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Black Mountain Rag
Composer: Traditional / Leslie Keith

Black Mountain Rag was performed by the Black Mountain Boys, a group which included, at various times, Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Eric Thompson, Sandy Rothman and David Nelson.

In Bluegrass: A History (1985) Neil Rosenberg outlines the origins of this piece. It was devised as a fiddle tune, initially called Black Mountain Blues, by Leslie Keith in the 1930's and was based on a traditional song The Lost Child. Keith did not record it at this point but played it often at concerts and on radio broadcasts. Other fiddlers heard it in this way and it became a popular tune. It was a hit for Curly Fox in the 1940's as Black Mountain Rag. On recordings the piece is sometimes credited to Tommy Magness, Leslie West or others but more often it is listed as traditional.



Recordings

This list is not intended to be comprehensive.

no info Single (Black Mountain Rag / Come Here Son), Curley Fox, 1948
no info Old Time Barn Dance, Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys, 1949
no info Single (Black Mountain Rag / The Old Swinging Bridge), Glen Neaves & the Grayson County Boys, 1951
no info Gallopin' Guitar, Chet Atkins, 1953
no info Square Dance Music (EP), Tommy Jackson, 1955
no info Square Dances Without Calls, Red Herron Orchestra with Charlie Linviles and Curly Fox, 1956
no info Authentic Square Dances, Bill Wimberley & His Country Rhythm Boys, 1957
no info Single (Black Mountain Rag / Orange Blossom Special), Gordon Terry, 1957
no info Square Dance Fiddle Favorites, Tommy Jackson, 1958
no info Square Dance Music, Fiddlin' Red Herron/Fiddlin' Linvilles/Curly Fox, 1958
no info Mother Maybelle Carter, Maybelle Carter, 195?
info The New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 3, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1961
no info Opry Old Timers, Sam & Kirk McGee/Crook Brothers, 1962
no info Single (We'll Meet Again Sweetheart / Black Mountain Rag), Carroll County Ramblers, 1963
info 12 String Guitar, The Folkswingers, 1963
no info Fire on the Strings, Various Artists (220 South), 1963
info Doc Watson, Doc Watson, 1964
info Country Music And Bluegrass At Newport, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 1964
info Square Dances Played by Tommy Jackson, Tommy Jackson, 1964
no info Learn To Fiddle Country Style, Tracy Schwarz, 1965
no info Pickin' and Fiddlin', Dillards With Byron Berline, 1965
no info Texas Hoedown, Various Artists (Benny Thammason), 1965
no info All Time Fiddle Favorites, Tater Tate with Red Smiley & the Bluegrass Cut-Ups, 1966
no info Hoe Down! Vol. 8, DeWayne Wear & the Wear Family, 1966
no info On the Bandstand, Kenny Vernon, 1966
info Raymond Fairchild & the Maggie Valley Boys, Raymond Fairchild & the Maggie Valley Boys, 1967
no info Dobro And Fiddle, Billy Baker & Kenny Haddock, 1967
info Fiddle Jam Sessions, Various Artists (Lonnie Pearce), 1967
info Festival: Newport Folk Festival 1965, Various Artists (Lilly Brothers), 1967
no info The Versatile, Tony Douglas, 1969
no info Down To Earth & Up To Heaven, Suwannee Valley Gang/Assembly Gospel Singers, 1969
no info Bluegrass Special, Various Artists (Folkswingers), 1969
no info Country Giants, Nashville Fiddles, 1970
no info Cluck Old Hen, Spark Gap Wonder Boys, 1970
info Bluegrass Guitar , Dan Crary, 1970
no info All the Way Home, Gary Scruggs, 1970
no info Baker's Dozen - Country Fiddle Tunes, Kenny Baker, 1970
no info Bluegrass 45, Bluegrass 45, 1971
no info A Dobro Dozen, Beverly King, 1971
no info Single (Take My Ring From Your Finger / Black Mountain Rag), Voices of Bluegrass, 1971?
info Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1972
info Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends, Earl Scruggs, 1972
info Elementary Doctor Watson!, Doc Watson, 1972
no info Bluegrass Fiddler, Earl Garner & the Bluegrass Mountaineers, 1972
no info Champion Fiddler, Vol. 1, Curley Fox, 1972
no info Grass Country, Vernon Derrick, 1972
info The Essential Doc Watson, Doc Watson, 1973
no info Battling Banjos, Arthur Smith, 1973
no info Grassy Licks, Roger Sprung, 1973
no info Uncle Wade - A Memorial To Wade Ward, Old Time Virginia Banjo, Wade Ward, 1973
no info Me & My Fiddles, Jesse McReynolds, 1973
no info Shenandoah Cut-Ups, Shenandoah Cut-Ups, 1973
no info Black Mountain Blues, Leslie Keith, 1974
no info Bluegrass By, Wally Bryson and the Blaylock Brothers, 1974
info Johnny Whisnant, Johnny Whisnant, 1974
no info Memphis Jellyroll, Stefan Grossman, 1974
no info Fiddlers On The Rocks, Buck Ryan, 1974
no info Early Days Of Bluegrass, Vol. 5: The Rich-R-Tone Story, Various Artists (Glan Neaves and The Grayson County Boys), 1974
no info Bluegrass From The North, Pine River Valley Boys, 1975
no info Live, Country Gazette, 1976
no info Memories Of The Past, Sloas Brothers, 1976
no info The Fiddle Collection, Benny Martin, 1976
info Superbow, Vassar Clements, 1976
info Kentucky Colonels 1965-1967, Kentucky Colonels, 1976
info It'll Tickle Your Innards, Dr. Corn's Bluegrass Remedy, 1977
no info On Banjo, Bill Knopf with Hot Off the Press and Friends, 1977
no info Live At Waterhole, The Warren County String Ticklers, 1977
no info Bluegrass The Ryders' Way, Dixie Ryders, 1977
no info Kentucky Mountain Home, Les Hall & the Mastertones, 1977
no info 16 Fiddler's Greatest Hits, Various Artists (Heather Berry & Virginia Carolina), 1977
info Banjoman Soundtrack, Various Artists (Doc and Merle Watson), 1977
no info Banjo Bandits, Roy Clark and Buck Trent, 1978
no info Fred Pike And The Flat Top Guitar, Fred Pike, 1978
no info 30 Fiddler's Greatest Hits, Various Artists (Heather Berry & Virginia Carolina), 1978
no info All The Good Times, Bittercreek, 1979
no info Why Ray? Ralph!, Charlie Cline & the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, 1979
no info Bluegrass Gold, Vol. 2, Hal Wylie & Roger Sprung & the Progressive Bluegrassers, 1979
no info Hot Guitar: Doc Watson Guitar Album, Doc Watson, 1979
no info Country Guitar Giants, Merle Travis and Joe Maphis, 1979
no info The White Brothers / The New Kentucky Colonels: Live In Sweden 1973, The White Brothers, 1979
info Early Dawg, David Grisman, 1980
no info Platinum Fiddle, Buddy Spicher, 1980
no info 12 Year Old, Cam Gallant, 1980
no info Live At The Mountain, Bristol Mountain Bluegrass, 1980
info Tellulive, Various Artists (Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Dan Crary, Sam Bush), 1980
info Fiddle Tunes for Banjo, Tony Trischka / Bill Keith / Bela Fleck, 1981
no info All Aboard For Brush Creek, Brush Creek Bluegrass, 1981
no info Aqua Dream, McGuffey Lane, 1981
no info The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 1981
no info Wild Over Us, Duffy Brothers, 1982
no info Fiddletown, Ray Park, 1982
info Coyote Night, Hickory Hill, 1982
no info Live, American Bluegrass Express, 1982
no info Love Of The Mountains, Bluegrass Alliance, 1982
info Doc & Merle Watson's Guitar Album, Doc & Merle Watson, 1983
no info 8th Avenue String Band, 8th Avenue String Band, 1985?
