FRC 718 - Carlton Rawlings: Bath County​,​KY Fiddler (John Harrod collection)

by Carlton Rawlings

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about

Northeastern Kentucky was still a hotbed of old style fiddling in the 1970s and ‘80s when Gus Meade, Mark Wilson, Bruce Greene, and I began making regular visits to record and learn from the many interesting local fiddlers who were still going strong at the time. We were astounded at the sophistication and complexity of the styles, the level of performance, and the dramatic intensity of the playing. One of these fiddlers, Alfred Bailey, always spoke with great respect of Carlton Rawlings, who was born August 17, 1907 in Fleming County. The two had played together for many years before Carlton’s untimely death in 1969. By 1986, I had located the four surviving brothers of Carlton Rawlings as well as his nephew James (“Sonny”) Rawlings. Sonny has been most helpful in tracing the family history, finding old photographs, and setting up interviews. The family had preserved 13 reel-to-reel tapes which included Carlton playing solo and in various combinations with his family and friends. Soon thereafter, Warner Walton gave Alfred Bailey three reel-to-reel recordings he had made of the Fleming and Bath County fiddlers with specific instructions to give them to me for preservation. These reels included more of Carlton’s playing. These are the only known recordings of a great fiddler who never received recognition beyond his own community. – John Harrod

credits

released September 28, 2015

All tracks featuring Carlton Rawlings-fiddle, Accompanists include: Warner Walton & Johnny Ulery, guitars; Raymond Ulery & Arthur Breaze, banjos. Carlton's sister Mahala plays piano. Carlton's brothers
Oren, George, and Charles play guitar on some of the sessions.

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