The other day I had the pleasure of acquiring a small selection of British records, which are always a treat for their diversity of content. Among my souvenirs was this one on the Broadcast Twelve label. Given that it is by an American artist, I first presumed that it was recorded in the United States and exported to the UK for pressing. However, I questioned whether Broadcast Twelve had ever even used imported masters, as some labels did, and I began to remember hearing about Carson Robison visiting Europe around the time the record was made.
Sure enough, in 1932, Carson Robison and his Pioneers embarked on one of the first country music tours of the British Isles, and Broadcast Twelve 3203 was recorded in London, England in May of 1932. Personnel includes Carson Robison on guitar, harmonica and vocal with John and Bill Mitchell on banjos and guitars, Frank Novak on string bass, and an unknown fiddle.
I don’t know why it is, but it seems like somehow American artists played with more vigor and gusto in recordings made while touring overseas.
On the first side, Robison’s Pioneers don’t disappoint with Stephen Foster’s “Oh! Susannah”, which features the Mitchell Brothers really tearing it up on their banjos. Seems to me, Carson Robison doesn’t get enough credit, the more I hear of him, the better I like his work.
“Sweet Virginia” can’t live up to the standard set by the “A” side, though it does feature a nice piece of Carson Robison’s whistling, and a vocal by Pearl Pickens.
Updated with improved audio on May 8, 2017, and on October 13, 2017.