS BROTHERS Early Recordings

Twenty files here by the Mills Brothers mostly from the early thirties. At the beginning of their career the brothers were billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar", a jazz novelty act who imitated band instruments vocally during their performances. If you've never heard this material, believe me, it's quite different from their middle-of-the-road "Paper Doll" years.
Much great information about the Mill's early years can be found by clicking the link below:

Mill Brothers biography


1. Pennies From Heaven
2. Rockin' Chair Swing
3. Rhythm Saved The World
4. Lulu's Back In Town
5. Swing Is The Thing
6. Shoe Shine Boy
7. St.Louis Blues
8. What's The Reason
9. Loveless Love
10. Swing For Sale
11. Diga Diga Doo
12. Caravan
13. The Song Is Ended
14. Sweet Sue, Just You
15. Tiger Rag
16. The Love Bug Will Bite You
17. Long About Midnight
18. Nagasaki
19. Sweet And Slow
20. London Rhythm

*download here*

Ralph Peer's 1927 BRISTOL SESSIONS

Friday, January 30, 2009

On July 24, 1927, the Bristol Herald ran an ad for the Clark-Jones-Sheeley Company touting the local concern's line of new "Orthophonic" Victor Victrolas. Towards the bottom of the ad was a notice that "The Victor Co. will have a recording machine in Bristol for 10 days beginning Monday to record records - Inquire at our store." Miraculously not one but two legends of country music would be discovered when they presented themselves at these sessions. Both Jimmie Rodgers, who actually had come to audition as part of a string band, and A.P., Sara and Maybelle Carter, the "original" Carter Family would make their first records in a vacant building on State Street in Bristol. The man in charge of those hot July sessions was Ralph Peer, a man who would figure greatly into both acts' careers.
This folder contains 18 tracks recorded by Peer in Bristol on that 1927 outing. Featured are not only Rodgers and the Carters, but many other performers as well, some well know (Ernest Stoneman), some obscure (Alcoa Quartet). It is a fascinating glimpse into a time and place in which a major record company was scouting the backwoods, hoping to find recordings that would score with rural record buyers, or potential record buyers, and in doing so actually brought those rural dwellers and their music into the new century.


1. Shelor Family - Big Bend Gal
2. B.F. Shelton - Pretty Polly
3. Uncle Eck Dunford and Hattie Stoneman - What Will I Do, For My Money's All Gone
4. Tennessee Mountaineers - At The River
5. Tenneva Ramblers - Miss Liza, Poor Gal
6. Jimmie Rodgers - The Soldier's Sweetheart
7. The Carter Family - Single Girl, Married Girl
8. Alfred G. Karnes - Called To The Foreign Field
9. Johnson Brothers - Just A Message From Caroline
10. Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers - Sweeping Through The Gates
11. The Carter Family - The Storms Are On The Ocean
12. El Watson - Narrow Gauge Blues
13. Ernest Stoneman, Kahle Brewer & Walter Mooney - Dying Girl's Farewell
14. J.P. Nestor - Train On The Island
15. Blind Alfred Reed - You Must Unload
16. West Virginia Coon Hunters - Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy
17. Alcoa Quartet - Remember Me O Mighty One
18. Jimmie Rodgers - Sleep, Baby, Sleep


24 late '20's tracks by "Sam & Kirk McGee from Sunny Tennessee" are featured in this post. These range from Sam's instrumental guitar rags, blues, sentimental songs and novelties, with some of the tunes also featuring Uncle Dave Macon.
The McGees were featured on the Grand Ole Opry from the twenties right through the to the seventies, and recorded several albums in later years on the Starday, Arhoolie and MBA labels, as well as on the Folkways label along with Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. These, however, are the very first recordings the brothers made, and are what their high reputations were based on.

