I believe the late Texas A&M professor William A. Owens made some
instantaneous disk recordings of African-American old time fiddlers in
Texas in about 1942, around the same time he recorded Peter
Tumlinson Bell. I don't have information handy at the moment, but
Steve Green some years ago sent me an online link to listings (perhaps
at University of Texas-Austin) of Owens' recordings, which is where
I learned of this.
In my research and scouring for the P.T. Bell recordings, I found that
the original aluminum disks seem to have disappeared, though one of
the deans at Texas A&M thought they were in an archive there in
College Station. Reel-to-real acetate tape "safe" copies were made of at
least some of this material, the Bell recordings for certain.
I will be sorting through my files in the near future, so if I find my notes
on this, I will certainly post them.
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Surprising and disappointing how few recordings (commercial or not) we
seem to have of "black" fiddlers born before, say, 1920 in Texas,
considering the dozens from other states who recorded, and the fact
that it's routine for a "black" Texas guitarist to mention that his
father played fiddle.