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Cecil Campbell

September 7, 1982 OHC51 93 min.


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.

Interview Summary

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.

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