J.E. Mainer and his Mountaineers were one of the most important string bands of the 1930s and were the missing link between old-time and bluegrass. J.E. Mainer was born in North Carolina and music was a good alternative to the hard-working life in the Carolina mills. He first played at local dances and the formed a band with his brothers. In the 1930s, he was a regular on WBT and recorded for Bluebird during the decade. The 1940s saw him working for King Records of Cincinnati, Ohio. With popular country music in great deman, there was no place for old string band music and Mainer returned to make only local appearances. The 1960s gave him a new audience and he became famous among the folk music fans. He recorded several albums and played the big folk festivals until his death in 1971.
Here are some of Mainer's good tunes, compiled from various sources:
1. John Henry was a Little Boy
2. Yodeling Mountaineer
3. Country Blues
4. Hop Along Peter
5. Poor Drunkard's Dream
Uncle Gil over at the Rockin' Archives blog has a good collection of Mainer's recorded work. Highly recommended!