Gilliand and A. On the first day, they recorded four sides, Arkansas Traveler, Apple Blossom, Forked Deer, and Turkey in the Straw, with Guilliand playing lead, and Robertson backing him up with rhythm and harmony in a manner that western fiddlers call "seconding," a technique not often found in traditional Appalachian fiddling. Victor quickly released a test pressing with Sallie Gooden on top, in "cross" tuning AEae , with Arkansas Traveler on the flip side.
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The test pressing proved popular, so in April, , Victor released a full pressing, which turned out to be a big seller. Four years before the Bristol Sessions, many consider this to be the first country music recording ever released. Robertson's remarkable variations are still widely imitated by fiddlers today. Eck Robertson's Sally Goodin, Sally Goodin is an almost universal tune, it has been long known throughout the South and West, from Texas to the Georgia Piedmont, and all the way up the Appalachians to at least Pennsylvania.
Over the rest of the decade, the golden era of old time music, Fiddlin' John Carson would record it for Vocalion in , Uncle Am Stuart would cut a version for Okeh in , G. Listen to Puckett's bass runs, they reportedly drove his musical companions crazy.
Went to the creek and the creek was muddy, So I kissed Sally Goodin' 'til she couldn't stand steady.
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If the Depression brought a temporary slowdown in commercial country music, it also saw the the first efforts to use the new recording technology to preserve traditional music by scholars. William H. Stepp's Sally Goodin. Two other cultural icons were recorded playing Sally Goodin in the 40s. Terry's harmonica work in his chuggin cross-harp country blues stlye is remarkably fiddle-like. Sally Goodin was also in the repertoire of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, and while he never released it comercially, a recording was made in October, , as part of a pre-recorded radio performance for the Tiffany Music Company of Oakland, California, the famous Tiffany Transcriptions.
Ahhh, Kelso! Like Robertson in , it would be the first recording session of his musical career. He would record two tunes that day; the first was Black Mountain rag, and the second, Sally Goodin. Mercury would release them on a 45rmp record a month later. I realize that Tommy Jackson is not much in favor among old-timey traditionalists today, but to a teenager just starting out on banjo, his energetic, pulsing style of country fiddling was an epiphany. He died in , at the age of Tommy Jackson's Sally Goodin, By , bluegrass music and bluegrass banjo had begun to make a good sized impression in American country music.
Mike Seeger, then just 23 years old and living in Baltimore, would make a collecting trip that year to the North Carolina Piedmont to record and preserve some of the three finger pickers who had preceded or were comtemporaries of Earl Scruggs, and who reflected the earlier tradition of three-finger picking that had inspired him. Listening to these recordings, you come quickly to realize that Earl Scruggs did not make up his style of picking out of whole cloth; the close similarity between his version of Sally Goodin and Jenkins' version is more than remarkable. I suspect that when you listen to Junie and Snuffy, you are getting an inkling of what the original legendary North Carolina three-finger stylists, Smith Hammett and Rex Brooks, probably sounded like.
I have included a tab of Snuffy's three-finger arrangement. Isham Monday's Sally Goodin, J. Over the years I've worked up at least a half dozen different versions of this tune. My first attempt was a simple Keith-style melodic rendition. Accurate, but no energy. Then came a subtly "chromaticized" version, with a few Bobby Thompson inspired flatted thirds.
The version from my ragtime period was heavy with syncopation and staccato Reno type single string notes. In my swing period, I had a version which inserted some of the notes from the standard Texas sock guitar progression- that was kind of interesting, although I could never play it fast enough.
Finally, I brought my Sally Goodin' back home to the feel of the old-time tune that, after forty some years, still drifts through my daydreams. Many of the popular Appalachian fiddle tunes like Sally Goodin can be easily distilled into a simple melody - they can be hummed, in essence. The extra melody notes are essentially embellishments, suggested as much by patterns of the bowstroke and the structure of the fiddle tuning, as by pure melodic invention.
Quite a few of these are among the so-called "play party songs," tunes which in the rural South of several generations ago would be sung by proper church-going young folks at social gatherings. The songs supplanted the fiddle, which was shunned as the devil's instrument, and provided musical accompaniment to an activity which to an outsider looked a lot like dancing, but wasn't, because that, too, was sinful.
Sally Goodin for Harmonica
So I went back to the simple melody of Sally Goodin, and the basic right hand rolls I first learned when I started out picking banjo. If anyone is interested, I have a tab posted at my website. The tab has guitar, fiddle, and bass tracks, as well as banjo, so you can also use the MIDI playback as a backing track in order to practice your own arrangement, shutting off the banjo track if it distracts you.
If you go through the TEF file, you can also adjust the tempo to suit you. For those of you who would like to try the tune, Mike Iverson has a nice looking intermediate clawhammer tab posted on his website to get you going. BHO member Janalov has a neat two finger, thumb lead version that is true to the flavor of the old time finger pickers. As you can see, I have not included any versions from BHO members, except one.
I thought I would let you all have the fun of posting your own. They are all good 'uns. I had a piece of pie, and I had a piece of pudding, I gave it all away, to see Sally Goodin. Don, perhaps a new high-water point for TOTW posts. Just terrific. I love the way you traced out the history of this tune. Going through the archives, I was surprised it hadn't been done before.
Now, I am very happy I didn't choose it because my effort wouldn't not have been anywhere near as thorough and well done. A wonderful TOTW write-up. You did all that and more. Thanks for all the research and work. Thanks, all, for the nice comments. Wow, Lew, I really love that rapping thump you get on your Sally, you nail the spirit of the thing perfectly. Great up the neck break, too. Great job, Don. I listened to all the links above and all put a smile on my face the Bob Wills was fun and unexpected.
But once again Dave Hum shows how to fill his music with pure joy.
What a talent, what a loss, and so glad that we have a record of his music. Don, I look forward to reading and listening to the entire post, but first decided to record one. You know it's a good rendition when the animals hang around , happy.
Sally Goodin - Guitar Compass
Here is a good one. Here's my TablEdit tab. It doesn't indicate hammer-ons, pull-offs, or alternate string pull-offs, but hopefully it will be helpful.
Very fine picking, Janet, nicely worked up and played. Thanks to you for your hard work laying out the history of the tune, and your kind words of encouragement. This exposure and listening to the Grand Ole Opry on local radio formed the basis of their early musical education. Carter sang and played guitar and when Ralph learned to play clawhammer style banjo from their mother, the brothers began performing locally as well. Upon graduation from high school in , Ralph was inducted into the army for a year.
Upon returning home, he immediately began performing with Carter, who by then was performing with the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys. The following year, the Stanley Brothers struck out on their own, forming the first lineup of the Clinch Mountain Boys. They initially drew on local traditional music, which featured the minor-key singing style of the Primitive Baptist Universalist Church, the sweet family-style harmonies of the Carter Family, and of course, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, and Earl Scruggs.
They soon became popular radio performers and began attracting attention for their buoyant, melodic style.