Original Hillbillies

The North Carolina Jazz Band, otherwise known as The Original Hillbillies, starred in this Vitaphone short, which came out in March of 1929. They perform several songs including “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,”  “By the Old Oaken Bucket,” and “Wasn’t She a Dandy?” The saw is at the beginning and you can see that the saw player uses the up stroke bowing technique. He has a fine tone and the saw adds a lot to the song.

You can also hear Frank Wilson play steel guitar on one of the songs. He was “a North Carolina textile-mill-worker who recorded with three different string bands in Ashland, Kentucky and New York City from 1928-29.” He was a gifted musician who could play a variety of instruments. The steel guitar is a perfect complement to the sound of a saw.



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Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.