A few weeks ago, we wrote about the release of a long-lost album by Knoxville ’60s folk group the Cumberland Trio. The band, actually a quartet, was on the verge of national success when they recorded the songs in New York in 1964, but their label, Record Industries Corporation, went out of business before the album could be released. The tapes were assumed to be lost for nearly 50 years, but were recently rediscovered, and have been made available for download as Lost and Found: The 1964 New York Sessions, with a physical release scheduled for this summer.
As is the case with a lot of unusual archival finds in East Tennessee, credit for the rediscovery of the Cumberland Trio’s New York recordings belongs to Brad Reeves of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound. Reeves was searching for video or film footage of the Trio’s 1963 appearance on the ABC music program Hootenanny and had contacted Trio singer/guitarist Jerre Haskew, who now lives in Chattanooga.
“Haskew came in with a big pile of reel-to-reel tapes for transfer,” Reeves writes in an e-mail. “He told me about the lost RIC sessions... One tape turned out to be the missing and unreleased RIC sessions, recorded to tape decades ago from an acetate disc demo. Tape was fragile and shrunken (shedding and sometimes breaking during playback), but I managed to get a good transfer of most of the tracks. I believe a portion was incomplete or missing, but I found another tape reel in the pile which seemed to be in even worse physical condition, but contained the missing and/or incomplete tracks. Combined the two to make the whole.”