For the traveling recording men of the late 1920s, Arkansas offered enticing pickings. The region was thronged with vigorous, idiosyncratic stringbands. This album carries the listener from the hillbilly music craze of the ’20s to the song-based country music of the late ’30s. Scarcely more than a decade, but a period, in music as in all American life, of galvanic change.
This CD serves as the soundtrack album to the newly-released photograph book, “Making Pictures: Three for a Dime” by Maxine Payne. All of the photos in this package are from the same cache of photographs taken by the Massengil family in their mobile photo-booth trailer throughout rural Arkansas in the 1930s-1940s. CD Digipak with 32 page booklet/Liner notes by country music scholar Tony Russell/Newly remastered 24-bit audio transfers from the Music Memory archive/Features original 78 RPM recordings made between 1928-1937 “It is indeed gratifying to know our program has made so many minds and hearts drift back to the earlier days when all was well, when the ‘hoss hair pullers’ of old were in due form and all parties concerned were in a receptive mood for tipping of the fantastic toe… My aggregation from this district claim that their music and songs are not suggestive of anything except good and wholesome exercise…
So everybody come to the Arkansas Ozarks, where you can eat the best fruit in the world; where home-cured meat is found in the smokehouse and corn and hay in the barn; where you can juice your own cow, feed your own chickens, fish in the wonderful White River, meet these men of the Missouri Pacific and natives, and you will then say, ‘Yes, indeed, you have the most wonderful country in the world.’” — Henry Harlin Smith, March 1926 on Hot Springs radio station KTHS.
1. Ashley’s Melody Men - “Searcy County Rag”
2. Pope’s Arkansas Mountaineers - “Get Along Home, Miss Cindy”
3. Fiddling Bob Larkin & His Music Makers - “The Higher up the Monkey Climbs”
4. George Edgin’s Corn Dodgers With Earl Wright & Brown Rich - “My Ozark Mountain Home"
5. Dr. Smith’s Champion Hoss Hair Pullers - “Just Give Me the Leavings"
6. Ashley’s Melody Men - “Bath House Blues”
7. Luke Highnight & His Ozark Strutters - “Fort Smith Breakdown"
8. Arkansas Barefoot Boys - “Eighth of January”
9. Bob Larkan & Family - “McLeods Reel"
10. A. E. Ward & His Plow Boys - “The Old Dinner Pail"
11. Wonder State Harmonists - “My Castle on the Nile”
12. Morrison Twin Brothers String Band - “Dry and Dusty”
13. Pope’s Arkansas Mountaineers - “Jaw Bone"
14. Lonnie Glosson - “Arkansas Hard Luck Blues"
15. Fiddling Bob Larkin & His Music Makers - “Paddy, Won’t You Drink Some Good Old Cider?”
16. George Edgin’s Corn Dodgers With Earl Wright & Brown Rich - “Corn Dodger No. 1 Special"
17. Bonnie Dodd & Murray Lucas - “Ozark Mountain Rose"
18. Morrison Twin Brothers String Band - “Ozark Waltz”
19. L. O. Birkhead & R. M. Lane - “Robinson County"
20. George Edgin’s Corn Dodgers With Earl Wright & Brown Rich - “The Arkansas Hotel"
21. A. E. Ward & His Plow Boys - “Going to Leave Old Arkansas"
22. Wonder State Harmonists - “Petit Jean Gallop”
23. Bob Larkan & Family - “Silver Nail"
24. Reaves White Country Ramblers - “Drunkard’s Hecups”
25. Wonder State Harmonists - “Turnip Greens”
26. Lonnie Glosson - “Lonnie’s Fox Chase"