Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929: Can You Sing or Play Old-Time Music?

Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929: Can You Sing or Play Old-Time Music?


Recorded in the two years following The Bristol Sessions of 1927, The Johnson City Sessions are considered one of the founding documents of country music, and they've never been documented the way they are on this four-disc 2013 set from Bear Family. Like the label's exhaustive box chronicling The Bristol Sessions, this four-disc set is designed…  See more details below


Recorded in the two years following The Bristol Sessions of 1927, The Johnson City Sessions are considered one of the founding documents of country music, and they've never been documented the way they are on this four-disc 2013 set from Bear Family. Like the label's exhaustive box chronicling The Bristol Sessions, this four-disc set is designed as a definitive document of these field recording sessions shepherded by Columbia Records. Indeed, a fair chunk of this material has never been reissued, either on disc or vinyl, but it has echoed over the years, with three of the cuts showing up on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music and the entire collection of Appalachian folk, providing a foundation for the old, weird America that has been celebrated in the years since Smith. This, naturally, digs much deeper into this particular section of Appalachia, as discovered and recorded by Frank B. Walker. Some of the names are familiar -- Charlie Bowman, the Roane County Ramblers, Clarence (Tom) Ashley -- but this music is not about the singer so much as the song, songs that were often sung in the years before the Great Depression; songs that capture a wild, mythical America. By preserving every one of the surviving 100 recordings, The Johnson City Sessions provides an important historical document nearly the equal of The Bristol Sessions.

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Product Details

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Disc 1

  1. My Boyhood Days  -  Shell Creek Quartet
  2. Back Where the Old Home Stands  -  Shell Creek Quartet
  3. When a Man is Married  -  Grant Brothers & Their Music
  4. Goodbye My Honey, I'm Gone  -  Grant Brothers & Their Music
  5. Tell It To Me  -  Grant Brothers & Their Music
  6. Johnson Boy  -  Grant Brothers & Their Music
  7. Home Town Blues  -  Roane County Ramblers
  8. Southern No. 111  -  Roane County Ramblers
  9. Step High Waltz  -  Roane County Ramblers
  10. Tennessee Waltz  -  Roane County Ramblers
  11. Goodbye Sweetheart  - Carl Bradshaw
  12. Sleep Baby Sleep  - Carl Bradshaw
  13. Pride of the Ball  -  Wise Brothers
  14. Kitty Waltz  -  Wise Brothers
  15. Johnson City Blues  - Clarence Greene
  16. Ninety-Nine Years In Jail  - Clarence Greene
  17. Lindy  -  Proximity String Quartet
  18. Louise  -  Proximity String Quartet
  19. Sing Me a Song of the Sunny South  -  Greensboro Boys Quartet
  20. Sweet Little Girl of Mine  -  Greensboro Boys Quartet
  21. The Battleship Maine  - Richard Harold
  22. The Fisher's Maid  - Richard Harold
  23. Sweet Bird  - Richard Harold
  24. Mary Dear  - Richard Harold

Disc 2

  1. My Old Kentucky Home  -  Bowman Sisters
  2. Swanee River  -  Bowman Sisters
  3. Roll On Buddy  -  Charlie Bowman & His Brothers
  4. Gonna Raise the Ruckus Tonight  -  Charlie Bowman & His Brothers
  5. You Shall Be Free  - Belle Reed
  6. Old Lady and the Devil  - Belle Reed
  7. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight  -  Reed Children
  8. I Once Did Have a Sweetheart  -  Reed Children
  9. Ain't Going To Lay My Armor Down  -  McVay & Johnson
  10. I'll Be Ready When the Bridegroom Comes  -  McVay & Johnson
  11. Steamboat Man  - Earl Shirkey
  12. When the Roses Bloom For the Bootlegger  - Earl Shirkey
  13. Poor Little Joe  - Earl Shirkey
  14. We Parted At the Gate  - Earl Shirkey
  15. I Ain't a Bit Drunk  - George Roark
  16. My Old Coon Dog  - George Roark
  17. A Storm On the Sea (The Sinking of the Steamship Vestris)  -  Ed Helton Singers
  18. My Old Cottage Home  -  Ed Helton Singers
  19. Just Over the River  -  Garland Brothers & Grinstead
  20. Beautiful  -  Garland Brothers & Grinstead
  21. Green Valley Waltz  -  Patterson
  22. Over the Sea Waltz  -  Patterson
  23. Morning Star Waltz  -  Blalock & Yates
  24. Pride of the Ball  -  Blalock & Yates
  25. Flat Tire Blues  - Jack Jackson
  26. My Alabama Home  - Jack Jackson

