I wasn't. I backed into it over time. I grew up with 50's and 60's pop and rock. My mom played piano and her friends would come over and sing show tunes. My uncle was a symphony conductor. What tipped me in a country direction was the Byrds and Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. I hated it, at first. Then it crept up on me. I let in other country sounds. By the early seventies I was listening to The Circle album and that really pulled me in. But I was also listening to New Lost City Ramblers, and a few other odd seeming things like Blind Alfred Reed. Most of my adult life I preferred bluegrass and I was a mandolin player. Seventeen years ago I took up fiddle and started sliding backward into some Old Time tunes. Over time I've come to prefer playing them although I still like some bluegrass. Many of the tunes I've come to love and play I've learned from recordings of 2nd generation players, like John Hartford. So I'll never win an Old-Timier-than-Thou contest but I consider myself an Old Time player.
Edited by - Brian Wood on 09/12/2021 12:44:15
I was born to folk music (1943 and into the early 1960s, Brooklyn, NY) which included Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, some old time musicians who were brought up to NY, New Lost City Ramblers, Flatt and Scruggs, Greenbrier Boys, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Jean Ritchie, Marais and Maranda, Yiddish folk songs, recordings of George Pegram, Harry and Jeannie West and other western NC folk, Clancy Brothers and more. Then, it was all folk music.
Brian -- Just like you, it was my love of the Byrds that sent me in the direction of C&W. It was my habit to automatically buy a Byrds album the day it came out, and I absolutely hated Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Worse, all my hippie friends gave me heat for even owning the record! Anyway, I gently broke myself in to liking the LP by playing the album's least C&W tunes, such as One Hundred Years From Now. It wasn't long before I had my hippie companions plugging their ears when I'd put on Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton. Did I also chase away a prospective girlfriend or two?
And oh yeah. I had no more than a cursory knowledge of Old Time before, after impulsively purchasing a violin, I found myself taking lessons from David Bragger.
Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 09/12/2021 14:04:10
Hell no, just a 2nd generation Polish American kid who grew up in the North End of Hartford. Have no idea what attracted me to this stuff, just love at first listen. Actually I like all kinds of music, including classical, but OT is the only kind I can come close to playing so maybe that's another reason.
I should have mentioned Highwoods too, since something Doug said in the cross tuning thread made me think about where I fit in the music. In the early 70s Seattle's KRAB played them and a lot of great stuff new to me.
Nope, just a family of guitar players (mostly). But fiddle music (Appalachian in particular) speaks to me on a deep level.
No. Other than the songs on Capt. Kangaroo, my easiest musical recollection was Crosby Stills & Nash's first album. A hippy kid running around Griffith Park's Love-ins, and grape stomps. I guess you could say I was born to patchouli and incense.
Y'all already know I can't lock into a style/genre. There's just too much good stuff out there. PEACE!
I was, but didn't know it. N. Ga, W. Carolina. 60s-70s, but nobody I knew said the term, "Old-Time." Every way of our living was considered "old-timey," and, obliquely, "backward"--the rest of the world said so, so we strived to be more progressive. Therefore, it was the reverse of what they do now: at the festivals, nobody played fiddle music, it was amplified bluegrass and country.
It was the folks that we called "from off" that put a lot of store in the vernacular music, and, I suppose conserved a lot of it.
Mom and Dad gave me a banjer for Christmas when I was like 12, and I immediately tried to learn "Foggy Mtn Breakdown". I remember Grampa asking me--hey, son, can you play "Sally Gooden" or "Ida Red"? Never heard of them.
I inherited Grampa's old 100-year-old mandolin, you bet I can play Sally Gooden and Ida Red on it now.
Originally posted by Brian Wood
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo.
At first, I read this as "Sweethearts of the Rodeo."
As a young man in the 80s, man, I would have laid in a mudhole if these gals would just use me as a stepstone...
