This book begins with the story of the Victor Talking Machine Company's field-recording session found on the front page of the Charlotte Observer on 9 August 1927. Victor's mobile crew traveled to Charlotte that August as part of a three-city field-recording excursion to the Southeast, and this recording session was to be the first ever held in this important southern commercial and industrial hub. Charlotte sits at the center of the Southern Piedmont, a crescent-shaped region of rolling hills between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic coastal plain that extends southward from Richmond, Virginia, through the central Carolinas and northern Georgia, to Birmingham, Alabama. By 1927, when Victor's field-recording crew arrived in Charlotte, this region, the most urban and heavily industrialized area of the American South, reigned as the world's leading textile-manufacturing center.
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