FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON
The first major fiddling champ and recording star, Fiddlin' John Carson (1868 - 1949) was first recorded in 1923 and by 1925 was a sensation. On June 14, 1923, in a vacant building on Nassau Street in Atlanta, Georgia, Carson cut two sides, "Little Old Log Cabin" and "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's going to Crow." Recording talent scout Ralph Peer pronounced them "pluperful awful" but agreed to press five hundred on a blank label for local record salesman Polk Brockman's personal use. With Fiddlin' John hawking them from the stage of the next Fiddler's convention, Brockman promptly sold every disc. Peer immediately rushed into a major pressing on the OKeh label and invited Carson to New York to record twelve more sides. Gene Wiggins' Fiddlin' Georgia Crazy was published in 1987 (University of Illinois Press). Carson's complete recordings are available on a series of seven CDs from Document Records. Regrettably, the sound is not very good on some of the rarest cuts and there is no single collection of his best material available.
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