07 May 2017

Riley Puckett, born 7 May 1894

George Riley Puckett, born on this day in 1894 in Georgia, was one of the first generation of American rural musicians to be heard through radio and recordings.

Many of us know of him primarily as the guitar player of one of the archetypal old-time string bands, Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, with their image of hell-for-leather, rough-and-ready, moonshine-making Georgia 'crackers', and a repertoire of older songs and tunes. Puckett, however, like his bandmate Clayton McMichen (a crooner and swing violinist in his solo career), foreshadowed the future course of country music with his smooth singing, wide-ranging repertoire, and adventurous guitar work. He may have been the first country singer to yodel on records.

Much of his recorded work can be heard on the BBYMRLCCOTN YouTube channel. An example of his solo singing is Old Joe Clark.

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