Carl Sauceman

b. 6 March 1922, Green County, Tennessee, USA, d. 28 January 2005, Gonzales, Louisiana, USA. Sauceman was raised in the Bright Hope community, Greeneville, Tennessee. There was often music in the air,…
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Artist Biography

b. 6 March 1922, Green County, Tennessee, USA, d. 28 January 2005, Gonzales, Louisiana, USA. Sauceman was raised in the Bright Hope community, Greeneville, Tennessee. There was often music in the air, his father sang hymns and gospel music at revival meetings, and he heard traditional ballads on radio and records. He sang and played guitar and began performing with his brother, John Paul ‘J.P.’ Sauceman (b. 1926, d. 1984). In the early 40s, Sauceman worked with Dudley Watson and Curley Shelton, appearing on radio in North Carolina and Tennessee.

At the end of World War II Sauceman was briefly in the US Navy, but in 1946 was back singing on radio, often with his own band, the Hillbilly Ramblers. With this band and with his brother he made some records. In the late 40s he was on various radio stations in Tennessee and Michigan, and by 1952 was in Alabama where he and his band, this one named the Green Valley Boys, could be heard on station WRAG, from Carrollton, through into the early 60s. Meanwhile, he continued to record for various labels, including Capitol Records and Republic Records. Sauceman’s lively bluegrass music retained a large audience throughout these years, expanding it thanks not only to radio but also to live shows and weekly television appearances. During this period, J.P. Sauceman left the band to go into radio station management back in Greeneville.

Sauceman’s early recordings show his affinity with bluegrass music and as is clear from later material he never lost his appreciation of the form. Among Sauceman’s recordings were ‘A White Cross Marks The Grave’ and ‘I’ll Be An Angel Too’, both written by one of his sidemen, Don McHan, ‘Please Be My Love’, written by another sideman, Monroe Fields. Other members of his band during the 50s were Fred Richardson, Buddy Rose, Curly Sechler, Joe Stuart and Tater Tate. Around 1962, Sauceman dropped out of performing to help care for his son, who was terminally ill. Like his brother, Sauceman had become involved in radio station management and at the end of the 60s he settled in Gonzales, Louisiana, where he owned and ran station WSLG until his retirement in 1985. During the 70s Sauceman gave a few public performances and also made some records on the obscure Rich-R-Tone and Atteiram labels. Rebel and Rounder Records also released a few radio transcriptions.