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HUSS CAUDILL 'The Prettiest Tune I Ever Heard' - FRC-747-CD

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These recordings were made in 1973 and 1974 as part of a year-long study of traditional music along the central Blue Ridge. I worked with my close friend Blanton Owen. We met Huston “Hus” Caudill (1884-1986) through his younger brother, Joe (1888-1980), who was a good fiddler and someone we knew from earlier fieldwork in the area. The Caudills, nearly all of whom were musicians, lived along the North Carolina/Virginia border just south and west of Galax. Their father, Sidney Caudill (1852-1936), was a fiddler of local renown, often compared to his contemporary Emmett Lundy (1864-1953), who lived not far away, in Delhart, Virginia.

Hus grew up playing the fiddle, and of all the Caudill children probably learned the most from Sid. This is significant because in many ways Hus’s playing bridges the gap between the older, more individualistic style of his father’s generation and the newer, more formulaic, banjo-fiddle ensemble music that was gaining popularity in and around Galax during the first years of the 20th century. Hus played both the old and new, and both are evident on this recording. He also clawhammered and two-finger picked the banjo, but an injury to his right hand shortly before we started visiting made it hard for him to play more than a few tunes. So it is the old melodies, the Sid Caudill-Emmett Lundy fiddle tunes, that form the bulk of the music on this album. A gentle man, we always looked forward to our time with him. Thank you again, Hus Caudill. — Tom Carter

1. Round Town Girls
2. Round Town Girls
3. Waves on the Ocean
4. Cacklin' Hen
5. Barbershop Tune
6. Traphill Tune
7. Talk about learning the Traphill Tune
8. Piney Woods Gal
9. Sally Ann
10. Belle of Lexington
11. Ebenezer
12. Chinese Breakdown
13. Fisher's Hornpipe
14. Rye Straw
15. Old Dad
16. The Wreck of the Old 97
17. Sally Ann
18. Talk about old banjos
19. Holly Ding
20. June Apple
21. Old Joe Clark (clawhammer)
22. Old Joe Clark (2-finger)
23. Pretty Little Girl
24. Little Maggie
25. Poor Ellen Smith
26. John Hardy
27. George Booker
28. Forked Deer
29. Holly Ding
30. Mississippi Sawyer
31. Ragtime Annie
32. John Henry
33. Marching to the White House
34. Little Stream of Whiskey
35. Greasy String 
36. Cluck Old Hen 
37. Talk about fiddle tunings
38. Old Joe Clark
39. Apple Blossom (June Apple)
40. Talk about the Rectors
41. Kingdom Coming
42. Walking in the Parlor
43. Arkansas Traveler
44. Billy in the Lowground
45. Cumberland Gap
46. I Don't Love Nobody
47. Cindy
48. Unnamed tune
49. Wild Goose Chase
50. Chinquapin
51. Piney Woods Gal