Vinyl Frontier Playlist, Sunday 7/21/13

Vinyl Frontier Playlist, Sunday 7/21/13

Don Gibson & King Cotton Kinfolks- Carolina Breakdown (RCA Victor) 1951

Old Time Tunes

Clayton McMichen & Georgia Wildcats- Wild Cat Rag (Columbia)1931

Sam McGee- Knoxville Blues (Vocalion) 1926

Two Poor Boys- Old Hen Cackle (Perfect) 1931

Real Country Music

Blue Sky Boys- Kentucky (RCA Victor) 1947

Armstrong Twins- I Wonder Where You Are Tonight (Four Star) 1950

The Armstrong Twins: Floyd, left and Lloyd, right

Harry Truman said, “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” I guess that makes the Armstrong Twins a new group, for me anyway.  Floyd played guitar and sang lead and Lloyd played mandolin and sang the harmony part. Lloyd played guitar as well, but switched to mandolin when the boys father “…took me to the Square Deal Pawnshop .  I’ll never forget It .  Daddy took me over there and had me to pick something out.  They had a whole row up on top.  I said I’ll take that little thing right there.  I didn’t even know what it was.  It’s a wonder I didn’t pick out a tuba.  It just happens that a mandolin goes with the guitar.”

Rebe & Rabe- Helen (Tennessee) 1952

Rare Bluegrass

Chief Powhatan- Are You Lonesome Tonight (Salem) 1965

Chief Powhatan- Rosie (Salem) 1965

 chief powhatan


If staying power made stars, bluegrass musician Chief Powhatan would be in the hall of fame. But it doesn’t and he isn’t. For 45 years he’s played everything from pastoral college picnics to the smokiest Southern roadhouses with only one regret: “If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t do the rough places,” he said. Oh, the drunks he’s seen and the fights they’ve fought — sometimes with him. Like the time he defended himself from two troublemakers with his feet because he didn’t want them to break his new Gibson guitar, which occupied his hands. Two gut kicks did the trick, he said with a grin. “There’s things I would turn down now that I couldn’t turn down 40 years ago,” said Powhatan, who’s 65 and barrel-chested as ever. “But I’ve seen it all.” Chief Powhatan’s real name is Floyd Powhatan Adkins. Raised by Chickahominy parents in Providence Forge, Adkins taught himself to play the guitar by watching others. He took the stage for the first time when he was 13 and hasn’t stepped down since. At 8 p.m. Friday, Chief Powhatan and his Bluegrass Braves will perform at the Chesterfield County Fair, an event he has played many times over the years. There won’t be any heavy smoke or airborne beer bottles, just the Chief and his band of pickers. Best known and recognized for the colorful Indian headdress he wears over his shaven head, Adkins said, “People have told me, `Powhatan, don’t you ever rob a bank in Virginia because they’d find you in a second.’ People never forget me.” Indeed, he’s one of a kind in these parts. Drafted in October 1945, Adkins was stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., where he was inspired to write his one and only hit — a heartbreak ballad called “Rosie,” which was about a soldier’s sorrow after reading a Dear John letter. That soldier was really a man in Adkins’ unit, and Adkins said the song practically wrote itself. Released almost 20 years later in 1964 on the Salem label, “Rosie” was a regional success. “You couldn’t find a jukebox between Roanoke and Winchester that didn’t have it,” Adkins said. “I had 10 or 11 states that really played it, like the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa and Kentucky.” A recent royalty check totaled $17, so “Rosie” is still being played somewhere, said Adkins, whose last album came in 1972. Adkins became a truck driver after his military discharge and scheduled performances for his layovers, playing nights through Tennessee and Virginia and driving freight all day. “You could go into any town and find a band to play with you in 30 minutes,” he said. Now, five days a week, Adkins is a cashier at the Crown gasoline station across from Cloverleaf Mall. “I bet five people don’t know my real name at that company and I’ve been working for them since 1976,” he said. Over the years, he said, he’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He includes many of the Grand Ole Opry stars’ songs in his act. Slowed by chronic sinus problems and a delicate throat, and living on one kidney since 1986, Adkins said, “Many times on stage you are so sick you can hardly perform . . . but I don’t think there’s anything that compares with the applause.” So Chief Powhatan lives comfortably in South Richmond and plays on into his 60s. Still touring as far south as Florida, Adkins said he will perform as long as his health allows and the public wants his brand of bluegrass music. When people come up to the bandstand after his show to say they liked it, “that’s your pay right there.” (Chief Powhatan did release at least one LP after 1972, entitled “More in ’84.” – ed)

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH Copyright (c) 1992, Richmond Times-Dispatch Wednesday, August 26, 1992 By John Maloney. Accessed 7/19/13,!topic/alt.appalachian/846zfz96LyI Originally online at Guv Bob Report.

Church Brothers- A Sweeter Love I’ll Never Know (Rich-R-Tone) 1950 Lucky Chatman & Ozark Mtn Boys- Blue Grass (Maryland) 1957 (John Duffy’s first record)

Jazz The World Forgot

Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats- Horse Feathers (Van Dyke) 1930 Henry Red Allen- It Should Be You (Victor) 1929


Frank Hart- I’d Rather Lose My Life Than Jesus (Twin City) unknown year

Red Rector -  Shout and Shine (from the LP “Ballads and Instrumentals” on the Old Homestead label) 1973

Frank Hart – I Realized Last Night I Was Lost (Twin City) unknown year