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HILLBILLY BOOM
by Maurice Zolotow
In March, 1942, Art Satherley, a courtly white-haired gentleman of fifty-two who is employed by the Columbia Recording Corporation for the sole purpose of roving around America and taking down on wax the homespun music of the hillbilly and cowboy troubadors, found himself in Dal­las, Texas, while on his annual recording pilgrimage. Sather­ley had set up his portable recording apparatus in a suite in the Adolphus Hotel and he was interviewing various talents from the Panhandle and the plains, when in strode a tall chunky chap attired in chaps, boots and a ten-gallon hat.
The newcomer was Albert Poindexter, a sometime house painter from Troup, Texas, who was convinced he had the gift of tongues. Poindexter brought along a six-piece band and also submitted thirty-five original ditties which he had composed in his spare time.
Like most of the Texas Tschaikowskys, Poindexter's lyrics were of a melancholy nature—dealing with the death of close friends, the desertions of cowboys by their sweet­hearts, conversations with herds of dogies, and the well-known fact that a cowhand's best friend, if not his only friend, is his faithful horse.
Now, Satherley had at various times recorded some of Poindexter's lamentable chansons, but they had not set on fire the world of hillbilly fandom, this world being a very enthusiastic and emotional group of some 25,000,000 ad­mirers of the lonesome Texas plaint and of the mountain melancholy, which latter flourishes in the Southeastern States. The legion of admirers is headed by President Roosevelt.
On that historic morning in March, Satherley, a scholarly and dignified man who speaks with a British accent and looks somewhat like an Oxford professor of Greek history,
"Reprinted by permission from Saturday Evening Post, Vol. 216, No. 33, February 12, Copyright 1944 by the Curtis Publishing Com­pany, and by permission from Maurice Zolotow."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III