Riley Puckett

George Riley Puckett ( born May 7, 1894 in Alpharetta, Georgia, † July 14, 1946 in East Point, Georgia ) was an American Old-time musician and guitarist. He is considered one of the most important musicians and guitarists of the 1920s and 1930s. He is probably the most famous guitarist of hillbilly music, and he was known for his distinctive guitar playing.


Childhood and youth

Riley Puckett, who was not blind from birth, grew up in Alpharetta. He probably went blind as a result of a medical accident during his childhood. Soon it became Puckett musical talent. He went to the Macon School for the Blind and learned first the banjo, followed by the piano and the guitar, on which he developed a unique style. In his youth, Puckett was also represented at fiddle competitions such as the Atlanta Fiddler's Convention.

1922 Puckett graduated with Clayton McMichen and its Home Town Band at the radio station WSB in Atlanta its first public appearance. He soon became one of the most popular musicians of the transmitter and began to appear as a soloist. With the mandolin Ted Hawkins and the Fiddler Lowe Stokes, he joined McMichens Hometown Boys. On the radio, he was already known as Ball Mountain Caruso and yodelling in the hearts of the listeners. Besides Moonshine Kate and her father, Fiddlin ' John Carson Puckett was one of the first musicians who appeared in WSB, which significantly contributed to the success of the station. The transmitter was 1922, the first in the southern USA, which went on air and was heard accordingly often. During this time he also played as a member of Hapeville String Band in the transmitter program.


In 1924 he accompanied his friend Gid Tanner to New York City to Columbia Records. Tanner and Puckett had met in the same year in Atlanta after Tanner was moved there. The two were now playing in Columbia Studios, a her first records. Puckett took, among others, Fiddlin ' John Carson Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane and Steamboat Bill and rock All Our Babies to Sleep on. It was the first known recordings in which the Blue Yodeling, a modified form of the Alpine yodeling was used. Puckett also accompanied Tanner at its recordings on the guitar. The records sold very well due to the " hillbilly boom " of that time.

1925 was followed by a second session in New York where, among other things, Oh Susanna, and You'll Never Miss Your Mother ' Til She's Gone were taken. In these recordings Puckett accompanied himself on the banjo. He was so beside Vernon Dalhart Columbia's most successful artists. After one year, Puckett was from the income of his recordings to make a new Ford Model T, which was Puckett's name on the side. With this car Puckett for distances back to his performances and to New York. Dangers he was succeeded by his musical partner and friend Ted Hawkins.

A car accident with his Ford interrupted his career temporarily. Ted Hawkins, who was also involved in the accident, had to stay in hospital for six months. Puckett learned during his stay in hospital his future wife, Blanche Bailey, whom he married on May 18, 1925. 1930 a daughter was born. However, the marriage did not last long harmonious, even before Puckett's death parted them.

In 1925 he founded together with Gid Tanner, Clayton McMichen and Fate Norris, the band Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers, where he worked as a guitarist and singer. With the group he should be in the next few years to one of the first stars of the early hillbilly music. Puckett can be heard on almost all recordings as a singer, except for a few where Tanner took over this part. 1926 also brought Puckett his first major hit as a soloist. When You're Gone I Will not Forget, actually, a ballad played Puckett in country style, sold over 50,000 copies, and his subsequent releases were very successful. Other hits were Ida Red (1927 ) and the Red River Valley, which he recorded together with Hugh Cross. With Puckett Cross worked in the following years further along, now and then under the name The Alabama Barnstormers.

Puckett had become one of the most successful musicians of his time, which is also an event is said to have taken place, according to Jimmie Rodgers as follows: In the spring of 1928 - Rodgers just had with the Blue Yodel No.1 his first big hit - he agreed with the a & R manager Frank Walker an audition for Columbia in Atlanta because he was dissatisfied with RCA Victor. Walker listened patiently Rodgers ' guitar playing and singing, then turned to his assistant, Bill Brown and said, " We do not need Jimmie Rodgers. We've got Riley Puckett. " ( " We do not need Jimmie Rodgers. We have Riley Puckett, ").

Skillet Lickers 1931, the split due to internal dispute. Despite the global economic crisis and the depression in America Puckett's career was not affected. As a soloist, he continued to record high record sales. In 1932, he played under a pseudonym with Clayton McMichen his greatest success My Carolina Home that 260,000 copies deposed, a. After separation of the Skillet Lickers, he toured together with Clayton McMichen and the Georgia Wildcats, with Bert Layne and Red Jones, he took on various boards, including I Only Want a Buddy, Not a Sweetheart and the St. Louis Blues. In his later records he is often accompanied by Ted Hawkins on mandolin. 1934 Skillet Lickers found that with a partly new cast back together and played in San Antonio, Texas their last title. Puckett played guitar again and also released some singles with Gid Tanner together. In 1936 he toured with " Daddy" John Love and Bert Layne through the southern states and founded his own tent show. After that, he decided to travel the last time to New York to record with Red Jones boards, including Altoona Train Wreck, Bring Me Back to My Carolina Home, or The Broken commitment. By 1940, he entered no more recording studio. In his penultimate session he took some pop tracks on, including South Of The Border, and the Sons of the Pioneers was also recorded by Gene Autry. In its last session Puckett once again took on three titles, the last three of his life. Until his death Puckett joined together with the Stone Mountain Boys on the radio and spent a year as a member of the Tennessee Barn Dance.

Riley Puckett died on 14 July 1946 at the age of 52 years from the effects of blood poisoning. He was inducted posthumously in 1982 in the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame and in 1986 into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.