Black, White And Bluegrass

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
An oddity in bluegrass history, the duo of Allerton Hawkes and Alton Myers defied almost every country music convention of the '40s. They were an old-fashioned string band hailing not from Appalachia but from Maine, never a hotbed of country-picking, but more importantly, they were an interracial duo at a time and in a genre where such acts were uncommon. The African American Myers was on guitar while Hawkes played mandolin, the two singing close harmonies on a songbook consisting of folk standards, tunes from Flatt & Scruggs, the Carter Family, Ernest Tubb, and Hank Thompson. Allerton & Alton, their full names chosen for their stage name as it had a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
An oddity in bluegrass history, the duo of Allerton Hawkes and Alton Myers defied almost every country music convention of the '40s. They were an old-fashioned string band hailing not from Appalachia but from Maine, never a hotbed of country-picking, but more importantly, they were an interracial duo at a time and in a genre where such acts were uncommon. The African American Myers was on guitar while Hawkes played mandolin, the two singing close harmonies on a songbook consisting of folk standards, tunes from Flatt & Scruggs, the Carter Family, Ernest Tubb, and Hank Thompson. Allerton & Alton, their full names chosen for their stage name as it had a stronger ring, didn't play much outside of their region, and they didn't cut singles in a studio, so Bear Family's excavation of radio sessions for their 2010 disc Black, White & Bluegrass is rather remarkable. Previous to this, Allerton & Alton were talked about but rarely, if ever, heard, so this gives life to their small-scale legend, proving that the duo was quite a capable close harmony unit and pickers. If their backstory wasn't quite so unique, the music itself might not gather much attention: it's merely solid, straight-ahead stuff, notable not for its virtuosity, but rather its warmth, Allerton & Alton sounding like a pair of friends trading licks at home. The duo wound up splitting when they were both drafted into the Korean War, Hawkes pursuing a professional musical career to greater effect than Myers, but the music they made in the '40s stands: it's tied to the time yet stands outside of it, by two unwitting pioneers that wanted nothing more than to carry on a tradition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/7/2010
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051655921
  • Catalog Number: 16559
  • Sales rank: 265,698

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Allerton & Alton Primary Artist
Al Hawkes Interviewee
Carol Myers Interviewee
Bob French Interviewee
Gerry Myers Interviewee
Don Myers Interviewee
Olga Myers Interviewee
Grace French Interviewee
Technical Credits
Lester Flatt Composer
Earl Scruggs Composer
Roy Acuff Composer
Jimmie Davis Composer
Hank Thompson Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
Jimmie Skinner Composer
A.P. Carter Composer
Karl Davis Composer
Alton Delmore Composer
Fred Kirby Composer
Wiley Morris Composer
Zeke Morris Composer
Harty Taylor Composer
Richard Weize Reissue Producer
Al Hawkes Producer, Illustrations, Photo Scanning
Traditional Composer
Bowman Composer
Christian Zwarg Mastering
Hank Davis Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Interviewer
Nelson King Composer
J.E. Rollins Composer
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