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What were the earliest country records produced?
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Author:  Mormon S [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  What were the earliest country records produced?

I have been talking to someone over Instagram about when the earlist "true country music" cylinders were made. Does anyone know of any early brown wax cylinders that would be considered country?

Martin

Author:  Wolfe [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

I've not heard of any commercial brown wax cylinders of country music by rural musicians - and not vaudevillians co-opting some melody or lyrics from some song or other. We don't usually consider that country music started being recorded by the record companies until about 1922-23.

This home recording on brown wax of a popular old fiddle tune called Bonapartes March might be considered though : http://www.library.ucsb.edu/OBJID/Cylinder12824

Author:  marcapra [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

I mentioned to my carpool buddy that I had some country records from the 1920s, and he reacted with total disbelief. He said "That couldn't be. Country music wasn't invented until the 50's." He said this with such authority that I didn't want to argue the point. I just said "Well, they actually called it HillBilly or Mountain music back then."

Author:  Mormon S [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

Maybe I should expand the range of music I'm talking about. For instance, I have an indestructible 4 minute cylinder with 2 songs on it, one being a "banjo medley" definitely before the 20s. I guess it would be considered American folk?

Martin

Author:  VanEpsFan1914 [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

Martin,

I've got "Kerry Mills' Barn Dance" on 2-minute indestructible cylinder...it's a band record.

"Barn Dance" doesn't mean a country record--or does it?

Clear as mud!

Author:  Wolfe [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

Mormon S wrote:
Maybe I should expand the range of music I'm talking about. For instance, I have an indestructible 4 minute cylinder with 2 songs on it, one being a "banjo medley" definitely before the 20s. I guess it would be considered American folk?

Martin


All kinds of music was adapted / performed on the banjo for the talking machine in the early days. Banjo recorded well.

The fiddle tune that I linked to is one that has long had some currency among fiddle players in the rural southern United States.

Author:  Victrolacollector [ Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

Not counting the early banjo recordings, I would say Vernon Dalhart, Riley Puckett, The Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers were the first of what we would consider actual country. By the 1930’s and 1940’s other greats became popular such as Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Bob Wills and others.

When I started collecting there was a period of time in the early 1990’s that sought after the country records such as Roy Acuff, Bob Wills, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hank Williams etc. the prices were several dollars a record if not more, this back when we had catalog auctions and record lists. I think it was a phase because by 2005, you could find these records for a dollar or two each. I finally picked up maybe 5 or so Roy Acuff records for a couple bucks. It’s just makes me think how a decade or so can make a difference.

Author:  Wolfe [ Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

^ Carters and Jimmie Rodgers are indeed ground zero for what is now called 'country music' and the industry based around it. Both recorded on the same scouting session conducted by Ralph Peer for Victor in 1927.

I also see lots of Roy Acuff and Bob Wills, etc. A lot of the 78 rpm country records that were issued on the red Columbias in the 40's and 50's are very common. Decca and RCA Vic. too.

Fiddlin' John Carson's first records for Victor in 1922 are usually considered the beginning of the record companies showing any interest in recording and releasing rural or 'country' music. The story behind the release of Carson's first record is interesting.

Author:  Victrolacollector [ Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What were the earliest country records produced?

Wolfe wrote:
^ Carters and Jimmie Rodgers are indeed ground zero for what is now called 'country music' and the industry based around it. Both recorded on the same scouting session conducted by Ralph Peer for Victor in 1927.

I also see lots of Roy Acuff and Bob Wills, etc. A lot of the 78 rpm country records that were issued on the red Columbias in the 40's and 50's are very common. Decca and RCA Vic. too.

Fiddlin' John Carson's first records for Victor in 1922 are usually considered the beginning of the record companies showing any interest in recording and releasing rural or 'country' music. The story behind the release of Carson's first record is interesting.


I agree, I would not spend the eBay prices for any of those common 40’s and 50’s records, eBay sellers are rediculous on those records, and most don’t know how to pack. I would not mind having a copy of Lulu Belle and Scotty “Beyond the Starry Sky” and “Mush” which was a 1950 London issue, that was my Great Grandmothers favorite.

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