This month at Maple Hall, our guest is multiple-Grammy nominee, Ted Olson, who graced us with a Zoom appearance back in April. Olson is a well-known music scholar—his recent work about Doc Watson, was nominated for two 2023 Grammy Awards—who recently produced Satan Is Busy in Knoxville, a CD that highlights the best of the Knoxville Sessions, the big comprehensive box set from Bear Family Records of the fascinating variety of music recorded at the St. James Hotel on Market Square in 1929 and 1930. That boxset was a big, gorgeous, expensive product, with a book Olson co-wrote. The alarming title track is one of two unforgettable songs recorded then by Knoxville cafeteria worker Leola Manning. Others on the CD include some early Big band jazz by Maynard Baird and His Orchestra, two jazzy string pieces by the Tennessee Chocolate Drops (featuring Howard Armstrong and Carl Martin), recordings by legendary duo Mac & Bob and influential fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson (a late-life recording by a guy who learned to play the fiddle during the Civil War), and Ballard Cross’s original version of “Wabash Cannonball.” Despite the city-specific title, last we heard, the record was very hard to find in Knoxville retailers earlier this year, but we hope to have copies for sale at this program. (Note: KHP’s Jack Neely contributed an essay to the liner notes.)
Free program. Food and drinks available for purchase.