no info Magnolia Bluegrass Travelers, Magnolia Bluegrass Travelers, 1986
info Flat Pickin' Favorites, Glenda Faye, 1987
no info Blind Dog, Norman Blake, 1988
no info Pickin' On Country, Chet Atkins, 1988
info Dust On The Needle, Tony Trischka, 1988
no info 2nd Winterhawk Scholarship Album, Various Artists (John Hartford), 1989
info Steve Kilby, Steve Kilby, 198?
info Mandolin and Other Stuff, Ron Thomason, 198?
info Gold Plated Banjo, Bill Emerson, 1990
info Guitars & Banjos: The Heroes, Various Artists (Eddie Adcock), 1990
no info Climbing The Walls, Mike Compton & David Grier, 1991
no info Country Guitar Thunder, Joe Maphis / Merle Travis, 1991
no info Essential Roy Acuff 1936-1949, Roy Acuff, 1992
info 1959-1963, Flatt and Scruggs, 1992
info 1964-1969, Plus, Flatt & Scruggs, 1992
no info Carolina Calling Me, Bass Mountain Boys, 1992
no info Remembering Merle, Doc Watson, 1992
info Once Upon A Time, Marty Stuart, 1992
info Satisfied Mind, Clay County, 1992
info The Festival Tapes / Tellulive, Various Artists (Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Dan Crary, Sam Bush), 1992
no info Galloping Guitar: The Early Years, Chet Atkins, 1993
no info Bluegrass Guitar Duets, Sandy Rothman and Steve Pottier, 1994
info The Vanguard Years, Doc Watson, 1995
info The Vanguard Years Sampler, Doc Watson, 1995
info The First Fifteen Years, Hickory Hill, 1995
no info 4th Time Around, Big Country Bluegrass, 1995
no info Blazing A New Trail, George Thacker, 1995
info That's Bluegrass!: CMH Records 20th Anniversary Collection, Various Artists, 1995
info Stanley Series, Vol. 4 #1, Stanley Brothers , 1996
no info Classic Mountain Music, Ralph Stanley with Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Skaggs & Keith Whitley, 1996
no info E. C. Ball / Orna Ball, E. C. Ball / Orna Ball, 1996
info Grand Dad of the Country Guitar Pickers, Sam McGee, 1997
info That Was Now....This Is Then, Frank Wakefield, 1997
info Close to Home: Old Time Music from Mike Seeger's Collection (1952-1967), Various Artists (McGee Brothers and Fiddlin' Arthur Smith), 1997
info The Sensational Sounds of Bluegrass, Various Artists (Osborne Brothers), 1997
no info Mac, Doc, Del, Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, Del McCoury, 1998
no info Collection, Vol. 1, Jim Shumate, 1999
info The Best of Doc Watson: 1964-1968, Doc Watson, 1999
info Bottom Line Encore Collection, Vassar Clements, 1999
info Generations of Bluegrass, Vol. 2: Shoulder to Shoulder, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 1999
no info Sara and Maybelle Carter, Sara and Maybelle Carter, 199?
info Badass Bluegrass, Rollin' In the Hay, 199?
no info Single (I Know You're Married / Black Mountain Rag), Clyde and Sue Bowling and Southern Bluegrass Boys, 19??
no info Single (Maiden's Prayer / Black Mountain Rag), Fiddlin' Charlie McDowell, 19??
