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20 Original King Recordings

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Album Review

Born in a one-room log cabin in North Carolina in 1898, J.E. Mainer was playing the banjo by the time he was nine-years old. By the time he formed the first version of his bluegrass band the Mountaineers, however, he had switched his main instrument to fiddle, and it is as a fiddler, songwriter, and bandleader that Mainer is treasured today by the bluegrass nation. Mainer & His Mountaineers recorded 24 songs for King Records in 1946, and then returned in 1961 to track an additional album and a couple of singles for the label. This budget 20-song set collects the best of those King sessions.


Genre: Country

Years Active:

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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20 Original King Recordings, J.E. Mainer and his Mountaineers
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