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Traditional Mountain Music on the Radio

In 1922, Atlanta's radio station WSB began broadcasting performances by a colorful Georgia folk musician, Fiddlin' John Carson. WSB, the South's first powerful station, had been on the air barely a month when it discovered that rural Southerners would eagerly listen to their own music on the radio. That experience would be repeated at stations all over the South, especially in the mountains. In the years before World War II, most radio stations broadcast live performances rather than recorded music, and many traditional artists found in the new medium a ready outlet for their work.

The situation gradually changed, as commercial influences and

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