Voyager Recordings & Publications

CD 302: Comin' Round the Mountain

Liner Notes

1. COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN. Roy Caudill (banjo) and Henry Vanoy (fiddle). Roy Caudill was born near Sparta NC in 1892. At age 11 he began playing the banjo in a two-finger style, and later taught himself frailing style to provide rhythmic backup for square dancing. He came West in a covered wagon, homesteaded in Montana in 1916, and in 1942 moved to Seattle WA, where he worked as a carpenter. Henry Vanoy is one year older than Roy. He learned to play the fiddle in his home state of North Carolina. He lived in Montana for thirty years, where he learned to play the banjo, and lived near Arlington WA when this selection was recorded. He and Roy met at the 1961 Tarheel picnic in Everett WA, one of many such annual gatherings held by former residents of various states. Shortly afterwards, Roy recorded this selection, as well as Nos. 20, 30, and 34, on his home tape recorder.

2. I’LL LIVE IN GLORY Mills Family. Grady and Don Mills and their mother Lulla Bell, all from Sylva NC, have always sung together as a family. In the 1960’s they lived near Auburn WA.

3. TOM DOOLEY Henry Vanoy. Recorded at his home in 1962, along with selections No. 5, 12, 16, 18, and 25.

4. PRETTY POLLY Paul Wiley. Paul Wiley was born in 1935 in northeastern Kentucky, came to the Northwest in 1964, and raised his family in Alderwood Manor WA. His mother sang traditional songs, and his uncle, an older brother, and a sister all played the banjo. The unique ending of this version of Pretty Polly is the way Paul says he always used to hear it.

5. JOHNSON BOYS (fiddle). Henry Vanoy.

6. YOU GOTTA WALK THAT LONESOME VALLEY. Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson. Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson are both from Sylva NC. Together with a fiddler, they formed the Carolina Mountain Boys and played on the radio in Waynesville NC in the 1940’s. In the 1950’s they moved to Darrington WA, which has a large community of North Carolina transplants.

7. JOHN HENRY Paul Wiley. The banjo is tuned to f#BEAD.

8. OLD COON DOG Ellis Cowin. Ellis Cowin was originally from Van Buren MO, and learned to play fiddle at square dances, where he first heard this tune. This selection was recorded in 1966 at the Missouri picnic near Lynden WA, where Ellis lived at the time. With Phil Williams, banjo and Ivan Hart, guitar.

9. THE DRUNKEN DRIVER. Grady Mills.

10. CUMBERLAND GAP Paul Wiley. The banjo is tuned the same as for John Henry.

11. WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR SOUL. Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson.

12. CINDY. Henry Vanoy.

13. THERE’S A LIGHT AT THE RIVER Mills Family. (with Bill Pruett on bass).

14. LOST INDIAN Roy Caudill. Recorded by Irwin Nash in 1961.

15. YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson.

16. SAIL AWAY LADIES Henry Vanoy.

17. I CAN TELL YOU NOW THE TIME Mills Family (with Bill Pruett on bass).

18. SHORTENIN’ BREAD Henry Vanoy.

19. PAUL AND SILAS Carolina Mountain Boys. Recorded at the Darrington Timber Bowl festival in 1962 or ‘63, with Fred McFalls on banjo, Ben Bryson on mandolin, Grady Mills on guitar and lead vocal, Phil Williams on bass.

20. CRIPPLE CREEK Roy Caudill and Henry Vanoy.

21. BIG STONE GAP Paul Wiley. Paul learned this from his brother. The banjo tuning is fCFCD.

22. JUST ONE WAY TO THE PEARLY GATES Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson. Recorded in Darrington WA on home equipment in 1964.

23. CHICKEN REEL Ellis Cowin (accompanied by Ivan Hart). Ivan Hart is also from Missouri.

24. DOWN IN THE WILLOW GARDEN Paul Wiley.

25. SOLDIERS JOY Henry Vanoy.

26. LONELY TOMBS Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson.

27. EIGHT MORE MILES TO LOUISVILLE Bill Pruett. Bill Pruett started playing music as a small boy at his home between Sylva and Waynesville NC. Both his father and his grandfather, who was a circuit preacher, played guitar. Bill moved from North Carolina to Hamilton WA in 1958.

28. CUMBERLAND GAP Roy Caudill (banjo) and Henry Vanoy (fiddle). Guitar accompaniment is by Henry’s son Neil. This was recorded in Arlington WA in 1963.

29. SOME FORTY YEARS AGO Paul Wiley. This is the way Paul’s mother sang this song.

30. COTTON EYED JOE Henry Vanoy.

31. WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE PRETTY LITTLE SHOES Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson.

32. LONESOME ROAD BLUES Roy Caudill (with Fred McFalls on guitar).

33. SPRINGTIME IN HEAVEN Mills Family (with Bill Pruett on bass).

34. JOHNSON BOYS (banjo) Henry Vanoy.

Twenty of these selections were issued on Voyager’s 1969 LP “Comin’ Round The Mountain.” Except where otherwise indicated, selections were recorded in 1968 at concerts in Seattle sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

Cover photo of Roy Caudill and Henry Vanoy by Irwin Nash. Other photos by Irwin Nash and Phil Williams. Recorded by Phil Williams, Irwin Nash, and Roy Caudill. Re-mastered by Phil Williams. Notes by Phil and Vivian Williams.

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