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Banjo Tunes and Songs

Banjo Tunes and Songs

In 1957, archivists Art Rosenbaum and Ed Kahn traveled to Hamilton, Kentucky, to look for Pete Steele, a singer and banjo player they had heard on Alan Lomax’s recordings from the 1930s. In the next few months, Kahn recorded Steele playing and talking about his music, and the resulting album, Banjo Tunes and Songs, showcases Steele’s unique two- and three-finger banjo picking style. Included on the album are Steele’s two best known songs, which he learned from his friend Andy Whitaker during his coal-mining days: “Coal Creek March” and “Last Pay Day at Coal Creek” are both written about strikes and disasters at the mine in Coal Creek, Tennessee.

The album also includes Pete’s wife, Lillie Steele, singing two a cappella songs.

Track Listing

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101
Poor Ellen Smith Pete Steele 1:45
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102
Little Birdie Pete Steele 2:24
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103
Train A-Pullin' the Crooked Hill Pete Steele 2:17
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104
Galilee Pete Steele and Lillie Steele 2:55
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105
The Unclouded Days Pete Steele and Lillie Steele 1:20
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106
Shady Grove Pete Steele 1:26
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107
The Song of Hard Times Lillie Steele 2:47
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108
Goin' Round This World, Baby Mine Pete Steele 1:15
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109
East Virginia Pete Steele 2:59
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110
The Cuckoo Lillie Steele 0:26
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111
The War is A-Ragin' for Johnny Pete Steele 2:11
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112
Coal Creek March Pete Steele 2:20
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113
Last Payday at Coal Creek Pete Steele 3:03
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114
Ida Red Pete Steele 1:18
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115
Pretty Polly Pete Steele 4:10
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116
The Scoldin' Wife Pete Steele 1:33
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117
House Carpenter Pete Steele and Lillie Steele 3:34

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