American Roots: A History of American Folk Music

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Dutch discount reissue label Disky's four-CD box set American Roots: A History of American Folk Music is an ambitious undertaking, at least as far as sheer length is concerned. In other respects, it can be considered skimpy: the packaging is negligible; there are no annotations beyond song titles, artist and songwriter credits, and copyright dates; and the selections, probably mastered from records, often have a primitive sound quality. But the compilation still manages to be an exhaustive collection of vital American acoustic music. Three of the four discs consist of music that today would be referred to as "country," though in its day it was called "hillbilly," and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Dutch discount reissue label Disky's four-CD box set American Roots: A History of American Folk Music is an ambitious undertaking, at least as far as sheer length is concerned. In other respects, it can be considered skimpy: the packaging is negligible; there are no annotations beyond song titles, artist and songwriter credits, and copyright dates; and the selections, probably mastered from records, often have a primitive sound quality. But the compilation still manages to be an exhaustive collection of vital American acoustic music. Three of the four discs consist of music that today would be referred to as "country," though in its day it was called "hillbilly," and for a period in the 1940s actually was known as folk music. Running from 1927 to 1948, the roughly chronological selections trace some of its earliest recorded manifestations to the beginnings of the modern country music industry. The major early names in country music are extensively represented, with many well-known songs included. Country music is not generally thought of in the same category as folk music in America, if only for political reasons. It may have taken a Dutch compilation to point out the musical similarities by devoting CD four to the urban folk singers of the 1940s Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, who borrowed many of their tunes from hillbilly predecessors. After listening to the earlier discs, the concordances are inescapable; you can tell that the city-based folkies deliberately based their approach on rural forebears who wouldn't have thought much of their political views. It seems that, while American record labels continue to assert copyright claims on this material domestically, Europeans are free to consider anything more than 50 years old as in the public domain. But that doesn't explain why American Roots is being readily imported into the U.S., where it was sold for less than $30 by one mail-order firm beginning in 2000. At that price, it's a remarkable bargain, making available a wealth of vintage country and folk material that is difficult to come by in any form, much less gathered into one box set. On that basis, American Roots can be highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/21/2000
  • Label: Disky Records
  • UPC: 632427573029
  • Catalog Number: 24857

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia (2:50)
  2. 2 Sail Away Ladies (2:55)
  3. 3 Wildwood Flower (3:08)
  4. 4 Trail to Mexico (2:27)
  5. 5 The Runaway Train (3:13)
  6. 6 When the Saints Go Marching In (3:04)
  7. 7 All Night Long - Earl Johnson's Clodhoppers (3:13)
  8. 8 Red Wing (2:40)
  9. 9 I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (3:03)
  10. 10 Goin' to the Barn Dance Tonight - Carson Robison & His Pioneers (2:45)
  11. 11 Go Long Mule (3:03)
  12. 12 Frankie and Johnny (2:49)
  13. 13 Three Men Went a Huntin' - Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots (2:33)
  14. 14 My Man's a Jolly Railroad Man (3:10)
  15. 15 Waiting for a Train (2:45)
  16. 16 Georgia's Three-Dollar Tag (2:40)
  17. 17 Jamestown Exhibition (2:46)
  18. 18 Lay Down Baby, Take Your Rest - The Carolina Tar Heels (3:07)
  19. 19 Backwater Blues (3:13)
  20. 20 Wreck of the Old '97 (3:08)
  21. 21 The Little Old Sod Shanty on My Claim - Marc Williams (3:08)
  22. 22 Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow (2:52)
  23. 23 In the Hills of Tennessee (3:03)
  24. 24 Ida Red (1:20)
  25. 25 Alto Waltz (3:10)
Disc 2
  1. 1 John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man (2:54)
  2. 2 Gambling Bar Room Blues (3:24)
  3. 3 Little Bessie (3:16)
  4. 4 Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms (3:06)
  5. 5 I'm Goin' Away in the Morn (2:57)
  6. 6 Papa's Billy Goat (2:56)
  7. 7 Hackberry Trot (2:39)
  8. 8 Abbeville Breakdown (2:25)
  9. 9 Tiger Rag Blues (2:56)
  10. 10 Louisiana Mazurka (2:52)
  11. 11 Step It Fast (2:56)
  12. 12 High Steppin' Mama Blues (2:48)
  13. 13 T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1) (3:29)
  14. 14 Anchored in Love (2:44)
  15. 15 Jimmie Rodgers Visits the Carter Family (3:22)
  16. 16 Hard for to Love (3:11)
  17. 17 The Yellow Rose of Texas (2:53)
