Grandpa Jones

Grandpa Jones Makes the Rafters Ring

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Amazingly, Grandpa Jones was in the music business almost 30 years before he got to record his first LP (earlier long-players from the King Records label were assembled from his singles). It was in August of 1961 that he went into the studio to cut Grandpa Jones Makes the Rafters Ring, with steel guitar virtuoso Jerry Byrd and living legend Merle Travis on hand to help him re-cut some of his old sides from the King Records label, most notably "I Guess You Don't Remember Now" and "It's Raining Here This Morning," which had been a hit 17 years earlier -- Travis' acoustic playing is still an understated highlight, beneath Jones' banjo and Byrd's pedal steel. "Banjo Sam" caught the banjo virtuoso dipping into his youth, 30 years before, with some lyrics updated to make them acceptable to 1960s ears. And Travis brought "Going Across the Sea," which had been in the repertory of Uncle Dave Macon, among other clawhammer-style players. The Jordanaires appeared behind Jones' vocals on "Groundhog," singing in a more earthy fashion than they usually did on record, and Ramona Jones' voice added beautiful harmonies to "Count Your Blessings," "East Bound Freight Train," "I Guess You Don't Remember Now," and "I've Been Away Too Long."