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"CRAZY BARN DANCE:" Bluegrass Roots on Carolina Radio 1933-1940

Ever wonder what radio sounded like in the early days of the industry, long before TV and the internet? 

This is your chance to hear original recordings from a Saturday-night radio show born in North Carolina that showcased some of the greatest string bands and brother duets of the Depression era and influenced countless musicians for decades to come. Today’s bluegrass and country music owes a huge debt to these pioneers of early radio, first sponsored by a patent medicine called “Crazy Water Crystals.”

Your donation will help Old Hat Records and PineCone produce a two-CD anthology of this vital and exciting music, complete with period illustrations and extensive historical notes written by Patrick Huber, author of Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South.

Crazy Barn Dance will be a compilation of records from the string bands that played on radio shows on WBT Charlotte and WPTF Raleigh in the 1930s. There was a show every Saturday night called The Crazy Barn Dance sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals, a product from Texas that was sold as a cure for a variety of diseases. A lot of bands that had the word “crazy” in their names, like Mainer’s Crazy Mountaineers, were sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals.

At this early stage of production, your gift will specifically be used to help cover costs related to analog-to-digital re-mastering of 48 sides from the original 78 RPM discs, totaling $2,880.

To make a donation to this CD project, you must visit PineCone's profile on Power2Give.org, a new fundraising platform to support arts projects in Wake County. Special donor benefits apply:

$25:  Recognition in PineCone's print newsletter, The Traditional Review, and on PineCone's website
$100:  Handwritten thank you card from a North Carolina bluegrass musician
$250:  Invited to tour a professional radio station studio
$500:  Invited to tour a professional recording studio

Sample: JE Mainer's Crazy Moutaineers singing "Let Her Go God Bless Her," with images courtesy of Old Hat Records (youtube link)

Learn more about Raleigh's WPTF history (excerpt from String Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont, by Bob Carlin)

Learn more about WBT Charlotte

Early country music history & WBT


About Power2Give.org

Power2give.org is an online cultural marketplace designed to connect donors with projects they are passionate about. Arts organizations will list needs for a specific project– for example, metronomes for musicians from low income families or costumes for an upcoming production. People visiting the site will then be able to pick a need that interests them and make a donation. Projects range from $100 - $2500 to fit all budgets.

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