info 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, Clarence White, 2000
no info 31 Fiddle Favorites, Fiddlin' Mutt Poston & Clarence Jackson & the Farm Hands, 2000
no info Banjo Breakdown: 16 All Time Favorites, Raymond Fairchild, 2000
no info Guitar Legend: The RCA Years, Chet Atkins, 2000
no info Plain & Fancy, Steve Kilby, 2000
info Route 50: Vanguard Records 50th Anniversary Sampler, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 2000
info Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends / Nashville Airplane, Flatt & Scruggs, 2000
no info 31 Banjo Favorites, Vol. 2, Raymond Fairchild, 2001
no info A Master & His Music, Chet Atkins, 2001
no info The Crazy Tennessean, Roy Acuff, 2001
no info Banjo Hall Of Fame, Various Artists (Eddie Adcock), 2001
info The Definitive Bluegrass Collection, Various Artists (Eddie Adcock, Sam Bush and Vassar Clements), 2001
info American Roots Music, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 2001
info Tribute to Bluegrass, Chet Atkins, 2002
info Still Pickin', Dallas Smith, 2002
info Don't Fret It, Rickie Simpkins, 2002
no info I've Got The House To Myself, David Grier, 2002
no info Live In Concert, Wyatt Rice, David Grier & Kenny Smith, 2002
no info Bluegrass In The Backwoods, Ray Legere, 2002
no info Fresh Out of the Barn, Red Star Express, 2003
info DocFest: A Tribute to Doc Watson and His Musical Partners Merle Watson and Jack Lawrence, Various Artists, 2003
no info Legends Of The Fiddle: 20 Bluegrass Classics, Various artists (Curley Fox), 2003
no info Mr. Guitar: The Complete Recordings 1955-1960, Chet Atkins, 2004
info Pickin' and Fiddlin'/Wheatstraw Suite/Copperfields, The Dillards, 2004
info Live at the Ragged Edge, Tom Adams and Michael Cleveland, 2004
info Can't You Hear Me Callin': Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music, Various Artists (Roy Acuff), 2004
no info Choices, Krüger Brothers, 2004
info Rural Rhythm Fiddle Collection, Various Artists (Curly Fox), 2004
info Pure Pickin': Classic Bluegrass Instrumentals, Various Artists (Doc & Merle Watson), 2004
info Bluegrass Heritage, Vol. 2: Roots and Branches: 25 More Bluegrass Classics, Various Artists (Mac Martin), 2005
info Long Live Bluegrass! CMH Records 30th Anniversary, Various Artists (Eddie Adcock, Sam Bush and Vassar Clements), 2005
no info Back Porch Bluegrass: 25 Bluegrass Instrumental Classics, Various artists (Curley Fox), 2005
no info Made & Played, Wayne Henderson, 2006
no info Vanguard visionaries, Doc Watson, 2006
no info Mountain Tradition, Clay Jones, 2006
info Vintage Recordings 1948-1956, The Mayfield Brothers, 2006
info Black Mountain Rag, Doc & Merle Watson, 2006
no info Sweet American Picks, The Grey Sky Boys, 2006
info Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973, Various Artists (Dillards), 2006
info Runnin' Water, Robert Feathers, 2006
info True Bluegrass Essentials, Various Artists (Kenny Baker), 2006
info Sound Traditions: The Best of Bluegrass, Various Artists (Curly Fox), 2006
no info Bluegrass Country Soul, Various Artists (Lilly Brothers & Don Stover), 2006
no info The Early Years 1946-1957, Chet Atkins, 2007
info Classic Bluegrass Collection, Vols. 1-4, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 2007
info The Essential Guide To Bluegrass, Various Artists (Doc & Merle Watson), 2007
no info Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971, The Byrds, 2008
info Front Porch Pickin', Various Artists, 2008
no info Authentic Rare Bluegrass: Independent Label Sides, 1951-1954, Various Artists (Glen Neaves & the Grayson County Boys), 2008
no info Appalachian Fiddle Breakdown: 30 Bluegrass Fiddle Classics, Various Artists (DeWayne Wear & the Wear Family), 2009
no info Guitar Instrumentals, Acosta & Clark, 2011
no info North Carolina History, Mystery, Lore & More, Tommy Edwards, 2011
no info Flatpick (Collector's Edition), Clarence White, 2012
no info Best of, The Kruger Brothers, 2012
no info Bluegrass Pickin' Power Picks, Various artists (Curley Fox), 2013

 
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