Click here for a biography of Sam & Kirk McGee


1. Railroad Blues
2. Knoxville Blues
3. Flower From Angel Mother's Grave
4. Cool Shady Nook
5. Salty Dog Blues
6. The Ship Without A Sail
7. Willy And Mary
8. C-H-I-C-K-E-N
9. Hannah Open That Door
10. Chevrolet Car
11. Easy Rider
12. Old Master's Runaway
13. Buck Dancers Choice
14. Charming Bill
15. If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
16. My Family Has Been Crooked Set
17. The Tramp
18. Brown's Ferry Blues
19. If I Could Only Block Out The Past
20. Salt Lake City Blues
21. Only One Step To The Grave
22. Kickin' Mule
23. Thank God For Everything
24. When The Train Comes Along

*download here*

BLUE SKY BOYS Rare Song Gems

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In 1962, Starday Records arranged through Bill Bolick to issue an album of the Blue Sky Boys recordings which he had preserved on electrical transcriptions originally intended for radio broadcast. The result was SLP-205, colourfully titled "A Treasury Of Rare Song Gems From The Past". The popularity of the LP led Starday to bring Bill and Earl Bolick to Nashville to record two more albums of new material. Those albums launched the brothers on another career which lasted well into the 1970's, including more albums on Capitol, County and Rounder and numerous re-issue LPs of their seminal recordings for the Bluebird and RCA Victor labels.
Those two albums from 1963 have already been featured at the Scratchy Attic, so to complete the boy's Starday discography, here's that first collection of vintage recordings. It features many of the Bolick's signature songs, as well a bonus in the form of fiddler Curly Parker's wonderully old-timey solos. These tracks are really the boys at their prime.

Click here for a biography of Bill and Earl Bolick, the Blue Sky Boys


1. The Sunny Side Of Life
2. As Long As I Live
3. Nine Pound Hammer
4. A Picture From Life's Other Side
5. The Longest Train I Ever Saw
6. Golden Slippers(Instrumental)
7. I Have Found The Way
8. Tugboat(Instrumental)
9. The Last Letter
10. Mary Of The Wild Moor
11. Get Along Home
12. Black Mountain Blues(Instrumental)
13. There's Been A Change
14. Row Us Over The Tide
15. Dust On The Bible
16. Turn Your Radio On

*download here*

ROBERT LUNN Original Talking Blues Man

Monday, January 26, 2009

I am very pleased to present this post by the legendary Robert Lunn. I spent many years looking for Lunn's 1963 Starday LP (SLP-228) and was thrilled to obtain this copy, which interestingly enough is a British pressing by the London label (HA-B 8124).
Robert Lunn (1911-1966) was a vaudevillian who began performing on WSM's "Grand Ole Opry" in the mid-thirties and became known primarily for his adaptation of Chris Bouchillon's old 78 of "Talking Blues". He made a few 78s for Mercury in the late forties, but the present recording was his only LP, recorded as part of Starday's series of albums by Nashville's pioneering personalities (the McGee Brothers, Bashful Brother Oswald, Lew Childre, etc.). The recordings here, like on the Lew Childre album, are done sort of like an informal radio show, with all the band (basically Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys of the time) participating. This is supposedly one of the hardest old Starday LPs to get a hold of, so hopefully this post will allow many a first chance to hear this marvelous record. As a bonus I've included Lunn's 1947 Mercury recording of "Yodeling Blues", a song which he also performs on the LP as "Yodelling Guitar". Enjoy!

Includes jacket scans


Because the LP is one continuous program, I have left the recording intact, with single mp3s for sides one and two.
Side One: The Original Talking Blues, Tooth Pickin' Time In False Teeth Valley, Jessie Jug Polka (Instrumental), Lonesome For Mother (Guest Star: Gene Martin), Sippin' Cider, It Goes Like This
Side Two: Sweet Violets, Mama Don't Allow No Music, Yodelling Guitar, Courtin' In The Rain (Guest Star: Bashful Brother Oswald), French Harp Drag (Instrumental) (Guest Star: Jimmy Riddle), Grandfather's Clock, Fiddlin' Trombone (Instrumental) (Guest Star: Howdy Forrester), Meet Me By The Ice House, Susannah Was A Funny Old Man (Guest Star: Jimmy Riddle)
Bonus Track: Yodeling Blues (Mercury Records, 1947)