Disc 3

  1. Think a Little  - Francum Braswell
  2. When We Go a Courtin'  - Francum Braswell
  3. In Our Little Home Sweet Home  - Jack Jackson
  4. I'm Just a Black Sheep  - Jack Jackson
  5. Free a Little Bird  -  Roane County Ramblers
  6. Johnson City Rag  -  Roane County Ramblers
  7. Callahan Rag  -  Roane County Ramblers
  8. Alabama Trot  -  Roane County Ramblers
  9. Evalina  -  Wyatt & Brandon
  10. Lover's Farewell  -  Wyatt & Brandon
  11. Just Pickin'  - Roy Harvey
  12. Beckley Rag  - Roy Harvey
  13. Underneath the Sugar Moon  - Roy Harvey
  14. Lonesome Weary Blues  - Roy Harvey
  15. Sweet Peace the Gift of God's Love  -  Spindale Quartet
  16. God Will Take Care of You  -  Spindale Quartet
  17. Face To Face  -  Spindale Quartet
  18. Life Him Up  -  Spindale Quartet
  19. The Virginian Strike of '23  - Earl Shirkey
  20. The Policeman's Little Child  - Earl Shirkey
  21. My Yodeling Sweetheart  - Earl Shirkey
  22. I'm Longing To Belong To Someone  - Earl Shirkey
  23. We Have Moonshine In the West Virginia Hills  - Earl Shirkey
  24. A Hobo's Pal  - Earl Shirkey
  25. The West Virginia Hills  -  Moatsville String Ticklers
  26. Moatsville Blues  -  Moatsville String Ticklers

Disc 4

  1. You Came Back To Me  -  Weaver Brothers and Elviry and Elviry, The
  2. Prison Sorrows  -  Weaver Brothers and Elviry and Elviry, The
  3. Frankie Silvers  -  Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots
  4. The Hills of Tennessee  -  Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots
  5. Careless Love  -  Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots
  6. Three Men Went a Hunting  -  Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots
  7. Nothing Like Old Time Religion  -  Bateman Sacred Quartet
  8. Some Day  -  Bateman Sacred Quartet
  9. My Katie  - Fred Richards
  10. Danville Blues  - Fred Richards
  11. Dark Holler Blues  - Clarence Ashley
  12. The Coo-Coo Bird  - Clarence Ashley
  13. Little Sadie  - Clarence Ashley
  14. Naomi Wise  - Clarence Ashley
  15. Down On Penny's Farm  -  Bentley Boys
  16. Henhouse Blues  -  Bentley Boys
  17. Railroad Take Me Back  -  Bowman Sisters
  18. Old Lonesome Blues  -  Bowman Sisters
  19. Last Gold Dollar  -  Ephraim Woodie & The Henpecked Husbands
  20. The Fatal Courtship  -  Ephraim Woodie & The Henpecked Husbands
  21. Powder and Paint  - Ira Yates
  22. Sarah Jane  - Ira Yates
  23. Buttermilk Blues  - Ellis Williams
  24. Smokey Blues  - Ellis Williams

