10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters
This was a night of string band music, highlighted by a “show within a show” that focused on the musical genius of Charlie Poole (1892-1931), often dubbed the “Robert Johnson of country music.”
The “show within a show” was a one-hour documentary prepared by the good folks at Joyride Media and hosted by musician Laura Cantrell and featuring commentary from music historians Henry “Hank” Sapoznik and Kinney Rorrer and demonstrations and explanations of Poole’s unique banjo style by Bela Fleck and Tony Trishka.
The documentary was produced to promote Columbia/Legacy Record’s release of a 3-CD box set, “You Ain’t Talkin’ To Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music.” The set, which includes rare tracks by Poole’s heroes and performers he influenced, is one of the most comprehensive review of Poole’s music ever released.
I programmed classic and contemporary string band “bookends” at both ends of the special.
Charlie Poole lived a relatively short life because of his hard living and hard drinking. He was a legendary banjo player and songwriter who, with his trio, The North Carolina Ramblers, wrote and recorded country music’s first mega-hit record, “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.” Later landmark work by Bill Monroe and Hank Williams bears a direct connection to Poole’s music.