Found this at the same place I found the McCoury record – local (and yearly) fundraising record sale from our local NPR outlet, Capitol Public Radio. I kinda messed up this year, blew it off after being incredibly disappointed last year. Then I heard, after it started and before it finished, that it was actually really good this year. In retrospect, totally stupid that I didn’t go for the preview party. But hey, I do enough stupid stuff that I’ve come to accept it as part of, ummm, me and can make peace with it pretty easily. So…I mosied down there the last day of the same and actually found some cool stuff. My main takeaway from the experience – folks don’t seem to be down with the bluegrass. Hey, their freaking loss.
Case in point – this 1972 Stanley Brothers (Of Virginia) album on County Records. Stanley as in Ralph. And Carter. Crazy story about this record – this was one of four albums that the group recorded for Wango Records in the early 60’s. Wango was basically the work of one guy, dude named Ray Davis, who had an almost-daily two-and-a-half hour radio show in the Baltimore area, broadcasting directly from the lot of “Johnny’s Used Cars”. Johnny Wilbanks, of “Johnny’s Used Cars, was a fan of gospel bluegrass and the lone sponsor of the radio show. Johnny was such a fan that, in addition to having a daily radio show broadcast from his lot, he would also hire bluegrass bands for a week at a time, and said bands would play live throughout the week and, if interested, could also record music in a second story 10×12 studio, also located on the premises. Damn…that is a moonshine still away from a really, really good time.
So…the Stanley Brothers just happened to be between record contracts when they arrived for their week at, ummm, Johnny’s. And this is the first of what would eventually be four records recorded for Wango, though none ever saw a proper release as they were never sold in stores, but instead issued strictly for special radio offers, without actual jackets. (And, in this specific case, there are no Carter vocals, as he was having laryngitis issues). In 1972, County bought the rights to these recordings and subsequently issued all four records for public consumption. Pretty damn cool. Let’s all tale a moment and be thankful for that time in history in which labels truly cared about music, and the preservation of that music. Amen. (I know, I know…some still do. Amen for them as well).
Outside of a lightly bent upper right corner on the beautiful textured jacket w a paste-on back sleeve, this is pretty sweet looking. Ad the vinyl is in super lovely near mint condition. So yes, rare and in killer shape. $30.