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Home Recordings 1941-1942, Volume I

John Morgan Salyer

John Morgan SalyerJohn M. Salyer, born in 1882 in Magoffin County, Kentucky, was no ordinary fiddler; he was master of an older eastern Kentucky style that is only barely discernible in the playing of fiddlers today. In 1941-42, his sons Grover and Glen Salyer used a home disc cutting machine to record some of their father’s old-time fiddle and banjo tunes. Many of these tunes have not been documented elsewhere.

After five years of production work, the Appalachian Center is proud to make John Salyer’s music available to a wider audience. The old home recordings are rough by today’s standards, but technical difficulties retreat before the power and beauty of this music. Volume I includes thirty fiddle tunes, many in cross-tunings and some with banjo, mandolin, and guitar accompaniment, including:

  • “Jenny Get Around”
  • “Indian Ate the Woodchuck”
  • “Big Eared Mule”
  • “Jack Wilson”
  • “Lonesome John”
  • “Flanders’ Dream”

With extensive liner notes from Bruce Greene.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. Additional generous support from Shanachie Records Corporation, Mrs. Gertrude Allinger, and the Kentucky Folklife Program.

($15.00 plus $2.00 shipping each volume)

Appalachian Tapestry

Billy Edd Wheeler

Millions of people all over the world know the songs, “Jackson,” “The Rev. Mr. Black,” “The Coming of the Roads,” “Coal Tattoo,” and “Coward of the County,” the last of which was made into a movie. But not nearly as many people know the name Billy Edd Wheeler, despite the fact that he wrote all of those songs and hundreds more, recorded by approximately one hundred singers around the world, including Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Judy Collins, Ritchie Havens, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty.
Originally appearing as a special companion to the Winter 2008 issue of Appalachian Heritage magazine, wherein Billy Edd Wheeler was the featured author and artist, this collection contains twenty of his most well-known songs, produced and performed by Billy Edd Wheeler himself.

Track List

  1. She Saw an Angel / Vocal by Kathy Mattea
  2. Coal Tattoo
  3. Red Winged Black Bird / Vocal by Annie Lalley
  4. The Hole in Uncle Vincent’s Wooden Leg
  5. The Rev. Mr. Black
  6. The Waltz of Miss Sarah Green
  7. Duel Under the Snow
  8. The Coming of the Roads
  9. Coward of the County
  10. High Flyin’ Bird
  11. Christmas in the Country
  12. Lulu Belle / Vocal by Dana McVicker
  13. Mama’s Going Down in the Mine
  14. Jack & the Doctor’s Daughter
  15. Love
  16. The Long Arm of the Law
  17. Jackson
  18. Winter Sky
  19. The Coon Hunters
  20. I Am the Cumberland Gap
    From Billy Edd’s folk opera, A Song of the Cumberland Gap, sung by members of the cast

“I was born in Appalachia, but never knew exactly where it was. My buddy Paul Morton said it was what we had to get out of to find America, like America was a foreign country or something. ‘But,’ he said, ‘it’s a long way from here to the rest of the USA.’ Well, I did get out of it for awhile, but it never got out of me. It’s in all the fruits of my creative labors, and with this CD I am proud to share some of it with you. I hope you enjoy it.” — Billy Edd Wheeler

($15.00 plus $2.00 shipping)