Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music

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The late 1930s were a tumultuous time in the mountains, and hundreds of families were leaving or had already left their farms to make way for the creation of the new national park. In 1939, Columbia University graduate student Joseph Hall came expecting to record the speech and stories of these residents, and used a borrowed pick-up truck to lug some early recording equipment all around the Smokies. Fortunately for us, many of them wanted to sing and play music for him instead, and he was able to capture an amazing variety of music: ballads from the British Isles, American ballads, gospel, folk, country, and blues.

In this CD, listen to 34 of these long-buried selections, including My Home is in the Smoky Mountain, Sourwood Mountain, Don't Forget Me Little Darling and On Big Pigeon. Also included is a 40-page booklet with all the song lyrics, historical photos, and authoritative essays on the history of mountain music. Available exclusively from Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Track list:

  1. My Home is in the Smoky Mountain (John Hannah)
  2. Down in the Willow Garden (Bessie Rabb)
  3. Bonaparte's Retreat (Willis & Dexter Bumgarner)
  4. Come, All You Young Ladies (Myrtle Conner)
  5. I Started Out a-Courting (Jack Johnson)
  6. Sourwood Mountain (Cataloochee Trio)
  7. The Ramshackle Shack (Bill Moore & Vic Peterson)
  8. Going Down This Road Feeling Bad (John Davis & Shorty Smith)
  9. Kitty Wells (Myrtle Conner)
  10. Crying Holy Unto the Lord (Bill Moore's Quartet)
  11. Unidentified Guitar Playing (Probably Bill Moore)
  12. My Curly-Headed Baby (Carl Messer)
  13. The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind (John Hannah)
  14. John Henry (Leatherman Brothers)
  15. Cackling Hen (Bill Moore, Paul Buchanan & Hardy Crisp)
  16. That's How I Got My Start (Bill Moore)
  17. Don't Forget Me, Little Darling (Clarence Sutton)
  18. Pretty Little Miss (Myrtle Conner)
  19. Chinese Breakdown (Herman Smith & David Proffitt)
  20. Mule Skinner Blues (Unnamed Company - 15 members)
  21. Ticklish Rubin (Jim Sutton)
  22. The Big Bend Killing (Helen Gunter)
  23. Polly Put the Kettle On (Willis & Dexter Bumgarner)
  24. Conversation With Dead (Zeb & Winfred Hannah)
  25. Paper of Pins (Myrtle Conner)
  26. Boston Girl (John Hannah)
  27. The Dying Cowboy (Clarence Sutton)
  28. Cripple Creek (Chub Karns)
  29. Ground Hog (Unnamed Company - 15 members)
  30. Up On Big Pigeon (Boyd Strickland)
  31. John Henry (Unidentified Performers)
  32. Driving Down the Highway (Robert Ray)
  33. Little Rosewood Casket (Myrtle Conner)
  34. On Top of Old Smoky (Betty Messer)
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