ROOTS OF AMERICAN FIDDLE MUSIC
Gid Tanner and the Skilet Lickers

The Skillet Lickers, one of the most exciting early bands to record,  were from North Georgia, an extremely fertile area for old time music in the 1920's. 

The core of the group consisted of chicken farmer James Gideon Tanner(born June 6,1885), George Riley Puckett(born around 1890), Clayton McMichen(born  January 26, 1900), Lowe Stokes, and Fate Norris and occasionally McMichen's brother-in-law Bert Layne.

"Gid" Tanner made his first commercial recording with the blind guitarist Riley Puckett on March 7, 1924.  Puckett had been blinded when a sugar of lead solution was accidentally used to treat a minor eye ailment when he was a child.  His soulful and resonant singing sold many records for the band and he additionally was one of the earliest guitarist to employ walking bass runs, usually  made by up-picking with his index and middle fingers. 

McMichen  had  learned to play the fiddle from his uncles and from his father, a trained musician and he won third place in his first contest while still in his teens.  His first band was formed around 1918 called variously the Lick the Skillet Band and the Old Hometown Band, and consisted of McMichen and Lowe Stokes on fiddles, Puckett and Whitten on guitars, and Ted Hawkins on mandolin.

McMichen had already been recording for a year  and Puckett and Tanner had already been recording for over two years before they made their first records together. 

The Skillet Lickers came about as a variation on the name of his earlier Lick the Skillet Band.  After the Skillet Lickers disbanded in 1931, McMichen went on to form several other bands such as the Georgia Wildcats which were never as popular as the Skillet Lickers.

Marcus Lowell Stokes was the senior fiddler in the group and played in the older style which complemented the overall sound wonderfully. 

Fate Norris, who played the banjo in the group,  was from Resaca, Georgia, north of Atlanta, and unfortunatly, is usually inaudible on most of the recordings.

The Skillet Lickers were to record 88 sides, of which 82 were issued.  Puckett played backup guitar and usually sang lead,  with Tanner, Stokes, and McMichen on fiddles and  Fate Norris on banjo. 

Thanks to Kerry Blech for additional information and corrections.

 Gid Tanner , Riley Puckett, & the Skillet Lickers

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3:07 Arkansas Sheik - CLAYTON MCMICHEN & RILEY PUCKETT
2:57 Back Up And Push - SKILLET LICKERS
2:59 Big Ball In Town- SKILLET LICKERS
3:05

Billy In The Lowground - LOWE STOKES

3:11 Bone Dry Blues - LOWE STOKES
3:16

Boots And Saddle - RILEY PUCKETT

3:11

Broken Down Gambler - Gid Tanne & His Skillet Lickers

3:06

Cacklin' Hen And Rooster Too - SKILLET LICKERS

2:26

Casey Jones - SKILLET LICKERS

3:00

Citaco - LOWE STOKES

5:55

Corn Likker Still In Georgia - SKILLET LICKERS

2:52

Cotton Eyed Joe - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers

3:10

Cripple Creek - SKILLET LICKERS

2:54

Cumberland Gap - SKILLET LICKERS

3:17

Devilish Mary - SKILLET LICKERS

3:13

Dixie - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers

3:14

Farmers Daughter - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers

2:49

Four Cent Cotton - LOWE STOKES

3:07

Giddyap Napoleon - SKILLET LICKERS

2:57

Give The Fiddler A Dra - CLAYTON MCMICHEN

3:01

Hell Broke Loose In Georgia - Gid Tanner & HIs Skillet Lickers

2:55

Home Brew Rag - LOWE STOKES

3:16

Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight - SKILLET LICKERS

3:11

I Shall Not Be Moved - GID TANNER BAND

2:50

Ida Red - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers

3:09

If You Want To Go A Courtin' - GID TANNER

3:14

It Just Suits Me - LOWE STOKES NORTH GEORGIANS

3:19

John Henry - SKILLET LICKERS

2:51

Katy Did - LOWE STOKES

2:50

Keep Your Gal At Home - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers

2:44

Kitty And The Baby - LOWE STOKES

2:58 Leather Breeches - SKILLET LICKERS
2:53 Left All Alone Again Blues - LOWE STOKES
2:59 Little Brown Jug - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers
2:50 Miss Mcleod's Reel - SKILLET LICKERS
3:04 Molly Put The Kettle On - SKILLET LICKERS
2:53 Nigger In The Woodpile - SKILLET LICKERS
3:02 Old Hen Cackle - CLAYTON MCMICHEN
2:54 Old Joe Clark - SKILLET LICKERS
3:15 Paddy Wont You Drink Some Cider - SKILLET LICKERS
2:57 Pass Around The Bottle - SKILLET LICKERS
3:09 Prohibition Blues - CLAYTON MCMICHEN
3:10 Prohibition Is A Failure - LOWE STOKES
3:04 Rake And Rambling Boy - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers
3:05 Ride Old Buck To Water - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers
2:52 Rock That Cradle Lucy - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers
2:49 Roll'em On The Ground - SKILLET LICKERS
2:57 Row, Row, Row - LOWE STOKES
2:46 Run Nigger Run - SKILLET LICKERS
2:53 Sailing On The Robert E. Lee - LOWE STOKES