Edited by - Flat_the_3rd_n7th on 09/12/2021 19:36:31
My mama's daddy is and several of his siblings were old-time buckdancers (That style of dance is an ancestor of clogging that folks in the Virginias call flatfooting.) One of his cousins, Clay Underwood, played guitar and sang like Jimmie Rodgers. Granny doesn't play anything, but both of her parents were musicians. Her mother, who we called "Big Granny", played guitar and sang, and Granny's daddy sang and played just about anything with strings on it: Fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, piano, and mandolin. Sadly, there are no recordings of either of them. I know nothing about his fiddle and banjo repertoire, but Granny and her siblings told me some of the songs he and Big Granny used to sing. A lot of it is the type of stuff that would have been in the really early Country repertoire. Original Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bradley Kincaid sort of stuff. As far as I know, they didn't pick and sing together, but had their own separate repertoires. To my knowledge, Granny's daddy played for square dances at the speakeasy in Murfreesboro's Black Cat Cave, which may have been called the Black Cat Inn or Black Eye Inn. He was from the same area as fiddlers Frank Patterson and Mazy Todd (Tunes from both are in the Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes.), so that may give an insight into what his fiddle and banjo material was like. He quit that stuff out of grief when his brother died. Mama can buckdance, but she doesn't do it often. She can also play piano. Daddy sings and plays guitar, but he didn't really get into Old-Time until I came along. His main guys were folks like James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, and John Prine. His mama played the piano and violin. That violin was her daddy's. Grandma said she played it as a violin, but her daddy played it as a fiddle. I think she said she used gut strings but her daddy used steel strings. Grandma's mother played guitar. So, there's a lot of music in my family. Unfortunately, there aren't many recordings, with the exception of Granddady's dancing, which, happily, has been well documented.
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
This is a wonderful resume'. Thanks for sharing it. Flatfooting is HARD to do, and an incredible workout. And I love Jimmie Rodgers--I'd give anything to be able to yodel, but I try anyhow on Muleskinner's Blues. At listener's expense.
Daniel's grandfather, Thomas Maupin, is not just any buckdancer. Here's a little video from the National Endowment for the Arts, with a couple cameos by . . . "soppinthegravy." youtu.be/1v2Bd-J7CGM
Edited by - DougD on 09/13/2021 16:20:28
Wow...is Soppin' the Gravy Daniel in that video???? Wow...that's so cool. He's a good dancer! That's so cool, Soppin the Gravy!!!
I always wanted to be able to dance...ugh...doesn't work for me. I admire the really great buck dancers and cloggers who can tap out those rhythms like they do.
Nope, i wasn't born into any music...maybe church hymns and ballads. But no music in my family...I'm the black sheep...lol...literally in many ways...almost all ways, really. I did start loving music, certain music, from as far back as I can remember...around 3 years old. I really disliked most music and still do...most music makes me sick to hear...lol...but some types of music I have just loved my whole life...didn't get the chance to play instruments until later.
Wow. A total treat!
One thing I omitted, is that I've been square dancing since I was about 4 or 5. It started in the summers in Schroon Lake, NY. There was a weekly dance with caller and live band. As I remember many of the calls were singing calls. Anyway, it started my love for square dancing which I continued to do throughout my life and probably what sucked me into old time music (along with a large number of really fine West Virginia fiddlers) being on the top of the different types of music that I play. My favorite dance is at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville, held the the third Thursday in June; no teaching just dancing.
I was born to "old-time music" - lower case. It wasn't really a "genre" - which was a word no one had heard of back then, of course - although it was recognized as something different from all the other stuff, and was understood to consist of fiddle tunes. No one in the house actually played fiddle, but my mother played a pile of fiddle tunes on piano, and there wasn't a day when she wouldn't sit down and whip through a few of them at some point. My father might or might not join in on harmonica or jew's harp or whatever else was lying around, or might just whistle or diddle or drum his fingers on a nearby counter-top. There was lots of other music going on in the house, as well, just about everything and anything you could imagine, and a bit you couldn't. While the "old-time music" wasn't privileged in that context, we had immigrated from the rural Maritimes to urban Ontario, and did have a sense that this humble music was part of who we were, and distinguished us in a small way from our neighbours. As adults, one of my brothers is as into it as I am; my other siblings don't mind it, I guess, but don't go out of their way to hear it, and as far as I know, never play it.
Nope. As a small kid I listened to my parents Johnny Cash and Roger Miller records. From there to rock and roll, to a long haired head banger in my late teens. Tried my hand at guitar around 20 years old and bought an electric and an amp. Instead I found myself more often strumming on an old mail order acoustic that my grandparents gave me as a child. By the time I was 25 the closest I had come to Old Time was playing campfire guitar on Jimmy Buffet tunes.
