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Classic Sides 1937-1941

J.E. Mainer

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Album Review

Brothers J.E. and Wade Mainer and their various bands and configurations formed a kind of bridge between the Appalachian string bands of the 1920s and the high-powered bluegrass bands that emerged after World War II. This 100-track box set from JSP is the second box the label has issued charting the early years of this oftentimes dueling and quarreling pair in their various guises, sometimes together, sometimes not, and, more often than not, working with guitarist Zeke Morris as the Mountaineers, the Dixie Reelers, or the Morris Brothers. This installment covers the years 1937 to 1941 and features tracks cut as the Mountaineers and the Smilin’ Rangers, among others, with the usual associates, including J.E. Mainer, Wade Mainer, Zeke Morris, and ace fiddler Steve Ledford.

Biography

Born: July 20, 1898 in Weaversville, NC

Genre: Country

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Mainer's Mountaineers, with their leader J.E. Mainer on fiddle, were one of the most popular string bands of the 1930s. They formed an important link between old-time string music and bluegrass, and their musical life exemplified several important aspects of the musical culture of the mountain southeast: the importance of the brother duet, the early link between country music and radio advertising, and the prevalence of turn-of-the-century sentimental song in the repertories of 1930s musicians. Mainer...
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Contemporaries

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