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COUSIN EMMY 'Cousin Emmy And Her Kinfolks 1939-1947' BCD-16853-CD


Leave it to Germany's amazing Bear Family label to come out with a project like this. Kentuckian Cousin Emmy (born Cynthia May Carver in 1903) did record an album (LP) with the New Lost City Ramblers in 1967 and took part in a well documented trip to Europe in the Spring of 1966, but really left us little in the way of recordings apart from a fascinating 78rpm album of traditional tunes that came out in 1947 --a strange time indeed for a country release as the golden years of old time music had come to an end by the late 1930s, and the revival of interest didn't start until the early 1960s. Thanks partly to some input from the noted song collector Alan Lomax, Decca Records issued the set of four 78rpm discs with a booklet: the tunes were traditional (FREE LITTLE BIRD, LOST JOHN, JOHNNY BOOKER, PRETTY LITTLE MISS OUT IN THE GARDEN, etc), and Emmy accompanied her singing with banjo mostly, though she added a couple of really nice harmonica tunes as well. In any case, Bear Family has re-issued these tunes & songs on this CD, but they have been able to come up with 3 radio shows from 1939-1940 from a Louisville radio station to beef up this CD, which has 38 tracks. In addition there is a wonderful 52 page booklet of notes by Jim Nelson and Mike Seeger. Cousin Emmy --who was still playing some gigs in the Los Angeles area in the 1970s --was quite a character by all accounts, and it's great to have this impressive package which nicely documents her career