Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
• Update on Les Randall acetate.
• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mike Whitten day

Mike Whitten may not be one of the popular Atlanta old-time musicians - in fact, he isn't even more than a footnote in the history of Old-Timey in Atlanta. Though, Whitten recorded and played with some of the most influential and popular artists in that area, including Clayton McMichen and Lowe Stokes. Where, when and to whom Whitten was born is not known. As far as I'm concerned, he had two brothers by the names of Charles ("Charlie") and W.S., who also were active as musicians. It's probable that Mike was a frequent participant in the Atlanta Fiddlers' Conventions and he first appeared on the scene in 1922, when he had his first radio broadcast as a member of Clayton McMichen's Home Town Boys. During the next years, Whitten remained a member of the Home Town Boys and recorded in the second half of the 1920s also with Lowe Stokes. It's possible that Whitten also played on tours with the Skillet Lickers, but I have no info on that. After 1930, he vanished from the radar. I don't no where or when he died.
The picture shows (from left to right): Charlie Whitten (tenor banjo), Clayton McMichen (fiddle) and Mike Whitten (guitar) in the WSB studio on September 18, 1922, before or after their first radio broadcast. Missing in the picture are Boss and Ted Hawkins, who also were part of the Home Town Boys at that time and who also took part in that particular radio appereance.

Here are two songs Whitten recorded with Lowe Stokes:

1. Katy Did
2. Take Me Back to Georgia


MandoRev said...

That is probably not a tenor bano but a banjo mandolin since it has eight tuners and not four. Still a cool picture.


Harlan Taylor said...


Thank you very much for your site. I especially enjoy all of your old-timey posts like this one and the information you provide with the music. Where else can a guy go to get Lowe Stokes, Hoyt Ming and Gwen Foster? Truly outstanding.


Mellow said...

Thanks very much Harlan, I do my best!

thanks for the info! I first thought of a banjo mandolin, too, but wasn't sure. Thanks for the correction.