It seems that we have to rely on other countries to preserve our precious musical heritage.
Much like the British Blues scene preserved the obscure and authentic bluesmen who had been forgotten by the mid sixties, It seems that the Germans have taken on the task of preserving the sound of country music before it was even called country music, and rockabilly by the shelfload.
By 1986, Sam Phillips was telling adherents who had made the pilgramage to Sun Studios and wanted to buy singles that "Sorry Hoss, the Germans done got 'em all".
That said, I need to alert those of you who may not know about the German Lable Trikont, and specificly their latest release, Flowers in the Wildwood;Woman in early country music .
Started in 1967 with proceeds from selling Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, the company has become the best archival label the globe has ever seen.
Sound quality is excellent considering the source, (78s mostly) and the annotation is near perfect.
I think It sounds so good because collectors (with the notable exception of Joe Bussard) didn't cotton to early country until the mid 1990s. Country 78's were what you passed over when you were looking for Black Patti Records.
Early country records were also less likely to be stored in crumbling cardboard boxes out in the barn for 45 years.
In short, they were taken better care of , were often recorded for radio play, recorded by major labels, and nobody wanted them. (much).
Thus they remained relatively unplayed and pristine.
If you got into my Dezurik sisters post, you need this CD pronto. Featuring two cuts by the sisters D and Many more sisters and mothers and aunts you have never heard of and will want to hear again.
The CD's liner notes and catalog description make the excellent point that A) There as country music before WWII
and B) Women were most likely the source of a lot of it in the rural south due to the relative inexpensiveness of guitars and autoharps , and the limited access to radio .
Outside of Alan Lomax, real authentic hillbilly music wasn't recorded that much. Come to think of it, authentic shitkickery by males was few and far between.
Doc Boggs and Bascome Lamar Lunceford are the only two artists I can think of who didn't have ties to radio shows sponsored by flour or tea, who are fairly well known in the genre. Boggs got sponsorship later in life on the strength of his recordings and the fact that he would play gigs at the opening of a faucet if you'd let him. Lunceford plucked a banjo in obscurity until 1954, when his first recordings were made.
So it's doubly delightful that these recordings by women were lovingly archived and annotated. Some of it can be a bit irritating at times, especially the dour religious numbers, but all of it is heartfelt and raw and beautiful. I picked my new favorite sister act, the Aaron Sisters to lay on you because they make the hair on my arms stand up.
Aaron Sisters She Came Rollin' Down The Mountain
Aaron Sisters w/ the Songopators How'm I Doin'
Here's where it gets jazzy and wonderful. It sounds like a backwoods version of the Boswell Sisters who you just know
don't really need your approval despite the song's title. Also, you simply must fall in love with contractions like "How'm".
They're what make American idiomatic speech so great. You also must smooch up on a band with a name like "Songopators" . How fucking great is that? Anybody know if they have any more recordings?
Here's where you can get it:
Amazon Has only one left in stock as of this writing.
Aquarius Records Doesn't have it , but they do have large portions of the back catalog of Trikont, and many more fantastic and hard to find American Primitives, and besides they are the nicest people in the mail order record buisiness.
Down Home Music has it deep in the bowels of its Country Collection list , just keep clicking the "next" button and try to avoid buying all the collections you click past.
Dusty Groove has completely done away with their country section but have many Trikont sides pertaining to what they do best, which is quite frankly, groovin'.
Other Music has a smattering of Trikont titles available via mail order, but if you're in NYC you can bop on down to their retail store and see if they have it. politely bug them to order it for you if the don't.