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Wade Mainer

Wade Echard Mainer (April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011) was an American country singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass." In addition, he innovated a two-finger banjo fingerpicking style, which was a precursor to modern three-finger bluegrass styles.

Originally from North Carolina, Mainer's main influences came from the mountain music of his family. In a career that began in 1934 and spanned almost six decades, Mainer transitioned from being a member of his brother's band into the founder of his own ensemble, the Sons of the Mountaineers, with whom he performed until 1953, when he became more deeply involved with his Christianity and left the music industry. After working at a General Motors factory and attending gospel revivals, Mainer was convinced that he should restart his career as a Christian gospel musician and began to tour with his wife in this capacity. He continued to release albums until 1993.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 21st, 1907 (Buncombe County), Died 2011 (Flint)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, leader, banjo, harmonica, composer, songwriter, speaker

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-94328 10-in. 8/6/1935 Ship sailing now J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Victor BS-94330 10-in. 8/6/1935 Maple on the hill J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Victor BS-94331 10-in. 8/6/1935 Take me in the lifeboat J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Victor BS-94333 10-in. 8/6/1935 New curly headed baby J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Victor BS-94339 10-in. 8/6/1935 City on the hill J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Daddy John Love ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal quartet vocalist  
Victor BS-94341 10-in. 8/6/1935 Write a letter to Mother J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Daddy John Love ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal quartet vocalist  
Victor BS-94342 10-in. 8/6/1935 Lights in the valley J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Daddy John Love ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris String band, with male vocal quartet vocalist  
Victor BS-94675 10-in. 2/12/1936 Two little rosebuds Dixon Brothers Male vocal duet, with guitar and steel guitar songwriter  
Victor BS-94678 10-in. 2/12/1936 Not turning back Dixon Brothers Male vocal duet, with guitar and steel guitar songwriter  
Victor BS-99133 10-in. 2/14/1936 Come back to your dobie shack Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo, guitar, and harmonica vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo, harmonica  
Victor BS-99135 10-in. 2/14/1936 What would you give in exchange Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with guitar and banjo vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-99136 10-in. 2/14/1936 A leaf from the sea Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo, guitar, and harmonica vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo, harmonica  
Victor BS-99137 10-in. 2/14/1936 Brown eyes Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with guitar and banjo vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-99138 10-in. 2/15/1936 Maple on the hill Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with guitar and banjo vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-99139 10-in. 2/15/1936 Going to Georgia Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo, guitar, and harmonica vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo, harmonica  
Victor BS-99140 10-in. 2/15/1936 Nobody's darling but mine Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo and guitar vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-99141 10-in. 2/15/1936 Mother came to get her boy from jail Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo and guitar vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-99142 10-in. 2/15/1936 Where the red, red roses grow Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with banjo, guitar, and harmonica vocalist  
Victor BS-102600 10-in. 6/15/1936 On a cold winter night J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer Male vocal solo, with string band vocalist, instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BS-102601 10-in. 6/15/1936 John Henry was a little boy Beacham Blackweller ; J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer Male vocal trio, with string band vocalist  
Victor BS-102602 10-in. 6/15/1936 The old and faded picture J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal trio, with string band vocalist  
Victor BS-102603 10-in. 6/15/1936 Take me home to the sweet sunny South J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer Male vocal solo, with string band vocalist  
Victor BS-102604 10-in. 6/15/1936 Walk that lonesome valley J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with string band vocalist  
Victor BS-102605 10-in. 6/15/1936 Got a home in that rock J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal duet, with string band vocalist  
Victor BS-102606 10-in. 6/15/1936 Johnson's old grey mule J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers ; Wade Mainer ; Zeke Morris Male vocal trio, with string band and talk vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Mainer, Wade," accessed October 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104228.

Mainer, Wade. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104228.

"Mainer, Wade." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104228

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