Sunday, February 16, 2014

Delmore Brothers: Trouble Ain't Nothin' but the Blues

Born the eighth and tenth children of tenant farmers, Alton on Christmas day, 1908, and Rabon on December 3, 1916, the Delmores grew up on various red dirt farms across Limestone County, Alabama, just south of the Tennessee line. Raised on hard work, hard times, and southern values, the Delmores spent what little spare time they had enjoying the wealth of string-band music and gospel singing that came with that particular territory.
Native Ground gives us the background to the Delmore Brothers, and Wikipedia tells us about their musical career:
The Brothers did their first recording session for Columbia in 1931, recording "I've Got the Kansas City Blues" and "Alabama Lullaby," which became their theme song. They signed a contract with Victor's budget label Bluebird in 1933 and became regulars on the Grand Ole Opry. Within three years, they had become the most popular act on the show. Disagreements with Opry management led to the brothers leaving the show in 1939. While they continued to play and record music throughout the 1940s, they never achieved the same level of success they had with the Grand Ole Opry.
If rock and roll was born out of White country music and Black rhythm and blues, the sound of the Delmore Brothers suggests that the two forms of music were already closely allied in the 1930s.

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