Steel guitarist. Born March 22, 1911. Died June 18, 1989. Full name: Cecil Robert Campbell. Early country performer based at WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, 1930s-1950s. Member of Dick Hartman’s Tennessee Ramblers, a group he later headed. Recorded for several labels, including Bluebird and RCA. His instrumental compositions include “Hawaiian Skies,” and “Beaty Steel Blues.” Retired from performing in 1958.
1982 September 7
(1 hour, 33 minutes)
Steel guitar pioneer Cecil Campbell recalls his career as a performer during the 1930s and 1940s. Discussion includes his interest in playing the steel guitar and Hawaiian music; early musical influences of his group, the Washboard Wonders; working with early A&R men (artist & repertoire men), including Eli Oberstein and Steve Sholes; a description of early recording sessions; recording with the Tennessee Ramblers; comments on the importance of early radio programs to country music; memories of performers who recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina during the 1930s and early 1940s; and experiences recording for RCA Victor during the late 1940s.