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Curly Fox   Guitar
Leonard Copeland   Guitar,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Clarence Green   Guitar,Vocals
Roy Harvey   Guitar,Vocals,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
George Wade   Mandolin,Vocals
Charlie Bowman   Fiddle,Vocals
Walter Bowman   Banjo,Vocals
Roland Johnson   Fiddle,Vocals
Luke Brandon   Guitar,Vocals
Claude Grant   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Grant   Vocals
Jimmy McCarroll   Fiddle
Jack Pierce   Fiddle,Vocals
Bill Reed   Vocals
Claude Slagle   Banjo
Howard Wyatt   Banjo,Vocals
John Starnes   Vocals
Byrd Moore   Guitar,Vocals
Clarence Ashley   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Ellis Williams   Harmonica
Ephraim Woodie   Guitar,Vocals
Jennie Bowman   Vocals
Pauline Bowman   Vocals
Jack Jackson   Guitar,Vocals,yodeling
Andy Patterson   Guitar,Vocals,yodeling
Ancil McVay   Guitar,Vocals
Odell Smith   Fiddle
Eugene Yates   Vocals
Ira Yates   Guitar,Vocals
Clarence Greene   Fiddle,Vocals
Brooks Ritter   Banjo
Francum Braswell   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Roy Isaacs   Vocals
Elbert Bowman   Guitar,Vocals
George Roark   Banjo,Vocals
John Kelly   Mandolin
Dee Cole   Tenor (Vocal)
Guy Howard   Vocals
Gordon Frye   Fiddle
Cecil Frye   Fiddle
Richard Harold   Guitar,Vocals
Renus Rich   Vocals,yodeling
Greensboro Boys Quartet   Vocals
Fred Richards   Guitar,Vocals,yodeling
Ed Helton Singers   Vocals
Earl Shirkey   Vocals,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part,yodeling
Carl Bradshaw   Vocals,yodeling
Belle Reed   Vocals
Marshall Summers   Guitar,Vocals
Luther McCartt   Fiddle,yodeling
Levin Holden   Bass (Vocal)
John F. Butler   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Caudle   Guitar,Vocals
Harold Ritter   Bass,Fiddle
Hanford Garland   Tenor (Vocal)
Frank Holden   Baritone (Vocal)
Fran Trappe   Accordion
Floyd Frye   Guitar
Flora Sutton   Alto (Vocal)
Edison Nuckolls   Banjo
Doyle Shaffer   Guitar
Clay Reed   Fiddle
Charley Grinstead   Fiddle,Bowed Bass
Buck Butler   Mandolin,Vocals
Bee Wise   Banjo
Barney McCartt   Mandolin,yodeling
Ashley Garland   Baritone (Vocal)
Argil Bowman   Guitar,Vocals
Ancel Yates   Guitar,Vocals
Zel Frye   Tenor Banjo
Wiley Weaver   Guitar,Vocals
Vance Weaver   Banjo,Vocals
Sam W. Blalock   Fiddle
Omer Wise   Guitar
Okel "Evans" Moore   Mandolin,Vocals

Technical Credits

John Burton   Illustrations
David Freeman   Contributor
Tony Russell   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Illustrations
Steve Weiss   Illustrations
Gary White   Illustrations
Richard Nevins   Contributor
Charles K. Wolfe   Illustrations
Frank Walker   Producer
Phil Wells   Lyric Transcription
Norm Cohen   Illustrations
Marshall Wyatt   Illustrations
Dawson   Composer
Ted Olson   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Illustrations
Frank Mare   Contributor
John Lilly   Illustrations
Rob Allingham   Illustrations
Vaughan Webb   Illustrations
Kinney Rorrer   Illustrations
Gary Rose   Illustrations
Mychael Gerstenberger   Artwork
Aaron Smithers   Illustrations
Sam Malbuch   Photo Restoration
Kenneth Butler   Illustrations
Chris Zwarg   Mastering
Kathy McBee   Illustrations
Judy Carson   Illustrations
Joyce Isaacs Denton   Illustrations
Josephine Holden Shelton   Illustrations
Ethal Garland Slusher   Illustrations
Elizabeth Strauss   Illustrations
Charlotte McConaha   Illustrations
Carl Queen   Illustrations
Brad Blalock   Illustrations
Bob Cox   Illustrations
Amy Collins   Illustrations
Alan Bridwell   Illustrations
William Frank Holden   Illustrations
Victoria O'Connell   Illustrations
Tom Lockamy   Illustrations
Tammie McCarroll-Burroughs   Illustrations
Rosemary Williams McKinney   Illustrations
Reno Bailey   Illustrations
Rebekah Yates Hunt   Illustrations
Mary Lou Weibel   Contributor

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