Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dr. Smith's Champion Hoss Hair Pullers

Dr. Henry Harlin Smith was a surgeon for the Missouri Pacific Railroad who lived in the Calico Rock, Arkansas area. He was tired of the backwards image that most people had of his home region. He knew of the area's natural beauty and was always looking for ways to promote tourism. He also knew the area had a plentiful supply of talented musicians. As a way to promote the area and tourism, he organized a fiddle contest in Calico Rock in January of 1926. From the winners of the contest, he formed "Dr. Smith's Champion Hoss Hair Pullers". A unique, but fitting name, don't you think? Fiddle bows being strung with horse hair. He also assembled a group of vocalists from the contest and formed the "Hill-Billy Quartet". In 1926, the groups played on the radio and a series of concerts 180 miles away in Hot Springs, to help promote the Calico Rock area. They traveled to Memphis for a recording session in 1928. Their records really only sold well in their home county and by 1930 they had gone their separate ways.

Hoss Hair Pullers - Goin' Down The River.mp3

Hoss Hair Pullers - In The Garden Where The Irish Potatos Grow.mp3


Blogger countrygrrl said...

all this stuff was off course recorded without a 640000000 channel desk and all the gizmos of a modern studio, i would like to see Britney and Madonna try with one mike. love this stuff, will play it in my car and will sing along as i go merrily on my way, heeehaaaa!!!

March 09, 2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Your right Countrygrrl, no multi-track, no over-dubs. Most were recorded in hotel rooms, with a single microphone and were cut directly to a shellac disk. No second chance. Not many modern artists could match that!

March 09, 2006 6:54 PM  

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