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Linthead StompThe Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South$
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Patrick Huber

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832257

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807886786_huber

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Rough and Rowdy Ways

Rough and Rowdy Ways

Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers

(p.103) 2 Rough and Rowdy Ways
Linthead Stomp

Patrick Huber

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how, as early as 1924, the hard-drinking textile millhand Charlie Poole was already broadcasting his high-spirited, percussive dance music throughout the mountains of southwestern Virginia even before he appeared on radio or records. Besides performing for paying audiences at formal stage shows, the renowned five-string banjoist and his brother-in-law, fiddler Posey Rorer, often entertained in private homes for parties and dances around Franklin County, Virginia, where Rorer had been born and raised. Sometimes the duo “broadcast” using their host's hand-crank telephone, thereby sharing their music, via the telephone party line, with avid listeners in the community. During the mid- to late 1920s, even after he became one of Columbia's best-selling recording stars, Poole and his revolving ensemble of stringband musicians, the North Carolina Ramblers, regularly spent weeks playing the towns and villages of southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia, sometimes for paying audiences but most often just for the sheer pleasure of making music.

Keywords:   textile millhand, Charlie Poole, percussive dance music, Posey Rorer, Columbia, stringband musicians, North Carolina Ramblers

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