This record features a pair of top-notch old-time fiddle and guitar duets, by the Stripling Brothers, Charlie and Ira, of Alabama; two of the most talented and outstanding artists of that genre. Today, I’m posting this fantastic disc in honor of the birthday of the legendary King of Record Collectors, Mr. Joe Bussard, who has for many years used “The Lost Child” as the theme for his radio program. This is one of a number of fairly hard to find and generally excellent records that I had the great fortune of uncovering in the backroom of one of my favorite record stores.
Melotone M 12181 was recorded November 15, 1928 at the Bankhead Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama by the Stripling Brothers: Charlie on fiddle and Ira on guitar. It was originally issued on Vocalion 5321, this issue dates to 1931.
This fine fiddlin’ tune, titled “The Lost Child” is used as the radio theme song for the esteemed collector (that’s an understatement) Joe Bussard’s radio show “Country Classics” on WREK 91.1 FM in Atlanta. It’s a masterpiece of hillbilly fiddle music, one of the best pieces I’ve heard.
Like the previous side, the reverse of this disc is a musical masterpiece, yet in spite of the outstanding musical content, I had some reservations about posting this record because of the unsavory and rather offensive title, “The Big Footed Nigger in the Sandy Lot”, for fear it might stir up controversy. Unpleasant as it is, such things come with the territory of eighty-some-odd year old music; my recommendation is just enjoy the music and ignore the title. It really is a beautiful melody, with outstanding fiddling by Charlie Stripling.
Updated with improved audio on June 23, 2017.