*download here*

MOLLY O'DAY and the Cumberland Mountain Folks

Molly O'Day was one of the very first female stars of country music. She began performing on radio as a teen in the late thirties and by the late forties was one of Columbia's most popular hillbilly artists. At the height of her fame she turned her back on performing and along with her husband/duet partner Lynn Davis, devoted her life to religious endeavors.
The first four tracks in the folder are radio air shots from 1945, a year before Molly made her first records. These are interesting in that all four songs are really material that is outside the scope of what she would go on to commercially record, from the aggressive "Mule Skinner Blues" to the Lulu Belle Wiseman numbers "Goodnight Darling" and "I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again" and on to "Too Late To Worry" which was a tune by Honky-Tonk and Western Swing bandleader Al Dexter. The remainder of the folder comprises of all 36 of the recordings Molly and the Cumberland Mountain folks recorded for Columbia between 1946 and 1952. These feature Molly, her husband Lynn Davis on guitar and vocals, her Brother Skeets Williamson on fiddle, and at times a young Mac Wiseman on bass.

Click here for a biography of Molly O'Day


1. Mule Skinner Blues
2. Goodnight Darling
3. I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again
4. Too Late To Worry
5. The Tramp On The Street
6. When God Comes And Gathers His Jewels
7. The Black Sheep Returned To The Fold
8. Put My Rubber Doll Away
9. The Drunken Driver
10. The Tear Stained Letter
11. Lonley Mound Of Clay
12. Six More Miles
13. Singing Waterfall
14. At The First Fall Of Snow
15. Matthew Twenty-Four
16. I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes
17. A Hero's Death
18. I'll Never See Sunshine Again
19. Too Late,Too Late
20. Why Do You Weep Dear Willow
21. Don't Forget The Family Prayer
22. I Heard My Mother Weeping
23. Mother's Gone But Not Forgotten
24. The Evening Train
25. This Is The End
26. Fifteen Years Ago
27. Poor Ellen Smith
28. Coming Down From God
29. Teardrops Falling In The Snow
30. With You On My Mind
31. If You See My Saviour
32. Heaven's Radio
33. When My Time Comes To Go
34. Don't Sell Daddy Anymore Whiskey
35. Higher In My Prayers
36. Travelling The Highway Home
37. It's Different Now
38. When The Angels Rolled The Stone Away
39. It's All Coming True
40. When We See Our Redeemer's Face

*download here*


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 70 tracks in this post constitute the entire remaining recorded output of Lee and Austin, the Allen Brothers. Known as the "Chattanooga Boys" the brothers were known and continue to be revered for their bluesy sound and "salty" material. These sides are unique in their use of Kazoo as a lead instrument. The brothers made records from 1927 to 1934 at which point they gave up music and pursued other careers.

Click here for a short biography of the Allen Brothers


Salty Dog Blues, Bow Wow Blues, Chattanooga Blues, Laughin' And Cryin' Blues, Ain't That Skippin' And Flyin', Cheat 'Em, Frisco Blues, Tiple Blues, Free A Little Bird, Skipping And Flying, Prisoner's Dream, I'll Be All Smiles Tonight, I've Got The Chain Store Blues, Jake Walk Blues, The Enforcement Blues, Reckless Night Blues, New Chattanooga Blues, Shanghai Rooster Blues, Price Of Cotton Blues, I'm Always Whistling The Blues, Roll Down The Line, Old Black Crow In The Hickory Nut Tree, No Low Down Hanging Around, Maybe Next Week Sometime, A New Salty Dog, Preacher Blues, When You Leave, You'll Leave Me Sad, Chattanooga Mama, It's Too Bad For You, Slide, Daddy, Slide, Pile Drivin' Papa, Shake It, Ida, Shake It, Roll It Down, Mother In Law Blues, Unlucky Man, Laughin' And Cryin', Monkey Blues, Glorious Night Blues, Inspiration, Crossfiring Blues, I'll Be Here A Long, Long Time, It Can't Be Done, Windowshade Blues, Maybe Next Week Sometime No. 2, Fruit Jar Blues, Lightning Bug Blues, Warm Knees Blues, Red Hot Rambling Dan, When A Man's Got A Woman, Rough Neck Blues, Slipping Clutch Blues, Please Pay In Advance, Allen's Lying Blues, Midnight Mama, Baby When You Coming Back Home, Long Gone From Bowling Green, Red Pajama Sal, New Deal Blues, Mercy, Mercy Blues, Padlock Key Blues, Daddy Park Your Car, Salty Dog, Hey Hey Hey, Hey Buddy, Won't You Roll Down The Line, Allen Brothers' Rag, Skippin' And Flyin', The Prisoner's Dream, Drunk And Nutty Blues, Misbehavin' Mama, Midnight Mama, Chattanooga Mama