My Dad has been one of the main organizers of an Old Time and Bluegrass festival for most of my life but up until I was about 30 it wasn't my thing. He doesn't play at all, but knows many people who do. He also loves to overnight BBQ and invite everyone he knows so somewhere along the line people would show up and play and I would try to strum along.
To help out I took over the website for the festival. About the time I was 40 years old I was knocking around the internet for related websites with event calendars and ended up creating an account on The Banjo Hangout. One year I signed on to update the listing and noticed a forum post by Dan Knowles on the main page. Dan is one of my Dad's musician friends, so I clicked on it. At the time Dan was posting almost daily updates of his lutherie endeavors, and I was intrigued by a 1850s Jacobs banjo he was restoring, and then building a replica.
I became interested and attempted to build myself a simple instrument (actually the first one was a prop for a parade float, but could sort of be played). A few instruments later I had myself an almost playable 5 string banjo and set out to learn to play a tune. I bought some finger picks but soon decided I liked Clawhammer instead. Ended up hooked on Old Time. That was 2014. I keep on trying and now find myself trying to play my home made fiddle.
Not born into it, whatever that means, and I didn't listen to it then and don't listen to it now. My most hated tv show as a kid was Hee-Haw. I hated Lawrence Welk less. I'm not a consumer of old-time music.
Sounds like you're a little bit hostile to it. Hee Haw was way too heavy on the corn, but the hosts were very good players and I did watch it some. Laurence Welk seemed square to me, but I didn't really mind. I've looked at some replays recently and am in awe at how talented the performers on that show were. I miss that greatly how TV was live and real.
In my late thirties I started attending and then volunteering at our local Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival. Prior to that I'd been listening to public radio a lot and I'd heard Will the Circle Be Unbroken and I'd actually heard Vassar Clemmons in the late 70's, someone totally out of my little world. When we talk about OT as a genre, I got into it in my late 40's as I was learning to play mandolin. I hadn't been serious about playing anything since my early teens, so I had my work cut out for me and OT was just the thing. A friend who did grow up in the tradition was and has been very supportive in my artistic (ahem) endeavors. Mom loved to sing in the church choir until her late 70's. Then it was too hard. She still sings at home. It's usually something she liked from singing with the choir. I'm unaware of any music on Dad's side, and if he's representative, well, it don't look good. As an ordained minister, he'd learned in Seminary to really let it hang out when singing hymns and he certainly had the lungs for it, but most hymns tolerate enthusiasm well, so it worked. It didn't hurt that the organist wasn't afraid to pull the stops. My older sister hasn't played her viola in maybe 10 years. She rows competitively these days. Two of the regulars at our jams also row in a senior class and met her at a competition somewhere. She's from the East coast, and we're on the North freshwater coast, and the competition was somewhere else entirely. Maybe there's a connection, but it beats me.
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
To my knowledge, Granny's daddy played for square dances at the speakeasy in Murfreesboro's Black Cat Cave, which may have been called the Black Cat Inn or Black Eye Inn.
Thread drift, but that is really interesting. My sister is the director of Murfreesboro parks and rec and told me about the cave and it's history. Apparently it is on city park property and she was involved when human remains were found there a few years ago. Turns out they were Native American and control of the site has been turned over to MTSU.
I'm not hostile to old-time. I think the way it sounds at our jam is great and most recordings I've heard are pretty terrible. There are some groups I do like, like Spencer and Rains. I don't know if they are some kind of neo-traditional or if they are faithful to the original but they're way better than the old 78s you can hear on slippery-hill or anything on Hee Haw.
Not old-time specifically, but I was definitely born into music in general, and Irish traditional specifically. My dad was a button accordion and flute player. We had house sessions and at the time, there were a lot of other players around including several fiddlers. The fiddle was intriguing to me from the start but it took years, and a couple of other instruments before I finally picked up a fiddle. My mother was also a pianist and Borouque recorder player.
Edited by - mtnfidil on 09/24/2021 13:53:58
'Guitars at Irish sessions?' 14 hrs
'Years of IN-experience' 4 days