2:57

Sally Johnson - LOWE STOKES
2:54 Sals Gone To Cidermill - SKILLET LICKERS
2:51 Sittin' On A Chimney Jamb - SKILLET LICKERS
2:57 Sleeping Lulu - SKILLET LICKERS
2:50 Slow Buck - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers
3:23 Soldier Will You Marry Me - SKILLET LICKERS
2:48 Soldiers Joy - SKILLET LICKERS
2:58 Swamp Cat Rag - LOWE STOKES
2:59 Take Me Back To Georgia - LOWE STOKES
2:59 Tanner's Boarding House - GID TANNER
2:51 Tanners Rag - GID TANNER and HIS Skillet Lickers
3:02 Uncle Bud - SKILLET LICKERS
3:29 Work Don't Bother Me - GID TANNER
2:56 Wreck Of The Old 97 - GID TANNER & HIS Skillet Lickers
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

SKILLET LICKER AND RELATED BAND RECORDINGS
The following is in part from Jane Keefer's Folk Song Database.
and is a PARTIAL list. See FULL list here.

The Skillet Lickers
   Appearance as principal performer

    1. Alabama Jubilee
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 3, (), cut # 47
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1, 1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 4
    2. Back Up And Push
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track # 17 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 6, 1934, Document DOCD-8061, track # 1
    3. Bee Hunt On Hill For Sartin Creek
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 4,  1928 - 1930, Document DOCD-8059, track # 13(Part 1)
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 4,  1928 - 1930, Document DOCD-8059, track # 14(Part 2)
    4. Big Ball in Town
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1, County 506 (196?), cut # 3 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 7
    5. Billy in the Lowground
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 1b 
    6. Black Eyed Peas and Cornbread
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 1a 
    7. Black-Eyed Susie
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 1, (), cut # 45
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 15
    8. Boil 'Em Cabbage Down
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 3g
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 14
    9. Bonepart's Retreat
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 4,  1928 - 1930, Document DOCD-8059, track # 5
    10. Broken Down Gambler
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 2, County 526 (197?), cut # 7
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 10
    11. Buckin' Mule
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 1, (), cut # 18 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 9
    12. Buffalo Gal
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 3d 
    13. Bully of the Town
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 2, County 526 (197?), cut # 8 
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 3a 
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 1, (), cut # 19 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1,1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 2
    14. Bully Of The Town No. 2
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 9
    15. Cacklin Hen and Rooster Too
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1, County 506 (196?), cut # 9
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 7
    16. Casey Jones
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1, 1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 17
    17. Charming Betsy
      • Work Don't Bother Me: Old Time Songs from North Georgia, Rounder 1035 (1986), cut # 12 (Georgia Organ Grinders - Stokes, McMichen, Layne, Norris, Dupree)
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track # 22
    18. Chicken Reel
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 21 
      • Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, Rounder 1005 (), cut # 10 
    19. Cindy
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 16 
    20. Corn Licker Still n Georgia
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1, County 506 (196?), cut # 5 
    21. Cotton Baggin'
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track #15
    22. Cotton-Eyed Joe
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1, County 506 (196?), cut # 12 
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 22 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 14 
    23. Cotton Patch
      • Georgia Fiddle Bands, Vol. 2, County 544 (197?), cut # 14
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 6, 1934, Document DOCD-8061, track # 6
    24. Cripple Creek
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 4,  1928 - 1930, Document DOCD-8059, track # 8
    25. Cumberland Gap (On A Buckin‘ Mule)
      • Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, Rounder 1005 (), cut # 8
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 13
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 6, 1934, Document DOCD-8061, track # 3
    26. Dance All Night with A Bottle In Your Hand
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 1, (), cut # 20 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1, 1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 11
    27. Darktown Strutters Ball
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 19 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, DocumentDOCD-8057, track # 2 
    28. Day At The County Fair
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track # 7(Part 1) 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track # 8(Part 2) 
    29. Devilish Mary
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1, County 506 (196?), cut # 6 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 3, 1928 - 1929, Document DOCD-8058, track # 4
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 4,  1928 - 1930, Document DOCD-8059, track # 21
    30. Dixie
      • Skillet Lickers, Vol. 2, County 526 (197?), cut # 4
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1, 1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 19
    31. Don't You Cry My Honey
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 1, (), cut # 26 
      • Hell Broke Loose in Georgia, County 514 (197?), cut # 7
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 6
    32. Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 3, (), cut # 48 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 1, 1926 - 1927, Document DOCD-8056, track # 6
    33. Down Yonder
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 2, (), cut # 17
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 6, 1934, Document DOCD-8061, track # 8
    34. Drink ‚Em Down
      • Skillet Lickers (old 78's tape) - Vol 4, (19??), cut # 23 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 1
    35. Fiddlers' Convention In Georgia
      • Day in the Mountains, County 512 (196?), cut # 3 
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 3(Part 1)
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 2, 1927 - 1928, Document DOCD-8057, track # 4(Part 2)
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 13(Part 3)
      • The Skillet Lickers Vol 5, 1930 - 1934, Document DOCD-8060, track # 14(Part 4)

      SEE ALL RECORDINGS


 


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