*download folder #1 here*

*download folder #2 here*

GRANDPA JONES RCA Victor Recordings

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This post comes from a rare tape I have of nineteen recordings from Grandpa's 1952-1956 stint on RCA Victor. He seemingly followed Homer and Jethro from King over to "The Dog", and although his King years are generally regarded as his most fruitful, these takes are in no way second rate.
Particularly fun here are the Minnie Pearl duets, and the very topical "I'm No Communist". A real favourite of mine here is the beautiful vocal duet with his wife, Ramona, on "Mountain Laurel". Jones was indeed a comedian and novelty entertainer, but this should not outshine the fact that he was a great country and ballad singer.
All in all, these tracks stack up very well with Jones' King output, which will be featured in a future post.


1. You-All Come
2. Dear Old Sunny South By The Sea
3. Some More Mountain Dew
4. My Heart Is Like A Train
5. The New Vitamine
6. Old Rattler
7. Old Rattler's Son
8. Lookin' Back To See
9. Mountain Laurel
10. Kissin' Games(with Minnie Pearl)
11. T.V. Blues
12. I'm No Communist
13. Old Blue
14. Retreat
15. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
16. Sass-A-Fras
17. Papa Loves Mambo(with Minnie Pearl)
18. Pap's Corn Likker Still
19. Standing In The Depot

*download here*

JIM & JESSE Radio Shows

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jim & Jesse McReynolds are featured in this post of yet more vintage radio. These two shows were recorded at station WBAM in Montgomery, Alabama in 1962, one for the Martha White company and the other for Fortune Feeds. They feature many songs the brothers never recorded commercially including great instrumentals as well as sponsor's jingles.

Personel on the shows is as follows:

Jim McReynolds - Guitar
Jesse McReynolds - Mandolin
Allen Shelton - Banjo
Jim Buchanan - Fiddle
David Sutherland - Bass
Don McHan - Guitar

Program on the shows:

Episode 1 - Martha White Flour - Theme (Martha White), Diesel Train, Going Like Wildfire, Snowflake Breakdown, The Family Who Prays, Till These Dreams Come True, Everything She Touches Gets The Blues, Sitting On Top Of The World, Have You Lost Your Love For Me?, Bluegrass Breakdown, Press On Pilgrim, Bye Bye Blues, Don't This Road Look Rough And Rocky, Theme (Martha White)
Episode 2 - Fortune Feed - Theme (Fortune Feed), On The Mississippi Shore, How Do You Talk To A Baby, Beer Barrel Polka, Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown, I Cried Again. I Can't Help Wondering, There's More Pretty Girls Than One, On The Banks Of The Ohio, Cheyenne, Precious Memories, Foggy Mountain Top, Heartaches And Flowers, Theme (Fortune Feed)

*download here*


Two downloadable zipped folders here containing great 1950's radio by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys. The first download contains two episodes of "Martha White Biscuit Time" from June 1953, as well as a collection of single tracks from rare early 50's airshots. The second contains two 1959 episodes of the "Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry" along with some bonus single tracks taken from the same series. These recordings were issued on 1970's era white label "bootleg" LP's, and given the quality of the material here, I'm surprised they haven't circulated more. Enjoy!

