Country, Western & Gospel Music

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favorite group is the Carter Family of Maces Springs, Vir­ginia, who sing and play and make marvelous didos with such instruments as the guitar and autoharp, which is really a zither with keys.
The best colored singer since Bessie Smith is said to be Georgia White, and it is in this field that some of the most remarkable records are made. There are colored numbers so strictly African and special that nobody but a Negro could understand them or appreciate them. When Sleepy John Estes does his own Negro compositions, the words are like something out of a voodoo chant and the manner of delivery is such that they make no sense whatever to the untrained mind. The recordings by Petie Wheatstraw come in the same class, and when Kokomo Arnold does the "se-bastapool" on his guitar, effects are made that seem un­earthly.
Unless the artist is also the writer of his own material and hence shares in the royalty for composers, the rewards of recording are not great, being on an average of $25 a "side." The payment is outright and there is no book­keeping.
Among the novelty records are those made by the Ca­lypso people in the West Indies, the Cajuns of Louisiana, and Corny Allen Greer and his band.
The loyalty of the hillbilly audience to its heros can be seen in the titles of the songs. When Jimmie Davis wrote Nobody's Darling But Mine, he immediately made a sequel entitled An Answer to Nobody's Darling. That was followed by A Woman's Answer to Nobody's Darling. Bob and Joe Shelton, who also come from Shreveport, wrote Just Be­cause in collaboration with Leon Chappalear. When it be­came a success, they followed immediately with An Answer to Just Because and followed that with Just Because III. It is quite possible that the thing could go on forever.
Students are convinced that Bessie Smith and partic­ularly the players who accompanied Bessie Smith on her records had a great part in stimulating the disease known as swing music, which has now gripped the nation. Bessie had such men doing her accompaniments as Louis Arm­strong, Fletcher Henderson, Joe Smith, Fred Longshaw, Charlie Green and the late James P. Johnson, one of the

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