Hosted by:Brody Hunt
Land Of The Sky w/Brody Hunt is broadcast/recorded live on Sunday evenings 7-9pm Eastern.
Asheville Shellac Bash III is coming up this spring! May 3-4th, 2019. As usual, there will be expert collectors & researchers coming to Asheville from near and far around the globe!
Here’s the link to Land of the Sky after Shellac Bash show of 4.15.18 broadcast on Land Of The Sky. Including, among many others, our Mystery Guest, eight time Grammy nominee and legendary producer, Mr. Lawrence Cohn. Other notable guests are;
Tony Russell (London, UK) – Author of Country Music Records: A Discography 1921-1942 / Kinney Rorrer (VA) – Author of Rambling Blues: The Life & Songs of Charlie Poole / Russell Shor (CA) – Author, Journalist, & Co-Owner/Associate Editor of Vintage Jazz Mart / Marshall Wyatt (NC) – Founder & Owner of Old Hat Records / Paul Swinton (UK) – Owner Frog Records
Pack Square, and the Flat Iron Building with WWNC’s radio towers visible on the roof. WPVM’s home in the Public Service Building (built in 1924), is seen just to the left of the Flat Iron. This shot is about mid-1930’s I think.
Here’s a solid show I think, broadcast January 21st, 2018
The Asheville Shellac Bash II will soon be upon us! Join us April 13th & 14th and bask in the beauty of these records in person! Thanks to Lee Buckner at Image 420 for another great poster design.
All are welcome.
Notable attendees include the following, along with many more.
Tony Russell (London, UK) – Author of Country Music Records: A Discography 1921-1942
Kinney Rorrer (VA) – Author of Rambling Blues: The Life & Songs of Charlie Poole
Russell Shor (CA) – Author, Journalist, & Co-Owner/Associate Editor of Vintage Jazz Mart
Interspersed between listening to 78’s, film, and general clap trap about old recordings and musicians, will be short sets of live music.
Come join us for a night of exceptional music with extraordinary people.
1925 Okeh Recording Sessions In The Vanderbilt Hotel
From August 25th to September 2nd, 1925, legendary A & R man Ralph Peer and recording engineer Charles H. Hibbard led recording sessions for the Okeh label on the roof of the lavish and newly completed Vanderbilt Hotel. These were the first commercial recordings made in North Carolina, the only commercial recordings made in Asheville prior to WW2, and among the earliest recording ventures into the south made by a recording company. Still utilizing the mechanical acoustic recording process that would be gradually usurped by new electrical recording methods between 1925-27, most of the recordings are seldom heard today.
Known details of the sessions have appeared elsewhere, thanks to the research of Charles K. Wolfe and Tony Russell. Below, I’ll offer some of their work, some wonderful photos of the inside of the Vanderbilt Hotel upon it’s completion in ’24, and of course some label shots from my collection of the records made at the session.
Asheville’s only pre WW2 Jazz record, luckily it’s great. The final sides recorded in the Vanderbilt Hotel, Sept 2nd, 1925. All personnel unknown other than William Truesdale, Director. Foor-Robinson was the name of the company that operated the Vanderbilt, along with several other hotels.
Session list discography by Tony Russell. There is a theory that Charlie Poole might have come and recorded two sides at the sessions. See blank matrices above. If so, the recordings were not released and have never been found.
Lobby of the Vanderbilt Hotel circa 1924, much as it would have looked during the Asheville Sessions. I can’t help but imagine Ralph Peer, Ernest Stoneman, Emmett Miller, J.D. Harris and the others having exciting times here.
Various methods of passing the time in Asheville.
WWNC: Asheville’s Pioneering Radio Station
Wonderful Western North Carolina. I’m not an expert on the early history of station WWNC, and I have much more research to do on the subject, but bellow is some of what I do know. We are certainly fortunate the two photographs from the early days were captured. Thanks to my pals Marshall Wyatt (Old Hat Records) & Hunter Holmes for contributions to this research.
Inside the Vanderbilt Hotel, in Downtown Asheville, WWNC first signed on the air on the 21st of February 1927. The station would soon move to the nearby Flat Iron Building. I believe it would be the only radio station broadcasting from this area of North Carolina for some time. Jimmie Rodgers famously made his radio debut on the station, for a few weeks in May & June of 1927. Throughout the 1930’s, a parade of Country Music Pioneers, from near and far, would appear on the station. Including the first broadcasts of Bill Monroe in 1939. A few other artists to appear live on the air include J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, Walter Hurt & His Singing Cowboys, and Bill & Cliff Carlisle.
WWNC Ekko Stamp. Note “lightning” emitting from towers! Ekko Stamps were popular in the late 20’s & early 30’s.
WBT’s Crazy Barn Dance was rebroadcast on WWNC Saturday evenings. Shown above are Fisher Hendley, Wade Mainer, J.E. Mainer, Daddy John Love, & Zeke Morris
The Callahan Brothers (Homer & Bill) were one of the most prolific recording artists from the AVL area. They luckily left us with a vast repertoire of varied material, both solo and together. I try and play them quite a bit on LOTS. Here they are, along with a few label shots.
And here we have an amazing photo of Homer & Bill’s dad, Bert Callahan & Co. selling apples in Downtown Asheville, circa 1902. He was a postman of Wolf Laurel, NC, taught voice and piano, and was a farmer.
The great Jimmie Rodgers called Asheville home from Dec. 1926-July 1927, just prior to making his first recordings at Bristol TN./VA., becoming one of the planet’s biggest stars, & changing Hillbilly & Popular music forever. He made a single triumphant return to Asheville, in Dec. of 1929. Where he appeared for two nights at the City Auditorium. The original City Auditorium is pictured below, alongside of the Vanderbuilt Hotel, where the first commercial recordings made in North Carolina, were waxed by the Okeh label in the summer of 1925. America’s Blue Yodeler also made his first radio appearances on Asheville’s WWNC sation, in May & June of 1927.
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