Folder #1 contents:

Early '50's Radio Broadcasts - Leather Britches(Paul Warren, fiddle), Will You Be Loving Another Man, Nobody Loves Me,Nobody Cares, Salty Dog Blues, Have You Come To Say Goodbye, Blue Ridge Cabin Home, Somebody Else Will(Curley Seckler solo), Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me, I'm Head Over Heels In Love, I'm Getting Ready To Go, Rueben, I'd Rather Be Alone, Black Eyed Susie(Paul Warren, fiddle), I'm Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling, Earl's Breakdown, Love And Wealth, Billy In The Low Ground(Paul Warren, fiddle)

Martha White Biscuit Time - Episode 1 - Martha White Commercial, Katy Hill, Dim Lights Thick Smoke, Preachin', Prayin', Singin', I'm Head Over Heels In Love With You, A Purple Heart, I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer, Grey Eagle, Salty Dog Blues, I Have Found The Way, Lover's Lane, Martha White Commercial - Episode 2 - Martha White Commercial, Back Up And Push, Over The Hills To The Poorhouse, He Took Your Place, Thinking About You, When It's Moonlight On The Cabin, It's Two O'Clock, I'm Getting Ready To Go, Doing My Time, I'll Be Going To Heaven Someday, You Took My Sunshine Away, Steel Guitar Rag, Martha White Commercial

Folder #2 contents:

Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry

Complete Shows - Episode 1 - Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Katy Hill, Cabin On The Hill, Shuckin' The Corn, Florida Blues, Baby Quit That Noise, Crying My Heart Out Over You - Episode 2 - Nine Pound Hammer, Foggy Mountain Rock, Canaan's Land, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Feast Here Tonight, Black Eyed Susie, Nobody's Business, A Hundred Years From Now
Single Tracks - Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow, Earl's Breakdown, Farewell Blues, Going Down, Down, Down, Head Over Heels, If I Should Wander Back, Randy Lynn Rag, Someone You Have Forgotten

*download folder #1 here*

*download folder #2 here*

BILL MONROE Live Radio 1976

Another episode of Vic Mullen's "Country Road" radio show here, this one featuring Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys. Like the Wilma Lee & Stoney show, this was recorded at Nugget Studios in Nashville, two days earlier on May 4, 1976 (In fact Bob Black, the Blue Grass Boys' banjo player at the time, was lent out to the Coopers by Monroe for their session on the 6th).
There's some great music here, although Monroe's reputation as a man of few words is evident as well. Host Mullen tends to gush a little, with Monroe's typical responses things like "right" and a clipped "yes sir". The show is enjoyable nonetheless, certainly an interesting counterpoint to Bill's studio albums of the period.

Songs featured on show:

Uncle Pen, Footprints In The Snow, Jerusalem Ridge, I'm Working On A Building, Mary Jane Won't You Be Mine? (My Little Sweetheart Of The Mountains), Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Dear Old Dixie, It's Me Again Lord

*download here*


Hey folks, Lefty here, back again. It's been a little while since the last posting, what with computer crashes, Christmas, and the other realities of life.
Here we have two episodes of the CBC radio program "Country Road" featuring Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and hosted by Vic Mullen. They were taped on May 6, 1976 at Nugget Studios in Nashville. Wilma Lee & Stoney are in fantastic form here as they sing, play and talk with Vic about their music and careers, Canadian fans ("may I mention the Lord Nelson Hotel?" asks Stoney) and their recent (at the time) Rounder album.
As a bonus I have included a live track of "Satisfied" from an unidentified TV or radio show. I don't know the date of this recording, it sounds like the late 60's or the 70's.

Songs featured on shows:

Episode 1 - Poor Ellen Smith, Nobody's Darlin' But Mine, The Hills Of Roane County, Give The Roses While I Live

Episode 2 - She's My Curly Headed Baby, Sweeter Than The Flowers, Walkin' My Lord Up Calvary's Hill, Back Up And Push

Bonus Track - Satisfied - live, unknown show & date

*download here*