Carl Story on Bear Family

On March 31 we noted that the release of a box set of Carl Story recordings was to be released imminently.

We are now pleased to be more precise and report that Carl Story Bluegrass, Gospel and Mountain Music 1942-1959, a 4-CD box set (Bear Family Records BCD 16839 DK), is to be released on August 29.

Story, the last major bluegrass artist to be feted by Bear Family Records, recorded for Mercury, before switching to Starday Records, moving on to Columbia Records and back to Mercury and then Starday during the era concerned. All of those recordings, plus some ultra-rare radio and home recordings from 1942, are among the 134 tracks in this collection.

Not quite given the credit, hitherto, that he deserves, he was a true bluegrass pioneer; his Rambling Mountaineers included such luminaries as Red Rector, Tater Tate, Claude Boone, Bobby Thompson, and Bud and Willie Brewster; all of whom are heard on these recordings.

Carl Story began his career in the flourishing Knoxville scene and carved out a niche‚ as the ‘Father of Bluegrass Gospel’ music. Recordings of songs like Light At The River, Family Reunion, I’ve Found A Hiding Place, Keep On The Firing Line, My Lord Keeps A Record, He Will Set Your Fields On Fire, Gone Home, Angels Rock Me To Sleep and Are You Walking And Talking For The Lord explain why he was so dubbed by an Oklahoma Governor.

The set also includes a 112 page book with a biography by Colin Escott and a comprehensive discography compiled by Neil Rosenberg and Eddie Stubbs.

Footnote: In 2005 Bear Family Records released an 18-track set of Story’s recordings from the early 1950s: Lonesome Hearted Blues (BCD 16689 AH).

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.