For whatever reason I forgot to write about one of my vinyl purchases earlier this year. As you know, I've been working on building my collection of old-time music on LP. Back in July, I learned that Mike Seeger's record collection was being auctioned off on eBay.
As you can imagine, there were quite a few albums that I coveted, including a copy of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. However, the prices on some of the more collectible items skyrocketed beyond my checking account. But there was one record that I kept a close eye on.
The album I managed to buy was Visits, a compilation put together by Ray Alden and released on Heritage Records in 1982. The double album is split between "The Old Timers" and "The Young Musicians." It features the likes of J.P. Fraley, Fred Cockerham, Doc Roberts, Esker Hutchins, Mose Coffman, Burl Hammons, Buddy Thomas, Melvin Wine and Ward Jarvis.
Alden was the founder of the Field Recorders' Collective, and helped reorganize the group into a non-profit organization shortly before his death in 2009. He was an avid recorder of the old-time musicians and curated a number of albums released on Heritage, Marimac and Rounder.
In addition to the great music, inside was a letter to Seeger from Heritage Records founder Bobby Patterson, asking him to include the album in a column Seeger was writing for Frets magazine. Patterson was an accomplished banjo player in his own right and a former member of the Camp Creek Boys, with Kyle Creed and Fred Cockerham. He also helped start The Old-Time Herald in 1987. Patterson passed away earlier this year, on Sept. 24.