References to mountains and the Appalachian States have run rampant in old-timey and bluegrass music since at least the very first recordings of these genres, in some cases providing valuable clues for researchers trying to find out more about historic bands, in some cases not. Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers is a good example of the latter phenomenon, leading musicologists to dally in the hollows and valleys of Kentucky when they should really have been out in Fresno, CA.
Founded by John Crockett, who was originally from West Virginia, this family band was part of the initial clutch of string bands from the West Coast that were recorded in the late '20s and early '30s for enterprising labels such as Gennett. The group cut nearly two dozen different sides -- mostly featuring the vocals of the leader, whose nickname was apparently "Dad." Other members of the Crockett family were highlighted on fiddle, guitar, and banjo, as well as novelty instruments such as "bones" and the "Jew's harp" or rook. Collectors have slowly assembled a nearly complete collection of recordings by the group, with the Paramount side entitled "Take Me Back to Old Kentucky" considered most rare. Most typical of this group's repertoire are a "Medley of Old Time Dance Tunes" and interpretations of standards such as "Skip to My Lou." "Fresno Blues," arranged as a simple guitar duet, was the group's most unusual recording as well as the one that eventually helped researchers determine the group's home base. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi