Archive of country, western, and bluegrass radio performers and shows, circa 1930s

N.p. N.p., Circa 1930s. Archive detailing country, western, and bluegrass performers and radio programs broadcast in the New England area in the late 1930s and early 1940s, with dated material ranging from 1937 through 1942, consisting of photographs or postcards of performers, correspondence from radio stations, and handwritten documentation about radio programs and performances. The archive was compiled by a teenage girl, identified as Frances Fernald of Dover, New Hampshire, and is highly organized and detailed, showing an active participation as a fan of what was then a burgeoning music scene.

The archive contains over 70 publicity photographs or photographic postcards of performers, some of which are signed or inscribed to Fernald. The images appear to focus heavily on performers in the New England region, although musicians from the expected areas of the American South, such as North Carolina and Kentucky, are represented. Many of the performers are obscure or appear lost to history altogether, but notable entries include Tex Fletcher, "The Sweethearts of Country Music" Lulu Belle and Scotty (as well as an unknown earlier appearance of Lulu Belle performing alongside Uncle Lem and His Mountain Boys), Bradley Kincaid, and New England country music legends Ken MacKenzie and Georgia Mae Harp, the "yodeling cowgirl of Massachusetts."

Other regional New England performers include Smiley and Sue, Jerry and Sky, Duke and His Swingbillies, Curly Joe of Curly Joe and the Roving Ramblers, and Al Rawley's Wild Azaleas, while the greater country music scene is represented by musicians such as Blue Grass Roy, Pie Plant Pete and Bashful Harmonica Joe, Jimmie and Dick (later of The Novelty Boys and Cora Deane), and Jimmie Packard.

Also included are over 30 letters or response cards, both typed and handwritten, from performers, radio personalities, or stations replying to requests or letters send by Fernald, demonstrating her active participation in the popular country music scene that flourished in New England at this time.

In addition to the photographs, postcards, and letters, a large part of the archive is documentation generated by Fernald herself, including both handwritten and typed lists featuring names of radio programs, with DJs and performers, broadcast times, and station call letters all noted, a separate list of musical acts or shows, with performers' individual names and theme songs included, a dated list of Fernald's favorite programs, noting which songs were performed, running irregularly from July 10, 1937 to January 18, 1942, transcribed song lyrics, two typed drafts of a short biography of Montana Slim, and a list of performers' birthdays.

Finally, the archive contains numerous clippings from local newspapers, and well as a separate group of over 30 pieces of published sheet music.

Material generally Very Good or better, housed in a contemporary faux-leather three ring photograph album, and mounted to black construction paper with photo corners.


[Book #145174]

Price: $3,500.00