Cliff Carlisle, A Country Legacy 1930-1939

Ed Ward

By Ed Ward

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Q: Why are there steel guitars in country music?

: Naked ladies. A huge fad for Hawaiian music spread through the United States in the '20s, and Hawaiian bands — with scantily-clad hula dancers — were a big draw in vaudeville and tent shows. As a result, a lot of people started using slides on their guitars, and Cliff Carlisle was one of the first. His career was overshadowed by Jimmie Rodgers', but he was an important performer in his day, and this collection shows why: bluesy, semi-risqué songs alternate with sentimental and religious numbers — something, as they used to say, for the whole family!