The Great Smoky Mountains Association has produced a CD of recordings of Carroll Best, a legendary and influential banjo player from Haywood County, North Carolina. Best was known for his creative, melodic three-finger style which enabled him to follow fiddle tunes note-for-note.
Titled Carroll Best and the White Oak String Band: Old-Time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains, 1956 and 1959, the CD features 37 tracks and a 64-page booklet with photographs and extensive liner notes. The recordings were made in a living room setting by song catcher Joseph Hall. An earlier collection of Joseph Hall recordings produced by GSMA and titled Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music was honored with a Grammy nomination for “Best Historical Album” in 2012.
A CD release party featuring local and regional musicians is scheduled for 7 pm on Friday, September 19 at Lake Junaluska.
The Smoky Mountain News has published a feature story on the release of the historic recordings.