The German Bear Family label is famous for its deluxe box sets of classic country music, and the company has just released—with considerable help from local musicians, fans, surviving family members, and archivists—the definitive collection of recordings by bluegrass pioneer and Knoxville music legend Carl Story.
Carl Story and the Rambling Mountaineers: Bluegrass, Gospel, and Mountain Music 1942-1959 is a massive (and, at a list price of $150, expensive) four-disc set featuring Story's complete recordings from 1947-59, accompanied by a lavish hardbound book by Hank Williams biographer Colin Escott, with dozens of photos from personal collections, the Knox County Public Library's McClung Historical Collection, and Bradley Reeves of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound.
Story, a North Carolina native who died in 1995, played in an early version of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and performed with his own long-time band the Rambling Mountaineers on both the Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round on WNOX and Cas Walker's television show during the 1940s and '50s. He is regarded as one of the unsung champions of bluegrass, particularly bluegrass gospel.
WDVX will air a special two-hour broadcast about Story and the new box set on Monday, Oct. 24, starting at 9 p.m.