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From the Land of Band Box Records

“Country Is…”

September 20, 2019
craigr244

Country – the Early Days

“Country is a havin’ the good times
Listen to the music singin’ your part
Country is walking in the moonlight
Country is all in your heart…” Tom T. Hall “Country Is”

I came across this book in the Arvada, Colorado public library last week – Appeared to be a good choice and so I brought it home.  After getting it home and completing the introduction, I realized that I had to order my own copy.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that author Tony Russell is a Brit – as so many times it requires a cousin from the Isles to open our eyes here in the U.S. to our rich musical heritage.

Tony has provided us with some gems:

  • “The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings”
  • “Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942
  • “The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray”
  • “Blacks, Whites, And Blues”
  • “The Encyclopedia of Rock”

(He is not the same Tony Russell who writes about trees and shrubs.)

In “Country Music Originals” Tony elects to write about 110 musicians all of whom managed to find their way onto vinyl very early on – predating the popular music charts.  His selections weren’t necessarily based on wide spread popularity or familiarity but as Russell states that, in part, his “emphasis” is

“…almost throughout, on musicians who made records in those days (1920’s, 30’s and early 40’s), and on what happened to those records: how they were advertised and distributed, how well or poorly they sold, how elusive they can sometimes still be today.”

Russell acknowledges that many very talented country musicians did not manage to find their way onto vinyl until much later when they were “discovered” or re-discovered.

So I have put together a selective discography here of the earliest 78 rpm recordings which I could locate as they relate to Tony’s “110” – as good a place to start as any.  No country charts are included here.  There were none back then.  Billboard in the 1920’s was focused on live performances – opera – burlesque, Broadway, live performances of many genres and sheet music for the most part.

Billboard’s first record chart relating to country music didn’t come along until 1944 when it published it’s “Most Played Juke Box Folk Records” chart.  This chart contained a whopping six ranking positions with “Pistol Packin’ Mama” sitting at the top as delivered by three different artists.

Bing Crosby was a crooner – and he was accompanied by the swinging Andrew Sisters.  Don Baxter was an “Irish Blues Musician” – and Al Dexter – indeed – was a country music singer.

Bing Crosby enjoyed only one additional placement on the country charts – “Till the End of The Day” in 1952 accompanied by Grady Martin – a Nashville regular session man who managed to place a couple of singles on the Country Charts in 1952 as well on his own.

Al Dexter – 1st Country Artist to Chart Number 1 On Country Charts

Al Dexter was solid “country” – not with an exhaustive list of chart singles but strong with six number one’s and a total of 16 hit recordings from “Pistol Packin’ Mama” in ’44 to his final hit with “Calico Rag” in 1948 (number 11).

For a few months in 1947, Billboard would change the chart title to “Most-Played Juke Box Hillbilly Records”, before returning to “Folk Records” and then in June of 1949 introducing their “Most Played” & Best Selling (Country & Western) Records”

Cash Box Magazine’s initial country chart appeared in January of 1952.  Cash Box was not yet certain how to present the music and so threw in a bit of everything within the title.  By January of 1955 they were calling it “Big Country”.

More about the Billboard and Cash Box country charts in another Post.  This Post dates the artists from Tony Russell’s publication – the folks who were recording but not yet ranked by any music publication in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Selected Original Country Discography – 1920’s/1930’s

Jimmie Adams and Bud Jamison (The Rolling Stones) – Victor – 1930

The Allen Brothers – Victor – 1929

Jules Allen – Victor – 1928

The Anglin Twins & Red (Anglin Brothers) – Perfect – 1938

The Arkansas Woodchopper – Conqueror – 1932

Gene Arnold – Montgomery Ward – 1933

Image result for gene arnold country singer

Randall Atcher – Conqueror – 1941

De Ford Bailey – Vocalion – 1927

John Baltzell – Conqueror – 1932

The Bar X Cowboys – Bluebird – 1941

Dewey and Gassie Bassett – Bluebird – 1941

Dr. Humphrey Bate & His Possum Hunters – Brunswick – 1928

Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang – Vocalion – 1936

Casey Bill – Vocalion – 1937

Bud Billings and Carson Robison – Montgomery Ward – 1933

(This is Frank Luther)

The Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers – Victor – 1929

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Jack Blue’s Texans – Banner – 1929

Bud and Joe Billings – Victor – 1929

(Joe Billings Shown)

The Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers – Victor – 1927

The Blue Ridge Playboys – Vocalion – 1937

Dock Boggs – Brunswick – 1927

Buddy Blue & His Texans – Conqueror – 1929

Bonnie Blue Eyes – Conqueror – 1940

(Loeta Applegate)

Chris Bouchillon – Columbia – 1927

Bill Boyd and His Cowboy Ramblers – Montgomery Ward – 1936

Britt and Ford – Melotone – 1936

(Elton Britt shown)

The Britt Brothers – Conqueror – 1934

(Elton Britt shown below)

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Richard Brooks and Rueben Puckett – Victor – 1927

Milton Brown & His Brownies – Bluebird – 1934

Chuck Bullock and His Levee Loungers – Perfect – 1935

Fiddlin’ Jim Burke – Supertone – 1928

Burnett & Rutherford – Columbia – 1926

The Callahan Brothers – Conqueror – 1936

Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Victor – 1928

Cliff Carlisle – Banner – 1932

The Carolina Tar Heels – Victor – 1927

The Carolina Twins – Victor – 1930

(Gwin Foster and A. O. Fletcher)

Fiddlin’ John Carson – OKeh – 1924

The Carter Brothers & Son – Vocalion – 1929

The Carter Family – Victor – 1929

Wilf Carter – Bluebird – 1934

The Cartwright Brothers – Columbia – 1928

Claude Casey – Bluebird – 1939

Bob Causer and His Comellians – Conqueror – 1933

The Chuck Wagon Gang – Perfect – 1937

Clark and Howell – Supertone – 1929

Al Clauser and His Oklahoma Outlaws – Conqueror – 1937

The Cofer Brothers – OKeh – 1927

Irving Conn – Conqueror – 1934

Walter Coon – Conqueror -1927

The Coon Creek Girls – Conqueror – 1938

Bill Cox – Perfect – 1934

The Crystal Springs Ramblers – Vocalion – 1937

Image result for crystal springs ramblers

The Cumberland Ridge Runners – Conqueror – 1933

Vernon Dalhart – Victor – 1919

Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton – Columbia – 1929

Jimmie Davis – Victor – 1930

Dolly Dawn and Her Dawn Patrol – Vocalion – 1938

Jimmie and Eddie Dean – Conqueror – 1935

Walter Davis – Perfect – 1932

Al Dexter – Perfect – 1937

The Tom Dickey Show Boys – Montgomery Ward – 1939

(Was a member of the Tune Wranglers)

John Dilleshaw & The Dill Pickles – Vocalion – 1930

The Dixie Trio – Perfect – 1924

The Dixon Brothers – Bluebird – 1936

Uncle Eck Dunford – Victor – 1928

Fleming and Townsend – Bluebird – 1930

The Fort Worth Doughboys – Bluebird – 1933 (Light Crust Doughboys)

Cody Fox and His Yellow Jackets – Vocalion – 1937

Gene Fosdick’s Hoosiers – Vocalion – 1923

Image result for gene fosdick's hoosiers

Gene and Glenn (Jack and Lena) – Victor – 1930

The Georgia Serenaders – Supertone – 1929

The Georgia Yellow Hammers – Victor – 1927

The Girls of the Golden West – Bluebird – 1933

The Golden Melody Boys – Paramount – 1927

Otto Gray’s Oklahoma Cowboy Band – Gennett – 1928

Grayson and Whitter – Victor – 1928

The Hackberry Ramblers – Bluebird – 1936

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Travis B. Hale – Victor – 1927

