9/1/20 John Jacob Niles, Unusual Voice From The Past

I’ve mentioned John Jacob Niles (1892-1980) in the past for his homemade dulcimers and lutes. Some of his instruments are on display at the University of Kentucky’s John Jacob Niles Center of American Music.

Let’s take a quick listen to a couple of his live singing performances. If you like really unusual voices…

“John Henry” from 1940:


“Go ‘Way From My Window”


8/31/20 Monroe Moe Jackson, 1949

As far as I can tell, country blues artist Monroe Moe Jackson’s entire discography is just two songs. His Popeye-ish voice makes for a fun listen:

One side is “Go ‘Way From My Door”


The other side of his 1949 record was a cover of Hank Williams’ 1947 hit “Move It On Over,” a song that figures into the history of both country and rock and roll:


8/30/20 In Case You Missed It, May-August Edition

My May-August list is up to 100 artists, thanks to last week’s flood of releases. I’ll be starting a September new music list soon enough, but let’s take a look back at my May-August list for any you might have missed:


There’s a bit of everything on there, so hopefully you’ll find some to your taste, and at least a few who have not have been covered in great detail elsewhere.

I have over a hundred playlists, so I repost the link from time to time for those new to my page:


8/29/20 Harmonica Frank Floyd Interview, 1979-1980

I’ve probably mentioned Harmonica Frank Floyd before. This week, YouTube channel “53jaybop” uploaded “Chatting with Harmonica Frank Floyd”


Harmonica Frank was born in late 1908 and says he is 71 during the interview, so that places the interview at 1979-1980. He talks about everything from meeting Jimmie Rodgers to being ripped off by record companies. Harmonica Frank was a one-of-a-kind character, and many of his songs are quite funny. Here’s the “Peckerwood Song” https://youtu.be/Bwdnt2ktgwE

“Swamp Root” includes some eefing:


8/27-28/20 New Music This Week

This is the busiest week for new albums in quite a while:

Moe Bandy,Chad Prather, Colter Wall, Heidi Newfield, Reeves Brothers, Karen Jonas, Zephaniah Ohora, Justin Wells, Allman Betts Band, Wood and Wire, Shaker Hymns, Molly Tuttle, Avett Brothers, Ruston Kelly, Mickey Lamantia, Amber Lawrence, Tiffany Johnson, Christopher Essex, Olivia Lane, Hayden Joseph, The Northern Belle, Back to Paradise: Tulsa Tribute To Okie Music, Josh Ritter, Red Sammy, Rob Williams, Ghost of Paul Revere, Pete Krebs, Needtobreathe, Ryan Griffin, Dan Penn, JS Ondara, and Walter Trout.

Am I going to listen to all of that ? Hell no, but there ought to be some good bits, no matter your taste.

My May-August new music list has over 90 songs, so I figure there’s a good chance I’ll hit a hundred by the end of the month:


Chris Stapleton finally released a new song, so there’s a very welcome addition. It’s good to see music flowing again. The CMHOF is finally reopening the 9th of September.

8/26/20 Buddy Jones, 1939 Country Rock and Roll

Buddy Jones’ recording career began in the 30s and ended in the early 40s, mostly country and western swing. He became a policeman. His most interesting song was released in 1939, “Rockin’, Rollin’ Mama” https://youtu.be/J2A5wm9P2Wg

This is a good example of a song with the lyrics “rock and roll” long before the genre by that name was officially recognized. Moon Mullican played piano on the song, and he was a major influence on such artists as Jerry Lee Lewis.

The tune owes to Deep Ellum Blues,a song popularized by the Shelton Brothers a few years earlier.

Buddy Jones released “Small Town Mama” in 1938, before reworking it to “Rockin’ Rollin’ Mama” the next year.

As far as I know, the earliest recording of a Deep Ellum Blues-sounding tune is the Georgia Crackers’ “The Georgia Black Bottom” in 1927:


This group known as the Georgia Crackers was also known as the Cofer Brothers. This was a different group from Emmett Miller’s Georgia Crackers.

My Rockin’ Country Roots playlist has some 20s-40s songs to show early influences, but the majority of the list is from the 50s and 60s,with the most recent material being from the 70s:


8/25/20 Winning Streaks

Every single that Luke Combs has released has gone to number one, a total of eight from 2016-present and his current one appears well on its way to becoming his ninth.

