I am just listening to examples from a site dedicated to American Oldtime Music:
ROOTS OF AMERICAN FIDDLE MUSIC – Old Time Music Recordings, Photos, And Information
On this homepage you can read:
Early recorded country music of the 1920’s and 1930’s, particulary of the southeastern states, is what is commonly referred to as “old time music”. The stringband tradition composed often of banjos, fiddles, and guitars flourished for a brief time as the recording industry cashed in on the many country musicians eager to strut their stuff in the recording studio. The industry went on to make millions as the vast majority of these recording artists received very little return for their efforts.
At the moment 120 free mp3 of oldtime tunes are available for free download. This is a great opportunity to learn oldtime music from the original recordings!
There are even some videos with rare shootings of oldtime music. Those can be found in the youtube chanel of OldTimeMusic.
Here are two very interesting examples:
Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith plays TURKEY IN THE STRAW -1948
Here is another Jimmy Wakely B western with the great Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith doing his thing. This time its the classic fiddle tune Turkey in the Straw and a great version it is. This video is from 1948.
Orange Blossom Special by Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith
Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith was a key figure in the transition from the 1920’s string band style to the more daring and improvisational techniques employed by all bluegrass fiddlers to this day.
This video I believe to be the first airing of this clip of Artur Smith playing and singing the now famous Orange Blossom Special. This clip is from the original 1945 Lonesome Trail cowboy B western starring Jimmy Wakely.
Several more clips of Arthur Smith from original movies made between 1945-1948 will follow.
Another youtube channel has several recording from the 1920s with Charlie Bowman:
Charlie Bowman and His Brothers
Charlie and the boys perform Money in both Pockets, Boys my moneys all gone in the comedic Moonshiner and His Money. Columbia Records 1st mountain music/country music genre recording.
youtube channel of OldTimeMusic: http://www.youtube.com/user/OldTimeMusic
youtube channel of cabinbowman: http://www.youtube.com/user/cabinbowman
Yesterday I accidentally found a video with the tune Ashokan Farewell. I had previously heard this melody, but I have never really dealt with it. But now I want to show this melody to our fiddle player, and I have searched for more videos with this tune.
When you hear Ashokan Farewell you might think that this is a traditional Irish tune, but that is not the case.
Jay Ungar und Molly Mason
Ashokan Farewell was composed by Jay Ungar in 1982. Jay Ungar and his Wife Molly Mason are playing american roots music since the late 1970s and have organized fiddle and dance camps. Ashokan Fawell was used in a TV Series about the American Civil War and is a tune that is obviously known by many Americans. The music for this TV series has even won a Grammy award, and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.
This information and more can be found on the homepage of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason jayandmolly.com : Ashokan Farewell FAQ
Sheet music of this tune can be found at thesession.org: Ashokan Farewell – the session
Now let’s start with the videos. As this blog is mainly about plucked instruments, I will start with a version played on the guitar:
Ashokan Farewell – guitar
Fiddle tune by Jay Unger that was featured in the Ken Burns documentary about the American Civil War. I found this arrangement for guitar on the internet credited to Denny Straussfogel. Nice work, Denny.
Ashokan Farewell – Slide Guitar
Ashokan Farewell – The Richardsons
An interesting version with four violins played by the Richardsons – the youngest of them is just 12 years old:
Playlist Ashokan Farewell
A playlist with those and many more videos of Ashokan Farewell (including also some versions played on the mandolin). The first video of this playlist is a version by Jay Ungar, where he tells about how he invented this beautiful melody after a summer fiddle camp in Ashokan:
CD tip (amazon partnerlink)
Ashokan Farewell . Beautiful Dreamer (Songs Of Stephen Foster)
– Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Thomas Hampson, David Alpher