In dit gedeelte van het interview verteld Bill Clifton iets meer over de aard van de samenwerking tussen hem en A.P. Carter. Ik was blij dat gegeven te kunnen onderbouwen met een brief van A.P. Carter aan Bill Clifton waarin A.P. Carter op alle mogelijke manier probeert Bill Clifton te ondersteunen en behulpzaam te zijn. Veel plezier met lezen en luisteren…
WFLO and Rambling
So basically when you did perform together it would be very local? Oh, it was always local, we never went out anywhere. No, Kingsport was the only… Really, the only place we ever did radio was Kingsport. We never did it in Bristol, never did it in Johnson City and those are the tri-cities. And that is the local area, and we didn’t do it in Gates’ City and there’s a radio station in Gates’ City I used to work for a time but not as a singer. I worked there as a salesman for a short time, not too long ago. About middle age, twenty years ago maybe and a very short time. But that station was, maybe that station wasn’t even on the air then. I don’t remember when they went on the air but I know we never did it if they were on the air. And I never listened to it either. And we didn’t do Norton or Wise or any of those places either and they were very close by but we never did them. We just did Kingsport. That was the place that A.P. would always want to go and that was fine with me.
November 7, 1958
I received Your letter Ok. I was Proud to Hear from You. I Had some Plans In Mind When I Arrived in Kingsport to talk to You a thought… I Aimed to Give You a little Money, Likely I Could of Gone to Knoxville, Tennessee And Worked with You All And Got a Job. I Had a Number of Things in Mind I Aimed to Book You all In as the Leading Attraction At The Park The Next Coming Sunday. I Could Of Give You All a Lift. Does That Station Pay a Reasonable Price to You All. If I Could be [of] Any Help to You All I Could Come And Help You All This Winter. I Could Help on Dates or Sell Your Song Books And My Bible Books, Or Work Out a Song Book Or Likely I Could Get Out a Nother Song Book. Or I Can arrange to Sell Records Over That Station Some I Think. I Will Arrange to Help You all a Bought Getting Out a Recording. I Could Come Up Thar And Help Out On Dates If I Was Booked, Then Work Out Something. What Do You Think ?
It Is Mail Time, I Must Close
From a Friend
The first time you heard A.P. on radio where was that broadcast from then? That was WFLO in Farmville, Virginia. Which is not too far west of Richmond, Virginia and pretty much on the same level as Richmond. South of Charlottesville where I was a student and where I was listening to him. About fifty miles South of Charlottesville. And it’s just a small station that featured live music in the middle of the day. And at that time it was only Bill and Mary Reid, they were the only ones there with Curly Lambert on the mandolin, the three of them and no bass, no banjos, no other instruments of any kind. But they had a nice program and I always enjoyed listening to it when I could get it. I haven’t known WFLO’s music for a long time. I do know a little bit about them. Henry Fulcher was a disc jockey there, at the time, a very young guy, very interested in the music. Loved the old-time and also the modern country music back then. I’m talking about Carl Smith, Faron Young, and Ray Price and people like that. Webb Pierce, I guess. But Henry I talked to, I guess, after I moved back to the States when I left Europe after Tineke and I moved back to America to live, in 1978. I spoke to Henry on the phone and he was still at the radio station and he said that the lady who owned the radio station had died and left the radio station to the employees. And I thought that was quite a nice gesture. So he was now one of the owners and very pleased to be there. But I don’t know what they do nowadays but it was very much a local station with a lot of farm news; crop reports and prices and so forth.
Did you ever find out how A.P. wound up to be in that particular broadcast? I never asked him. That’s funny that you should ask me that. I never asked him that.
It wasn’t one of his regular haunts? Oh no. No, no. He just was out rambling around and … He and Robert, his father, was infamous for his ramblings and A.P. was as well although, at least ‘infamous’ in the mind of some of the family members, particularly Sarah at the time. He was a person who would just take a notion to get up and go somewhere and he would. Without necessarily telling anybody. He might say, ‘Well, I think I’ll be going out for a while’. And then he wouldn’t come back.
He would not specify what ‘a while’ was… No, that’s right. And I guess he learned that from his dad. I mean, A.P. was the oldest of the children and Robert was that way and he, I never met Robert of course. He died before I was ever down there and so did Molly but the information I’ve had about Robert was through the valley was that he was just somebody who would take a notion to get up and go somewhere and he would just get up and go. And nobody knew where he was and he would just be gone and he’d be gone for weeks sometimes. A.P. would do the same thing. And I guess I never really thought much about it because I knew that he was out collecting songs. At least I knew that much about him back in the forties. And I figured, I guess, I have to do this all now in retrospect, but my mind must have thought: ‘Well, I guess he’s been out just visiting with some of the people he collected songs from or maybe he just wanted to’…
Would he still collect songs, or not? I mean, when you met him? No, he had to have a motivation. The motivation was the recording session and when the recording sessions stopped there was no motivation to collect songs. When he died, well, before he died, in March of the year he died…