Dark Side of the Highway
On August 1, 1927 a man, his wife, and her cousin, travelled from their home in Maces Springs, Virginia to Bristol, Tennessee to record a few songs for the relatively-new RCA Victor Company and record producer, Ralph Peer. This family (A.P., Sara, & Maybelle) became known as the Carter Family, and while they are considered to be the "First Family Of Country Music," it's pretty clear that their impact continues to be felt in all styles of music that are now labelled as "roots music." Our specific focus, of course, is on Bluegrass music, so we thought it might be fun on Sunday's show (8/8/2010) to mark that 83rd anniversary by playing a few Bluegrass versions of Carter Family tunes. We could easily fill at least one (but more likely, several) 3-hour shows with nothing but recordings of Carter Family tunes done in the Bluegrass style. Terrific stuff, all of it.
On Sunday, I made another book recommendation for those who might be interested in learning more about the pretty tumultuous life of the Carter Family, and promised I would follow up by including bibliographical information on our WHUS website. A book I would recommend is called Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? : The Carter Family & Their Legacy In American Music by Mark Zwonitzer with Charles Hirschberg (Simon & Schuster, 2002). If you live in Connecticut, visit your local public library to inquire about borrowing a copy, as it appears that more than 50 libraries in the state own this book. All this means is that if your local library doesn't own it, there's a pretty good chance that your library can borrow a copy for you from another library.
Hope you'll take some time to track down this book...