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, December 9, 2010

Charlie Oaks day

Recently, a Charlie Oaks 78rpm popped up on Allen's Archive of Old and Early Country Music, so I decided to give you some information on Mr. Oaks. Although Charlie Oaks was living in Tennessee most of his life, he was perhaps born in Kentucky. Like his fellow Vocalion buddy George Reneau, Oaks was a minstrel singer, appearing on street corners in Knoxville, Tennessee, with guitar and harmonica. In 1925, he made his first recordings for Vocalion and cut numerous sides for the label. He was one of those performers who specialized in "event" songs about train wrecks, murders, and storms. "The Death of William Jennings Bryan", "The John T. Scopes Trial", "The Death of Floyd Collins", and "Little Maggy Phagan" were such songs recorded by Oaks. The last two songs were extremely popular, for "Floyd Collins" was composed and recorded by Andrew Jenkins while "Little Maggy Phagan" was a Moonshine Kate original. Oaks later also cut some sides for Victor as the "Oaks Family". Eventually, he ended up playing on the streets of Knoxville with his wife. Although he had an extensive recording ouput, he never rose to fame. It's not known to me when he died.

Here is his recording of "The John T. Scopes Trial"

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