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NEWSLETTER #135
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Country Music Records - Discography
 
 

COUNTRY MUSIC RECORDS - A Discography, 1921-1942  by  Tony Russell $95.98
Hardbound, 1183 pages, essential
Counts as 20 CDs for shipping.
This is the book many of us have been waiting for for a long time and can be considered THE publishing event since the beginning of the 21st century. Tony Russell first started working at documenting early country music recordings more than 20 years ago and after numerous setbacks and delays this monumental work is now finally available and has proved worth the wait. Tony was assisted by Bob Pinson and the staff of The Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum. At its simplest this book is a list of every country music recording made between 1921 and 1942 - issued and unissued but its the detail provided that makes this indispensable for fans, collectors and researchers. The main part of the book is arranged alphabetically by artist and for each artist we have every session documented in chronological order with date, personnel involved, songs and tunes recorded, matrix numbers and original 78 rpm issues (if it was issued). LP and CD reissues are not included unless this was the first issue of an unissued recording. Many artists recorded under one or more pseudonyms and all these are listed in the alphabetic sequence with a reference to the actual artist name.
In addition there are two invaluable appendices - one listing all musicians who appeared as sidemen or members of groups and refers to the artists accompanied and the second is a listing or every song and tune and a reference to the artist performing it.
All the well known artists are here - Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Gene Autry, Fiddlin' John Carson, Bill Monroe, etc as well as hundreds of obscure artists that only recorded one or two sides - Jack Bankey, Lowell Cheetham, William Hansen, Doctor Lloyd & Howard Maxey, Moody Bible Sacred Harp Singers, Roper's Mountain Singers and many, many more - there's even a group called The Rolling Stones! The maligned but very prolific Vernon Dalhart has no less than 50 pages devoted to his recordings! All told this book encompasses 2,500 artists, 5,000 session musicians and 10,000 songs or tunes!
There is an introduction describing the scope and purpose of the work and brief histories of many of the record labels involved in the recordings. The book is beautifully printed on high quality paper and has a glorious dust jacket with pictures of appropriate record labels. If you have an interest in early country music this is a book you will be referring to again and again. Good work Tony! (FS)

 

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