Sunday, October 23, 2005

Martin, Bogan and Armstrong

I went to my storage unit today and retrieved what I believe to be the last of my album collection. Yes Joey, the ones we were looking for were in this box. So were a lot of other things I've been looking for.
I'm a big fan of Martin, Bogan & Armstrong. One of my all time favorite albums is their Barnyard Dance album. I have owned this album since it was released in 1972. Yes, this strange affliction with good music has been with me for some time now. Anyhow, I have been searching for the release of the CD. It never happened. I bought a compilation CD of theirs, but Barnyard Dance wasn't on it.
For those of you not familliar with Martin, Bogan & Armstrong, a little background is in order.

Carl Martin was born April 15, 1906 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. His fahter was a stone mason and fiddler known as "Fiddling Martin". At the age of 17 Carl moved to Knoxville to join his brother Rolan's band. While playing in Rolan's band he met up with Ted Bogan.

Ted Bogan was born May 10, 1910 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He taught himself to play finger-picked guitar by listening to Blind Blake and Leroy Carr records. He layed in a travelling medicine show run by a Canadian who called himself "Dr. Mines".

Howard Armstrong was born in Lafayette, Tennessee. He began playing fiddle at an early age. He took to the road at the age of 16 and joined up with Rolan Martin in Knoxville. Where he taught himself to play "anything with strings". He is a self taught man and speaks seven languages.

The three, along with Howard's brother L.C. formed the Four Keys String Band in Huntington, West Virginia in 1931. L.C. left to join a jazz band and the Four Keys became simply, Martin, Bogan & Armstrong. They played radio broadcasts, square dances, weddings, church picnics and taverns throughout the southeast and midwest to Chicago. It was in Chicago that they earned the admiration of Steve Goodman, who had them join him on his 1975 record Jessie's Jig and Other Favorites. Goodman went on to produce their That Old Gang of Mine

Black string band music from the 1920's and 30's by folks that were there and were still playing it into their 70's and 80's.

Martin, Bogan & Armstrong from their now out-of-print 1972 recording on Rounder.

Barnyard Dance

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is great that you found the
lost albums I know you must have been like
a kid at Christmas or like seeing some long lost
friends.

October 24, 2005 7:53 AM  
Blogger Arlo Muttrie said...

I saw those guys when I was sixteen, opening for Steve Goodman at Amazing Grace Coffee House in Evanston, IL.
I'll never forget it.

September 08, 2006 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a guitar student at the Chicago School of Folk Music in 1973. Martin< Bogan, and the Armstrongs played at our school for some nominal admission fee. What a great, great band. I remember the night fondly some 35 years later.

April 19, 2007 12:29 AM  
Blogger What's in a name... said...

Go to LouieBluie dot org and see what they are doing in his hometown.

February 22, 2008 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Hi there,

I was wondering if you would mind re-upping this album. I have been listening a lot to Louie Bluie and would love to hear this album, but am having trouble locating a copy.

Thanks!
Lauren

August 11, 2008 4:04 PM  

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