  18. 18 The Brave Engineer (3:14)
  19. 19 Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Them All (2:45)
  20. 20 Hold the Woodpile Down (3:02)
  21. 21 Man of Constant Sorrow (3:20)
  22. 22 Rambling Boy (2:55)
  23. 23 My Little Lady (3:04)
  24. 24 Two Italians...Red Bird (2:12)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Orange Blossom Special - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:33)
  2. 2 Brown's Ferry Blues (2:35)
  3. 3 Row Us over the Tide (3:12)
  4. 4 Big Rock Candy Mountain (2:37)
  5. 5 Oklahoma Hills (2:46)
  6. 6 Nine Pound Hammer (2:06)
  7. 7 Cannonball Rag (1:36)
  8. 8 Red River Valley (2:24)
  9. 9 Mule Skinner Blues - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:43)
  10. 10 Great Speckled Bird - Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys (2:53)
  11. 11 Take It to the Captain (2:57)
  12. 12 Garden in the Sky (2:45)
  13. 13 Ain't That a Cryin' Shame (2:15)
  14. 14 Milk Cow Blues (2:48)
  15. 15 When My Blue Moon Turns Gold Agian (2:36)
  16. 16 Footprints in the Snow - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:38)
  17. 17 You Can't Do Wrong and Get By (2:41)
  18. 18 Why Should It End This Way? (2:38)
  19. 19 Cotton-Eyed Joe - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:41)
  20. 20 Night Train to Memphis - Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys (2:47)
  21. 21 You Are My Sunshine (2:43)
  22. 22 Rounder's Blues (2:55)
  23. 23 Rocky Road Blues - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:35)
  24. 24 Wabash Cannonball (2:47)
  25. 25 It Makes No Difference Now (2:42)
  26. 26 Pig Meat Strut (1:43)
  27. 27 No Letter in the Mail - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (2:41)
Disc 4
  1. 1 This Land Is Your Land (2:18)
  2. 2 House of the Rising Sun (2:59)
  3. 3 Grand Coulee Dam (2:12)
  4. 4 John Henry (2:44)
  5. 5 All I Want - Almanac Singers (2:58)
  6. 6 Talking Union - Pete Seeger (2:58)
  7. 7 Teeroo Teeroo - Pete Seeger (2:28)
  8. 8 I Know an Old Lady (2:41)
  9. 9 Columbus Stockade - Pete Seeger (2:25)
  10. 10 The Sinking of the Reuben James - Almanac Singers (3:06)
  11. 11 Boll Weevil Blues (3:13)
  12. 12 Away Rio (2:20)
  13. 13 The Coast of High Barbary - Pete Hawes (2:29)
  14. 14 Jackhammer Blues (2:38)
  15. 15 Liza Jane - Sonny Terry (2:41)
  16. 16 Pastures of Plenty (2:27)
  17. 17 Cumberland Gap (2:20)
  18. 18 Casey Jones - Pete Seeger (1:50)
  19. 19 Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase - Pete Seeger (2:39)
  20. 20 So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) (3:07)
  21. 21 Union Maid - Almanac Singers (2:11)
  22. 22 Hard, Ain't It Hard (2:13)
  23. 23 Erie Canal - Pete Seeger (1:31)
  24. 24 Pretty Boy Floyd (3:09)
  25. 25 State of Arkansas (2:46)
  26. 26 Worried Man Blues (2:38)
  27. 27 Deliver the Goods - Almanac Singers (2:24)
  28. 28 Do-Re-Mi (2:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Hackberry Ramblers Track Performer
Gene Autry Track Performer
The Blue Sky Boys Track Performer
The Carter Family Track Performer
The Delmore Brothers Track Performer
Uncle Dave Macon Track Performer
Jimmie Rodgers Track Performer
Merle Travis Track Performer
Johnnie Lee Wills Track Performer
Woody Guthrie Track Performer
Cisco Houston Track Performer
Burl Ives Track Performer
Pete Seeger Track Performer
Almanac Singers Track Performer
Jack Guthrie Track Performer
Rice Brothers Track Performer
Riley Puckett Track Performer
Vernon Dalhart Track Performer
Fiddlin' John Carson Track Performer
Tommy Duncan Track Performer
Lee Hays Track Performer
Bayless Rose Track Performer
Sonny Terry Track Performer
Amédé Breaux Track Performer
Buster Carter Track Performer
Gene Sullivan Track Performer
Preston Young Track Performer
Emry Arthur Track Performer
Moonshine Kate Track Performer
Wiley Walker Track Performer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Track Performer
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys Track Performer
Jimmy Long Track Performer
Curly Parker Track Performer
Tarlton Walker Track Performer
The Carver Boys Track Performer
Alley Boys of Abbeville Track Performer
Darby Track Performer
Alabama Barnstormers Track Performer
The Breaux Fréres Track Performer
Pete Hawes Track Performer
Monroe Gevedon and Family Track Performer
Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots Track Performer
Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys Track Performer
Marc Williams Track Performer
Carson Robison & His Pioneers Track Performer
Technical Credits
Uncle Dave Macon Composer
Jimmie Rodgers Composer
Merle Travis Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
Bill Carlisle Composer
Vernon Dalhart Composer
Shelly Lee Alley Composer
A.P. Carter Composer
Roy Carter Composer
Tommy Duncan Composer
Byron Gregory Composer
Ervin T. Rouse Composer
Guy Smith Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Henry Whitter Composer
George Vaughn Composer
Traditional Composer
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