So, let’s go back and look at a few more number one “winning streaks.”

From 1967-1971, Sonny James achieved a remarkable sixteen number one singles in a row. The streak was almost even longer, as he had six additional number ones from 1964-1971. A few number twos separated those from the others. From the linked bio: “If we use the same criteria used today for determining #1 singles, James would have had an unbelievable 25 number ones in a row.”


I grew up in Alabama, but Sonny James’ streak was before my time. Another Alabama act had a massive streak that I do remember well, the group Alabama. From 1980-87, Alabama had 21 consecutive country number ones, then after one song that peaked at number seven, they reeled off six more number ones from 1987, then after a single peaked at number three in 1990, they had three more number ones in a row. Alabama was absolutely dominant for a decade.

Earl Thomas Conley, George Strait, and Ronnie Milsap also had sizable winning streaks during the eighties. Earl had eighteen number ones during the eighties, and from 1983-88, he had sixteen of those number ones, a streak arguably “interrupted” only by a number two that was a duet with Anita Pointer. Ronnie Milsap had 23 number ones in the eighties, but the longest consecutive streak out of that was 10 in 1980-82. George Strait had eighteen number ones in the eighties, including a string of eleven from 1986-89.

I wonder why the eighties had so many huge strings of numbers one hits ?

From 2006-2016, every single Carrie Underwood released peaked at number one or two.

8/24/20 Skiffle

The 1950s skiffle craze in the UK had a significant influence on 1960s popular music, especially the British Invasion and folk revival.

Skiffle drew from roots music from the southern US, such as 1920s jug bands.

I found a couple of good skiffle playlists, featuring artists such as Lonnie Donegan:

Sizzlin’ Hot Skiffle:


YTM Skiffle, Jug, and Washboard:


Of my own playlists, the closest I have is “Washboards, Spoons, Jug Bands, Kazoos, Etc” https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ091QO4p8shq4WJlMXe2SvKd

My list is admittedly light on the skiffle era, but if you like jugs and washboards and such, there’s plenty to enjoy.

8/23/20 Assorted Bits

I don’t usually collect records, but my most recent purchase is Jeff Haskell’s 1971 record, “Switched On Buck.” I’d been looking for that one for a while, but until now, I couldn’t find one at a decent price. Record stores have been struggling for years, so I’m glad to give them a little business. This particular album is unusual in that it is all Moog synthesizer covers of Buck Owens, along the lines of the Gil Trythall and Rick Powell albums of the same era. Since Buck Owens was one of the very first people to buy a Moog synthesizer, imagine how different the “Bakersfield Sound” would be perceived today if Buck had incorporated the synthesizer into his work in a major way.

I’ve spent a bit of time in the last week going back through my YouTube lists and removing dead links and making other minor revisions. I have 131 YouTube lists total.

Since I mentioned the synthesizer album above, I’ll bring some attention to my little-viewed Synth Country list:


It’s heavy on the 80s, and while you’ll find plenty of the “adult contemporary/country pop” that was so abundant during that era, you’ll also find some familiar to traditionalists.

My Early Country Roots playlist is set at 1,000 songs. Some of the super-early music is scratchy and maybe a few bits are politically incorrect, but there’s a ton of legendary music mixed in. I’ve spent a lot of time searching high and low for underappreciated early acts,too. This is by far my largest list:


The Academy of Western Artists recently held its annual awards, and here are the winners:


Riley Green and Tenille Townes earned Academy of Country Music “new artist” awards. Congratulations to them.

8/22/20 Instagram Record Collectors

I don’t deal with Instagram very much, but some record collectors share cool stuff. Let’s take a look at just a few:

historyofcountrymusic has posted a tremendous amount of early country music. Western swing great Milton Brown has been a recent subject:


Before The Big Bang is the current Archeophone Records project, covering acoustic-era country and early roots of country:


Recordblog covers a lot of early and obscure records:


Broken Shellac Records also has a lot of early and obscure:


hotclubofbuda covers a lot of early jazz:


These are just a few good ones, but there are many more. Thanks to those who have the time, money, patience, and skill to preserve old records and the generosity to share the music with everyone.