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Vinyl Hunter 8: The Edden Hammons Collection

Behold, the latest addition to my old-music on vinyl collection. The Edden Hammons Collection was released in 1984 by the West Virginia University Press Sound Archives. The album was reissued on CD in 1999 as The Edden Hammons Collection: Volume 1. The two-disc second volume was released in 2000.

Hitherto finding this album at a reasonable price through an online dealer, this album was going for upwards of $125 or more on eBay. The outer sleeve has a couple small dings, but the vinyl is pristine and the accompanying booklet with contributions from the late, great Alan Jabbour is in good shape.

One of the big reasons I'm excited to get this album is because a couple years ago I learned Hammons' version of "Washington March" from  Bruce Molsky's Southern Old-Time Fiddle Tour. It's nice to finally have the source recording for that tune.

Edden Hammons died in 1955. He was recorded in 1947 by West Virginia University professor Louis Chappell. Ultimately, the 52 tunes recorded in that session represent the only known recordings of Hammons, who was renowned in his time as a great fiddler. His family was known for being independent, hard-working mountain men. However, Edden had a reputation for not wanting to work, preferring to fiddle instead. His first wife supposedly left him because he wouldn't give up his fiddle to get a job to support her. Regardless, this is a great collection of tunes.


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