Fiddlin’ John Carson

Fiddlin’ John Carson was a legendary fiddle champion. He made his radio debut on WSB in 1922.

Okeh Records released two tracks he recorded on Nassau Street. They became the first commercially-successful “hillbilly” record, launching the country music recording industry.

Fiddlin’ John Carson’s recording of “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Fiddlin’ John Carson has a very checkered history. During the Leo Frank trial, he stoked anti-Semitism. He performed at fiddling contests sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan and at campaign rallies for segregationist politicians.

However, he also poked some fun at the Klan in his song “Ain’t No Bugs on Me.” In 1933, Carson headlined a benefit concert on Auburn Avenue for imprisoned African-American labor leader Angelo Herndon. The news reported it as “the first time in the history of the city a gathering of Negro and white workers took place with absolutely no segregation.” He was also the first musician to record a song about African-American folk hero John Henry.