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Polk C. Brockman

d. March 11, 1985

It has been suggested that Georgian Polk Brockman’s career in early country music was much like a strip mining operation: its ultimately destructive impact yielded short-term profit but no long-term benefits or sustainability. Present at the acknowledged conception of hillbilly/country music, having in 1923 convinced Ralph Peer to record Fiddlin’ John Carson for OKeh records, Brockman followed a path similar to Peer’s, with dramatically different results. Where Peer shared publishing with the songwriters he worked with, Brockman took full publication rights in exchange for a nominal fee given to the artist. The tactic ultimately failed, as those he took advantage of eventually stopped writing for him. He therefore will be most remembered for his early associations with John Carson, and his involvement in Andrew Jenkins’ writing of “The Death of Floyd Collins,” which became one of Vernon Dalhart’s early hits.

Adapted from: Chadbourne, Eugene. “Polk C. Brockman.” All Music Guide. June 9, 2004. www.allmusic.com.

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