The banjo was once part of the rhythm section family during jazz's infancy and developmental phase (Armstrong's, Ellington's, and Jelly Roll Morton's bands all used it). The metal-stringed, wiry-sounding instrument of African invention would be supplanted by the guitar, initially unamplified, then electric. The Trad Jazz Revival of the 1940s helped bring banjoists back to the bandstand and the recording studio; in the Fifties, the Old-Time Music/Ragtime boomlet added to the banjo's upsurge in popularity. The Banjo Kings--Dick Roberts and Red Roundtree--had deep backgrounds in Appalachian music, country, radio, and movies, as well as a bubbly jazz feel, making them an ideal pair for this project. With a repertoire delightfully spotlighting pre-and-early Tin Pan Alley favorites, the Kings (whose accompanists include such esteemed jazz/studio players as pianist Stan Wrightsman and drummer Nick Fatool) strike a crowning blow for well-played, high-spirited sounds.
Down South, Alabamy Bound, Stephen Foster Medley No. 1 (Old Kentucky Home/Swanee River/Camptown Races/Oh, Susannah), By the Light of the Silvery Moon, In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, Hello Ma Baby, That Banjo Rag, Carolina in the Morning, In the Good Old Summertime, The Burglar Buck, Stephen Foster Medley No. 2 (Old Black Joe/Ring, Ring de Banjo/Nelly Bly/Massa's in de Cold, Cold Ground), Banjo Bounce; When You and I Were Young, Maggie; Pickin' the Banjo
Dick Roberts, Red Roundtree with Vic Davis, Stan Wrightsman, Bill Norris, George Brunis, Ray Leatherwood, Monte Mountjoy, Nick Fatool