Among the thousands of musicians active in the 1920s and '30s - what has been
called the "Golden Age" of country musica select few stand out as larger-than-life
figures. One of these is the North Carolina singer, banjo-picker and bandleader
Into an all-too-brief playing life he packed a wealth of songs that have been
enjoyed, reproduced and built upon by generations of later musicians. Many
of the numbers Poole originated or popularized such as "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down",
"There'll Come A Time", "If The River Was Whiskey" and "White House Blues", have passed
into the repertoires of country luminaries like Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe and
Ralph Stanley, and are staples of the bluegrass songbook.
Charlie Poole was not only a great country singer but a pioneering country banjo-player.
His three-finger picking style, virtually unique in his own day, was also
one of the formative sounds in the development of bluegrass.
Poole's North Carolina Ramblers have often been called the classic old-time stringband,
and their intricate texture of fiddle, banjo and guitar is one of the artistic
high points of early country music. With such superb musicians as the
fiddlers Posey Rorer, Lonnie Austin and Odell Smith, and guitarists Roy Harvey
and Norman Woodlieff, the North Carolina Ramblers were one of the best-loved
and most eagerly followed of all the old-time bands, both in person and
on their magnificent recordings.
Writing from the heart of "Poole Country", Kinney Rorrer tells for the first time,
the whole story of this remarkable man and his music. It's been said of Charlie Poole
that everyone who ever saw him, however briefly, has a story to tell, and the
book is crammed with first-hand anecdotes of Poole's rambunctious humor and rambling
ways. More than a hundred illustrationsmost of them never published beforeprovide
a unique pictorial history of Poole, his musical associates, and the cultural landscape
of the North Carolina piedmont. The book also includes the words of all
Poole's recordingsmore than 50 immortal old-time songs and balladsand a
Kinney Rorrer's book is the product not only of years of devoted research but
also of a deep and understanding affection for Charlie Poole's music and
personality. It must surely become the standard work on one of the most
fascinating, rewarding and lovable figures in the history of country music.