Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Stanley Brothers (1966) on DVD

Thanks to Karl Heinz Siber of Germany for drawing attention on the IBMA-L e-mail list to a DVD, Festival of American Folk & Country Music 1966, which is scheduled for release on 31 January 2009 by the German Tropical Music company. It includes footage of the Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys, as well as the New Lost City Ramblers, Roscoe Holcomb, Tracy Schwarz, Cyprien Landreneau, and Cousin Emmy.

This package of artists was assembled by the German music agency of Lippmann & Rau, with the advice of Arhoolie Records' founder Chris Strachwitz (born in Germany). The tour was not a commercial success, but the artists were brought to the studio of the German radio and TV network SWF in Baden-Baden, where a 60-minute program was recorded live. It was broadcast once, and then lay in SWF archives for forty years.

In 2008 Claus Schreiner, founder and head of Tropical Music, obtained permission to release this show on DVD. Running time has been cut to 44 minutes, but we hear on good authority that the sound and video quality (black and white) is excellent. Tropical Music's German-language press release on this DVD can be seen here. The Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys are shown performing 'How mountain gals can love' and 'Rank stranger'. Karl Heinz Siber adds:

An aspect of historical significance in this is that this is probably one of the last recorded shows that the Stanley Brothers made. Carter Stanley died in early December of 1966, just nine months after the recording session in Baden-Baden.