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date: 06 June 2020


  • Benjamin J. Harbert


Record label. Established in New York in 1963 by David Freeman, County Records has helped to preserve and disseminate old-time music through re-releases of prewar string bands and field recordings. The original LP anthologies brought together 78s from Freeman’s collection of 1920s music; these artists include The Skillet-Lickers, Charlie Poole, and Uncle Dave Macon. In 1964, Freeman worked with Charles Faurot, who collected field recordings of living banjo players who played in the older clawhammer style. The best known work to come from this County series is the three volume Clawhammer Banjo. These records of Southeastern clawhammer banjo became source material for a new generation of revivalists who otherwise would not have heard these musicians. The 15 musicians recorded include Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, and Wade Ward (the latter had also been recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1959). In 1974, Freeman relocated County Records to the small town of Floyd, Virginia and grew the label through retail mail order. The label continues to reissue old-time and bluegrass music digitized on CDs. They also sell related books and video....

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