Release Date: 03/24/09
Pure Old Timey Pleasure
The recordings made in the 1930s by J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers are a link between the first wave of string bands and the post-WW2 Bluegrass movement. J.E. Mainer was born in North Carolina in 1898. Home was a one room cabin. JE's father worked cutting timber, for around $3 a week. The family to moved to Glendale, South Carolina, where Mainer senior sought the good pay offered by the cotton mills. The eight-year-old JE worked alongside him. By the time he was eleven, JE was playing banjo. By now Mainer senior had bought a thirty-acre farm. J.E. and a cousin played on Saturday nights to make extra money. At fifteen, JE move to Knoxville, TN. More work in cotton mills followed, music forgotten. His return to music followed an accident. A man carrying a violin was hit by a train. JE recovered the damaged fiddle, had it repaired and started playing it himself. By 1922 he was musically active again. He and his banjoist brother Wade joined with guitarist/vocalist Daddy John Love to form a group for casual work. Nevertheless, they were sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals. The Crazy Mountaineers appeared on several radio stations including the high-powered WBT in Charlotte, NC. Wider exposure resulted in a recording contract - with Bluebird. The ensuing years saw Mainer's Mountaineers records enjoying almost continual success - they recorded frequently and their product sold throughout the Depression. In spite of this success - and much radio work - he seems to have worked at a full-time job. One of the stations on which he played was the high-powered XERA 'border' transmitter based in Mexico - a confirmation and a reinforcement of success - some Border shows were heard in Canada. The Mountaineers disbanded at the outbreak of WW2, although JE continued to make records. Also in this collection are tracks by Daddy John Love, the Dixie Reelers and the Morris Brothers - a fabulous feat of String Band music.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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