Note: Texas Gladden talks with Alan Lomax about how she started singing. She explains that she wanted to make the songs sound pretty to her own ear and that the songs she learned as a young child have stayed with her.
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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