Hillbilly Music
Source & Symbol

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Archie Green: "Hillbilly Music: Source & Symbol"

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Notes

 

Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol, Part Five

APPENDIX I: INTERVIEWS 1960-1965 (see Note 19)

A.E. Alderman Clayton McMichen
Charles Bowman Callie Payne
Elbert Bowman William Randle
Polk Brockman Vance Randolph
Irene Futrelle Charles Rey
Abel Green Ernest Rogers
Hattie Hader Carl T. Sprague
Kemper Harreld E.V. Stoneman
Otto Heineman Colen Sutphin
Bill Hopkins Peter Tamony
John Hopkins Jimmie Tarlton
Lucy Hopkins Dock Walsh
Walter Hughes Jim Walsh
Rosa Lee Johnson Byron Warner
Lambdin Kay Paul Whitter

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APPENDIX II: LOG (see Note 36)

Alonzo Elvis "Tony" Alderman
b. Sept. 10, 1900, River Hill, Va. –
Charles Bowman
b. July 30, 1889, Gray Station, Tenn., d. May 20, 1962, Union City, Ga.
Polk C. Brockman
b. Oct. 2, 1898, Atlanta, Ga. –
"Fiddlin'" John Carson
b. March 23, 1868, Fannin County, Ga., d. Dec. 11, 1949, Atlanta, Ga.
Vernon Dalhart (Marion Try Slaughter)
b. April 6, 1883, Jefferson, Texas, d. Sept. 15, 1948, Bridgeport, Conn.
Albert Green Hopkins
b. June 5, 1889, Gap Creek, N.C., d. Oct. 21, 1932, Washington, D.C.
Andrew Jenkins
b. Nov. 26, 1885, Jenkinsburg, Ga., d. April 25, 1957, Thomaston, Ga.
"Uncle" Dave Macon
b. Oct. 7, 1870, Smart Station, Tenn., d. March 22, 1952, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Ken Maynard
b. July 21, 1895, Mission, Texas –
Ralph Sylvester Peer
b. May 22, 1892, Kansas City, Mo., d. Jan. 19, 1960, Los Angeles, Calif.
Carl T. Sprague
b. May 10, 1895, Manvel, Texas –
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman
b. May 25, 1893, Monarat, Va. –
Frank Buckley Walker
b. Oct. 24, 1889, Fly summit, N.Y., d. Oct. 15, 1963, Little Neck, N.Y.
William Henry Whitter
b. April 6, 1892, Fries, Va., d. Nov. 17, 1941, Morganton, N.C.

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APPENDIX III: OKEH CHRONOLOGY (see Note 14)

December 4, 1914
Otto Heineman Phonograph Supply Company opens New York office: 45 Broadway. Firm imports Swiss phonograph motors and contracts with Garford Manufacturing Company, Elyria, Ohio, to produce its own motors.
June 1, 1918
Firm places first records (popular and standard music) on the market. They are double-faced and hill-and-dale (vertical cut). Labels and sleeves carry an Indian head design. The series begins with release of "Star Spangled Banner/American patriotic Medley" by a Band (Okeh 1001) and continues through Okeh 1288 released in November, 1919.
October 1, 1919
Firm's name is changed to General Phonograph Corporation: 25 West 45th Street.
ca. November, 1919
Vertical cut Okeh records are replaced by lateral cut discs in a new series which begins with releae of "The Vamp/My Cairo Love" by Rega Dance Orchestra/Green Brothers Xylophone Orchestra (Okeh 4000).
February 14, 1920
Mamie Smith records "first race disc" in New York, "That Thing Called Love/You Can't Keep a Good Man Down" (Okeh 4113) [7275/7276]. Record is placed in popular series and released July, 1920.
ca. November, 1920
Heineman begins to distribute Odeon and other foreign language records in America. Classical music originally recorded in Europe is featured; however, some non-English popular and folk material is included.
ca. June, 1921
Firm begins a separate 8000 race series with release of "Play ‘Em for Mama, Sing ‘Em for Me/ I won't Be Back ‘Till You Change Your Ways" by Daisy Martin (Okeh 8001) [7854/7855].
June 14, 1923
Fiddlin' John Carson records "first hillbilly disc" in Atlanta, "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane/Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Going to Crow" (Okeh 4890) [8374/8375]. Record is placed in popular series and relased July, 1923. The success of Okeh's first out-of-town expedition leads to many subsequent field trips particularly rich in recording early jazz, blues, hillbilly, and non-English folk material from ethnic groups in America.
ca. January, 1924
Okeh 4999 is released and popular series continues with a numerical jump to Okeh 40000.
ca. October, 1925
Firm begins a separate 45000 hillbilly (old time) series with release of "Run Along Home with Lindy/To Welcome the Travellers Home" by Fiddlin' John Carson (Okeh 45001).
October 22, 1926
General Phonograph Corporation purchased by Columbia Phonograph Company and renamed Okeh Phonograph Corporation: still at 25 West 45ths Street. Otto Heineman continues as president of subsidiary to carry on sale of motors, needles, and parts as well as Okeh and Odeon records. Subsequent Okeh history integrated with Columbia's own complex development with some crossing of material between labels.
November 16, 1926
Okeh switches from acoustical (True Tone) to electrical recording process. First such race item to be release is "Candy Lips/Scatter Your Smiles" by Eva Taylor with Clarence Williams (Okeh 8414) [80214/80215] (rec. 11/16/26).
January 28, 1927
Earliest released electrical disc in hillbilly series is "West Virginia Rag/Coney Isle" by Frank Hutchinson (Okeh 45083) [80354/80356] (rec. 1/28/27).
March 31, 1931
Otto Heineman leaves firm. Okeh moves to Columbia office: 1776 Broadway.
ca. December, 1931
Columbia, beset by depression and buffeted by English owners, is purchased by Grigsby-Grunow (Majestic radios and refrigerators).
ca. November, 1933
Grigsby-Grunow goes bankrupt. Assets acquired, in February, 1934, by Sacro Enterprises (banking syndicate). Columbia and Okeh labels are continued by a Sacro unit, American Record Corporation.
ca. March, 1934
Okey hillbilly series thins out during depression years and is terminated with a release of "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad/Leaving on the New River Train" by the Crazy Hillbilly Band (Okeh 45579) [152680/152681] (rec. ca 1/15/34).
ca. January, 1935
Okeh race series also thins out in these years and is terminated with a release of "Little Green Slippers/Jug Band Quartette" by the Memphis Jug Band (Okeh 8966) [C-794/C-807] (rec. 11/7-8/34).
NOTE:
Columbia has kept the Okeh label alive through the last three decades; however, I have closed my chronology with the termination of the 45000 and 8000 seris. In these two sets, Otto Heineman and his staff inaugurated large-scale, serious recording of American folk music (albeit Okeh never made such a claim for its role during 1921-1931).

University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois

Archie Green, "Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol,"
Journal of American Folklore 78: Jul-Sep 1965, 204-228

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