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J.E. Mainer

October 26, 1968 OH342 32 min.


Country performer. Born July 20, 1898. Died June 12, 1971. Full name: Joseph Emmett Mainer. Fiddle player. In the early 1930s formed J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, a leading Appalachian string band of the 1930s. Recorded for RCA’s Bluebird label until 1939. After World War II became one of the first artists recorded by King Records.

Interview Summary

1968 October 26
(32 minutes)
Country musician and fiddler J.E. Mainer discusses his career. Discussion includes appearing on WBT in Charlotte with his brother Wade and other musicians; playing in schools to help them raise money; recording sessions in Atlanta in 1935 for RCA’s Bluebird label; recordings he’s made including “John Henry”, “Take Me in the Lifeboat,” “Maple on the Hill,” “Train Number 111,” and “Hard Times in a Cotton Mill”; learning music from Riley Puckett and Gid Tanner; winning at fiddlers’ conventions; his brother Wade; talks about and plays his fiddles, one of which he was planning to donate to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; making and selling fiddles; and the vast number of radio stations on which he has performed.

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