Personalities | Fiddlin’ John Carson | Early Years of Hillbilly | Country
(Fiddle, vocals, 1875–1949)
Carson’s June 1923 disc of ‘The Old Hen Cackled And The Rooster’s Going To Crow’ and ‘Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane’ was the first country record made in the South, in a temporary studio in Atlanta. A farmer by trade, Carson had been famous for years in Northern Georgia as an entertainer and a contestant at fiddling contests, but his many records in the 1920s and 1930s made him more widely known. He came across chiefly as a gnarly old comedian, playing antique fiddle tunes, singing crazy old songs like ‘It’s A Shame To Whip Your Wife On Sunday’ and swapping repartee with his daughter Rosa Lee, known as ‘Moonshine Kate’. But his band sides with his Virginia Reelers, like ‘Hell Bound For Alabama’, are some of the wildest string music ever recorded. After a long career he took a job in local government, operating the lift in Atlanta’s State Capitol.
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