Note: Hobart Smith's first tune was "Walk in the Parlor." He discusses the instruments he learned to play, beginning with the "fire shovel" – the banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano, mandolin, French harp, organ.
About the session: In 1946 Alan Lomax invited the prolific ballad singer Texas Gladden of Saltville, Virginia, and her brother, multi-instrumentalist Hobart Smith, to perform with Andrew Rowan Summers and Jean Ritchie at Columbia University's McMillan Theater as part of a festival held by the university. During their stay in New York, Alan conducted extensive interviews with them Decca Studios—these interviews, as well as performances from that session, comprise this collection. Alan also introduced them to Moses Asch, who issued an album later that year on his Disc label (later Folkways) as "Texas Gladden Sings Blue Ridge Ballads." According to John Cohen, "Within a few years, Smith's guitar picking was heard in New York's Washington Square folk music scene, where 'Railroad Bill' was especially imitated."
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