Country, Western & Gospel Music

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over mountains and the result will be that when the city slickers arrive they will be unable to get into their hotels for the presence of mouth-organ virtuosos, yodelers, blues singers and specialty bands equipped with instruments made of tissue paper on combs, washboards, assorted saws and rutabaga gourds.
If there needs to be another picture at this point, the camera can leap agilely to such distant parts of South Africa and Australia where the native bushmen are busily humming a little number written by Jimmy Davis of Shreveport, Louisiana, and entitled Nobody's Darling But Mine. In short, no matter what the citizens of the United States think about their native songs, the world ranks the hillbilly ballads among the folk-tune wonders of the uni­verse.
It started back in 1921 when Ralph S. Peer was with Okeh records. Sophie Tucker had agreed to do You Can't Keep a Good Man Down but it was found at the last mo­ment that another contract prevented her from working for Okeh. In this crisis Perry Bradford, who was a colored song plugger for W. C. Handy (St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues, etc.), informed Mr. Peer that he could furnish a girl who was as good as Sophie. She turned out to be Mamie Smith, a colored girl who was working as cleaning woman in a theater. She made the Good Man song, and for the other side of the record did That Thing Called Love. Mamie had a loud raucous voice and there was great difficulty with recordings in that day of poor equipment, but the Okeh people knew they had something when the record sold 75,000 copies the first month. Mamie was forthwith yanked back into the studio and this time she brought with her a horrendous five-piece band known as Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds. They made Crazy Blues and It's Right Here for You.
"The most awful record ever made," reports Mr. Peer, "and it sold over a million copies."
A Market Nobody Thought Of
Bert Williams, the colored comedian, had been making records for Columbia for many years but the companies never imagined that the Negroes themselves might be a

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III