01 November 2009

More Music in the Family

In a previous post, I wrote about the musical instruments on my ancestors, which are in the possession of my cousins. In the post, I mentioned that the family was related by marriage to two early country music recording artists.

The Bouchillons One of those musicians was Christopher Allen Bouchillon. Chris was born in Oconee County, SC on 21 Aug 1893 and is credited with originating the "talking blues" style. He recorded a number of songs with his brothers as "The Bouchillon Trio" and as a solo artist. Chris married my Great-Great Aunt Ethel Waters, sometime after 1920. It was the second marriage for both of them.

I had no idea until I started researching Chris, but it turned out that Ethel's entire family was musical. Her father's and siblings sang and played musical instruments. The cousins who have their instruments say that the family played at barn dances. It's probably how Ethel and Chris met: mingling in local Atlanta musical circles.

In 1928, "Mr. and Mrs. Bouchillon" recorded a series of comedic talking songs.1 You can hear a 30 second clip here. Ethel was about 25 years old when this album was recorded. It's very strange to hear a recording this old and knowing that you are listening to the voices of your ancestors!

It is interesting to note, however, that music was not Chris' main profession. In the 1930 census he's listed as a sewing machine salesman.

1. Tony Russell and Bob Pinson, Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942 (Oxford University Press, 2004), 119-120.

1 comment:

Jasia said...

That would be so very cool to listen to an old recording of your ancestors!!! Lucky you!

Thanks for sharing and participating in the COG!


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