Merle Travis

The History of Guitar in America: Merle Travis

Episode 10

Episode date - April 12, 2024

How Music Changed

    As we cover the history of guitar in America from 1920 thru 1962, there are precious few guitarists who earn an entire section of the series all to themselves. Charlie Christian was the only featured artist on Part 8, and for part 10, Merle Travis is our only featured artist.

    Travis has done so many things over a long stretch of time – the opposite of Charlie Christian, in that sense – but that doesn’t mean that he was prolific. It seems hard to believe, but despite his myriad talents (and there were many) Travis suffered from an insecurity so powerful that it occasionally derailed his career.

    There are large gaps of time where he would vanish from the scene, only to reappear with abilities that dwarfed and mesmerized some of his most well-known and talented contemporaries. His career is sporadic but stunning, and here is a list of songs that we’re certain convince you of his overwhelming talent.

    Featured Tracks:

    You’ll Be Lonesome Too – w/ the Sheppard Brothers

    Divorce Me C.O.D.

    Nine-Pound Hammer

    I Am a Pilgrim

    Dark as a Dungeon

    Sixteen Tons

    Three Times Seven

    Reenlistment Blues (live)

    Saturday Night Special

    Mere’s Boogie Woogie

    Cannonball Rag

    Blue Smoke

    Walking the Strings

    Inro to…

    Nine Pound Hammer 1972 w/ Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

    Channel 30 - The History of Guitar in America 1922-1962