Molly O'Day and the Cumberland Mountain Folks
is a double-disc, 36-track collection that compiles all of the recordings O'Day
made for Columbia Records between 1946 and 1951. Though her music presages the upcoming honky tonk era, O'Day was more closely tied to the mountain music that dominated country music in the first half of the 20th century. As such, her music can be a little difficult for contemporary ears -- her thick nasal twang is something that modern listeners will have to accommodate. For country historians, however, Molly O'Day and the Cumberland Mountain Folks
is a worthwhile. Not only did she bridge the gap between string bands and honky tonk with her old-timey banjo playing and twang, but she was one of the first country artists to record a Hank Williams
song. As such, this double-disc set is worth investigation for serious musicologists.