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The Cumberland Trail is a 283-mile-long footpath along the eastern edge of the Cumberland Mountains, running from Cumberland Gap to Signal Point, just above Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Show host Bob Fulcher plays music made by folks who live within shouting distance of this trail. His aim is to represent the grassroots music of this 11-county corridor as realistically and fully as he can.
So, the Cumberland Trail presents the rarest recordings from our region, often never-before issued or broadcast. Low fidelity. Exquisite voices. A few mistakes? Electrifying, raw, brilliant performances for those who like the way our music really sounds. The Cumberland Trail features a lot of custom-pressed LP album cuts &emdash; the kind that Round Up and County Sales never got their hands on. We play custom 45s and cassettes &emdash; the kind that sold only a few hundred copies, or not even that many. Stuff that was recorded in small studios and basements in small towns or big cities. We feature home recordings made by families and “field recordings” made by professional folklorists &emdash; 78s, reel to reel recordings and home cassettes– that only exist as a single copies, stuff that was recorded in the living rooms, basements, and front porches everywhere in our region. Festival and concert recording make it on our show, too, from events in the Cumberland Mountains that bring out our best music, like the Mountain Opry in Signal Mountain, the Rocky Fork Jamboree in Morgan County or the Mountaineer Folk Festival at Fall Creek Falls State Park. And, we play the great music from the full-time professional musicians who were born and raised along the Cumberland Trail or live there now, folks like fiddling Curly Fox, Charlie Collins, Don and Earl, the Isaacs, and the commercial 78s, 45s, 33s, cassettes and CDs that have been produced of our semi-professional bands and players.
Bob Fulcher is the Park Manager of the Cumberland Trail State Park. He’s worked as a park naturalist and ranger for more than 25 years and loves the Cumberland’s above any other landscape on the planet. Since 1976, he has recorded and presented musicians from the Cumberland Mountains for the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessee Bureau of State Parks, and for County Records, the Tennessee Folklore Society label, and several other small labels. The Cumberland Trail radio program also keeps folks up-to-date on the work projects, as the Cumberland Trail continues to be built by volunteers from all over America, but, mostly, our own neighbors.
For more information about the Cumberland Trail, go to www.cumberlandtrail.org, www.friendsofthecumberlandtrail.org or call the office in Crossville, Tenn., at 931-456-6259. For great and rare old-time, bluegrass, gospel, rockabilly, balladry, vintage country, western swing, blues, folk, and more, from our backyard, from 1926 to 2000 and something, tune in The Cumberland Trail on Sundays at 8:30 p.m.