Ambrose Haley and His Ozark Ramblers – Conqueror – 1937

Happy Fats and His Rayne-Bo Ramblers – Bluebird – 1941

The Happy Valley Family – Conqueror – 1935

Kelly Harrell – Montgomery Ward – 1933

Roy Harvey – Columbia – 1927

The Hi-Flyers – Conqueror – 1941

The Hill Billies – Vocalion – 1926

The Hobbs Brothers – Conqueror – 1929

Wallace Hodgins – Conqueror – 1928

Adolph Hofner and His Texans – Bluebird – 1938

The Hoosier Hot Shots – Conqueror – 1939

Frank Hutchison – OKeh – 1926

Frank Jenkins of Da Costa Woltz’s Southern Broadcasters – Gennett – 1927

Earl Johnson and His Clodhoppers – OKeh – 1928

Johnny Johnson – Banner – 1935

The Johnson Brothers – Victor – 1929

Billy Jones & Ernest Hare (The Happiness Boys) – Domino – 1925

Jerry Jordan – Supertone – 1929

Karl and Harty – Conqueror – 1935

Alfred Karnes – Victor – 1927

Buell Kazee – Brunswick – 1927

Hank Keene – Montgomery Ward – 1933

The Kentucky Colonels – Vocalion – 1923

The Kentucky Mountain Boys – 1930

The Kessinger Brothers – Brunswick – 1928

Kincaid and Bradley – Supertone – 1929

Fred Kirby – Montgomery Ward – 1937

Eddie Kirkeby – Conqueror – 1930

Image result for eddie kirkeby

Fiddlin’ Bob Larkin & Family – Vocalion – 1929

The Leake County Revelers – Columbia – 1927

Mandy Lee – Conqueror – 1928

Lummie Lewis and His Merrymakers – Vocalion – 1937

Rodman Lewis – Conqueror – 1929

The Logan County Trio – Supertone – 1928

The Lone Star Ranger – Conqueror – 1930

The Lucky Ten Entertainers – Domino – 1927

Lulu Belle and Scotty – Conqueror – 1935

Lundsford and Bascom – OKeh – 1924

Frank Luther – Domino – 1929

Mac and Bob – Conqueror – 1932

Edward MacHugh – Montgomery Ward – 1936

Uncle Dave Macon – Vocalion – 1924

J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers – Bluebird – 1936

Zeke Manners – Bluebird – 1942

The Maple City Four – Conqueror – 1933

Asa Martin and Jason Roberts – Conqueror – 1932

Frankie Marvin – Victor – 1931

Palmer McAbee – Victor – 1928

Harry McClintock – Victor – 1929

The McCravy Brothers – Victor – 1929

Sam McGee – Vocalion – 1926

Harry McLintock – Victor – 1928

Clayton McMichen & the Home Town Boys – Columbia – 1927

Paul Miles and His Red Fox Chasers – Gennett – 1926

The Bob Miller Trio – Montgomery Ward – 1933

Emmett Miller and His Georgia Crackers – Bluebird – 1936

Hoyt Ming and His Pep Steppers – Victor – 1928

Charles Mitchell and His Kentucky Ridge Runners – Melotone – 1936

The Modern Mountaineers – Bluebird – 1942

Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers – Melotone – 1935

“Peg” Moreland – Victor – 1928

Murray and Scanian – Conqueror – 1930

Narmour and Smith – OKeh – 1930

The National Barn Dance Orchestra – Bluebird – 1933

Image result for the national barn dance orchestra

Bill Nettles and His Dixie Blue Boys – Vocalion – 1937

Frank Novak and His Rootin’ Tootin’ Boys – Melotone – 1937

Charlie Oaks – Vocalion – 1925

Lee O’ Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys – Vocalion – 1936

The Original Memphis Five – Vocalion – 1923

Elder Oscar Sanders and Congregation – Conqueror – 1934

Chubby Parker – Conqueror – 1931

Hank Penny and His Radio Cowboys – Vocalion – 1938

Pie Plant Pete – Conqueror – 1935

