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Music History: Carter Family question

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GUEST,Richie 15 Aug 07 - 08:06 PM
Stewie 15 Aug 07 - 09:16 PM
Stewie 15 Aug 07 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,Richie 15 Aug 07 - 11:11 PM
Stewie 15 Aug 07 - 11:12 PM
Stewie 15 Aug 07 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Richie 17 Aug 07 - 11:35 AM
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Subject: Music History: Carter Family question
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 08:06 PM

Hi,

I've been reading about the famous Bristol Sessions held in July-Aug 1927.

Many sources say the Carter Family read about the sessions in The Bristol News Bulletin article and then went to Bristol. They recorded for Ralph Peer on Aug. 1, 1927.

Charles Wolfe says Peer met A.P. Carter in March (another article by Wolfe says in June) 1927 before the Sessions and invited Carter to the Sessions.

What is it? When did A.P. Carter first met Peer?

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 09:16 PM

Zwonitzer and Hishberg - the most recent biographers? - indicate that Peer did not meet any of the Carters until the 1 August recording session in Bristol. At page 77 of 'Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone', they report that A.P. saw an ad in the Bristol paper for the local Victrola dealer in July. He spoke to Cecil McLister whom Peer had asked to 'put the word out and line up some music acts' for audition in Bristol. On 31 July 1927, A.P., Sara and Maybelle loaded up A.P's brother's car for the trip to Bristol.

In his article in 'Old Time Music' No 5, Summer 1972 - 'Ralph Peer at Work: the Victor 1927 Bristol Sessions' - Wolfe made no mention of any earlier meeting between A.P. and Peer. In her letter to the late John Edwards, Sara did not indicate any such meeting: 'So there was an ad in the Bristol, Va-Tenn, paper for all talent to come to Bristol to try out on records. So we three decided to go ...' [As quoted in Wolfe article cited above].

Wolfe must have changed his mind later.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 10:52 PM

In his notes to the Country Music Foundation set of the Bristol Sessions, Wolfe gave the June 1927 reference: 'We now know that Peer had set up recordings with A.P. Carter back in June, but he was still somewhat surprised to see them'. 'Set up' does not necessarily imply a physical meeting with A.P.

In his notes to volume 1 of the Rounder series of the complete Victors - and these were published after the CMF set - Wolfe wrote: 'Then, in March 1927, the local Victor Talking Machine Company's dealer in nearby Bristol, Tennessee, had put A.P. in touch with a curious visitor. His name was Ralph Peer, and he was planning to bring a portable recording studio into Bristol that summer; after talking to A.P., and later writing to him, it was agreed that A.P. and his "Carter string band" would come to the session and try some records'. A.P. could have been put 'in touch' with Peer by phone.

It is all a bit curious. Zwonitzer and Hirshberg say that Peer visited McLister's shop a couple of days before A.P. called in after seeing the ad - this was in July - yet Wolfe gives conflicting March and June dates for some manner of contact.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:11 PM

Hi Stewie,

Thanks for the info, as usual it's well documented.

It seems odd that with all the books and articles Wolfe would be the only one to know about this meeting.

Peer's press didn't mention it as far as I can tell. None of the other Carter's mention this.

Wolfe gives two different dates but his "We now know that Peer..." idicates he learned this recently and that it is an established fact.

I wonder where Wolfe got this info. I can't find any corroboration.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:12 PM

The writer of the notes - possibly Bob Pinson - for the Country Music Hall of Fame Carter Family compilation [MCA MCAD 10088] writes: 'Bristol was the first of three stops Peer and his unit would make on this swing through the South, the others being Charlotte, NC, and Savannah, Georgia. As organiser of the expedition, Peer had lined up some of the talent BEFORE embarking on the trip. He invited the Carter Family for an August 1 audition on the recommendation of the manager of a downtown Bristol store that sold phonograph records. This local merchant knew the Carters from their visits to his store and it was he who told Peer how to contact them'. [Emphasis mine].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:19 PM

Hi Richie, our previous posts must have crossed. I note also that John Atkin's fine booklet on the Carter Family published by Old Time Music also has no mention of a meeting.

My feeling is that Wolfe may not have been referring to a physical meeting between A.P. and Peer, merely to 'contact' facilitated by McLister.

It is a pity Dr Wolfe has passed on. I contacted him by email with questions on a couple of occasions and he replied very promptly.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Music History: Carter Family question
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 11:35 AM

Thanks Stewie,

I'm also confused about the Carters audition on morning of Aug. 1, 1927 at the Bristol Sessions.

Apparently the Carters auditioned that morning before coming back for their historic evening recording session. The way Wolfe covers it it seems like there was no audition.

Does anyone know about the audition?

Also which Carters came to the Session besides Maybelle Sara and A.P.?

One account goes: With a hearty country breakfast under their belts, the four loaded into Ezra'a old Hupmobile and headed for Bristol. Rains had swollen the Holsten River at a place where they were to ford it, and the Hupmobile stopped right in the middle of the river and refused to go any further. Long dresses were hiked up over the ladies knees, and guitars and autoharps carried on their shoulders to the dry bank, as the men pushed, and tugged until they finally got the old car moving. Up the bank they discovered another problem there was a flat on the right rear tire. A.P. being the flat tire fixer, got out the hand patch kit and quickly repaired the flat, pumped the tire up, and, with the instruments and the ladies aboard again, they made their way on to Bristol.

Where did this come from?

There are also several locations given. Wasn't it an empty furniture store at 408 State Street, not a hat factory?

Anyone?

Thanks Richie


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