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came from farms, and that the strains of a hoedown fiddle or a cowboy plaint are their own native folk music and the one they will always respond to, no matter how far they have gone from the farm. He also believes that the con­gregation of groups of young men in Army camps has much to do with the boom in hillbilly music.
Because much of the hillbilly talent is employed in farming or ranching, Satherley must seek out his talent in the bayous, canebrakes, the cotton plantations, the tabacco regions. Every spring he departs from his home base in Los Angeles with a complete portable recording outfit—a set of six microphones, pickups, turntables, a truck-load of blank disks, and he follows a trail from Dallas to Amarillo, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, Beaumont, working through New Orleans, around to Shreveport, up into Birmingham, Nashville and Columbia. He makes about 400 recordings on each tour. He will record everyone from Gene Autry and Roy Acuff, the leaders in their respective fields of cowboy and mountain lament, to such lesser knowns as Bob Atcher and Bonnie Blue Eyes, Bob Wills, Memphis Minnie, Roosevelt Sykes, The Yas-Yas Girl, and Fisher Hendley and his Aristocratic Pigs, the latter being a very tempestuous hoedown fiddle band from South Carolina.
When word spreads that "Uncle Art" has arrived in a Southern town, dozens of folk geniuses will come trooping in from the mountains to attend the "recordin' jamboree." Homemade fiddles are dusted off, mandolins and guitars are taken off the shelf, as well as all the less conventional in­strumentation of the hillbilly musician, which includes washboards, piepans, automobile horns, cowbells, train whis­tles, jew's-harps, combs, kazoos, harmonicas, sweet-potato fifes and carpenter's saws. Satherley pays most of the semi-professional artists twenty-five dollars per record side, while the luminaries receive a royalty of one half cent a side.
When Satherley is told that there is somebody in an out-of-the-way place who has a very original ballad and that this native artist is too shy to come to town, he will pack his recording equipment into suitcases and head into regions where no city shoes have ever trod before. Traveling by plane and automobile, and on foot where there are no pass­able roads, he journeys 70,000 miles during a typical year.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III