The Pine Ridge Ramblers – Bluebird – 1938

The Pine State Playboys – Bluebird – 1938

Charlie Poole – Columbia – 1925

Powder River Jack & Kitty Lee – Victor – 1931

Fiddlin’ Powers and Family – Victor – 1924

Riley Puckett – Columbia – 1924

Pete Pyle – Bluebird – 1941

The Radio Imps – Conqueror – 1930

Railroad Bill – Melotone – 1933

The Range Riders – Vocalion – 1937

The Range Wreckers – Vocalion – 1937

Blind Alfred Reed – Victor – 1928

Goebel Reeves The Texas Drifter – Panachoro – 1931

Dick Reinhart and His Universal Cowboys – Conqueror – 1941

Rhubarb Red – Montgomery Ward – 1937

The Riverside Ramblers – Bluebird – 1937

Image result for The Riverside Ramblers

Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts – Conqueror – 1933

Don Roberts and His Home Towners – Perfect – 1932

Edith Roberts – Banner – 1930

A.C. Eck Robertson – Victor – 1922

Carson Robison – Victor – 1927

Jesse Rodgers – Montgomery Ward – 1936

Jimmie Rodgers – Victor – 1927

Vincent Rose – Conqueror – 1935

The Rose Trio – Montgomery Ward – 1933

The Rounders – Domino – 1928

The Roxy Male Quartet – Conqueror – 1931

Tommy Ryan – Vocalion – 1937

The Saddle Tramps – Vocalion – 1937

The Sheffield Male Quartet – Victor – 1927

Singin’ Sam – Banner – 1932

Skyland Scotty – Conqueror – 1935

Image result for skyland scotty conqueror

Bob Skyles & The Skyrockets – Bluebird – 1937

Roy Smeck and His Tropical Serenaders – Conqueror – 1935

Arthur Smith and His Dixie Liners – Bluebird – 1938

Dr. Champion Smith’s Hoss Hair Pullers – RCA – 1929

Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds – OKeh – 1920

The South Georgia Highballers – OKeh – 1927

The Southland Six – Vocalion – 1923

Elizabeth Spencer – Banner – 1930

Carl T. Sprague – Victor – 1927

The Stamps Quartet – Montgomery Ward – 1933

Lowe Stokes – Columbia – 1928

The Stone Mountain Boys – Supertone – 1930

Ernest Stoneman – Gennett – 1927

Uncle “Am” Stuart – Vocalion – 1924

The Sweet Violet Boys – Vocalion – 1935

(Chuck Hurt Shown)

The Jewel Swift Cowboys – Vocalion – 1939

Gid Tanner – Columbia – 1925

Taylor and Davis with the Cumberland Ridge Runners – Perfect – 1934

Image result for taylor and davis with the cumberland ridge runners

The Tennessee Mountaineers – Victor 1927

The Tennessee Tooters – Vocalion – 1925

Image result for tennessee tooters

Uncle Jimmie Thompson – Columbia – 1927

The Three Tobacco Tags (Crazy Tobacco Tags) – Bluebird – 1938

The Tietge Sisters – Victor – 1927

Image result for The Tietge Sisters

The Vagabonds – Montgomery Ward – 1933

John Vincent’s Californians – Conqueror – 1929

Frank (Frankie) Wallace – Conqueror – 1928

Ted Wallace – Conqueror – 1928

The Wenatchee Mountaineers – Conqueror – 1934

The West Virginia Night Owls – Victor – 1928

The Westerners (Massey Family) – Conqueror – 1937

Frank Wheeler & Monroe Lamb – Montgomery Ward – 1934

Harold White – Conqueror – 1933

Reaves White County Ramblers – Vocalion – 1928

Ray Whitley – Conqueror – 1935

Henry Whitter – OKeh – 1924

Zeke Williams and His Rambling Cowboys – Vocalion – 1937

Jimmy Wilson’s Catfish String Band – Victor – 1929

Image result for jimmie wilson's catfish string band

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