Hear selections from the three-volume County Records reissue.
Forty years ago, a young man named Charles Faurot traveled from New York City to southwestern Virginia looking for older traditional banjo players to record for a tiny country-music record label. He found them and eventually produced three LPs of raw, intense mountain music.
The records became the subjects of near cult-like devotion among a generation of younger players from around the world. One of them was NPR newscaster and reporter Paul Brown. The records are back out, on CD, with additional tracks.
Listening to them again, Brown found himself swept away by their brilliance. And he decided, at long last, to find Charles Faurot, and hear the story of the making of Clawhammer Banjo, Vols. 1-3.