Sunday, December 28, 2014

Delmore Brothers: Blues Stay Away From Me

The Delmore Brothers were one of the most important and influential acts from the early days of country music. The duo consisted of the brothers, Alton and Rabon Delmore, a pair of guitarist/vocalists who helped to pioneer the country music genre with their melding of gospel music, folk, and the blues. The brothers were born into poverty in Elkmont, Alabama.

The Delmore Brothers made their first recordings for Columbia Records, in 1931, and produced “I’ve Got the Kansas City Blues” and “Alabama Lullaby.” The duo continued to record until 1952, when Rabon Delmore died of cancer.

During their run, the Delmore Brothers recorded some of the all-time classics of country music including, “Blow Yo’ Whistle, Freight Train,” “When It’s Time for the Whippoorwill to Sing,” “Freight Train Boogie,” and “Blues Stay Away from Me.” The latter tune would be covered by later rockabilly performers Gene Vincent and Johnny Burnette, while “Freight Train Boogie” has been called the first rock and roll recording by some pundits.