Carl Martin was born in Big Stone Gap in April 1906. He grew up in Southwest Virginia and moved to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1918. He performed regionally on the guitar, mandolin, bass, and violin at coal camps, dances, and in traveling shows. In 1930, Martin's string band recorded two instrumentals for Vocalion, released under the band name "Tennessee Chocolate Drops" for a black audience and the "Tennessee Trio" in the white old-time music series. Martin moved to Chicago in the 1930s, recording blues and performing with such artists as Big Bill Broonzy and Tampa Red until serving in World War II. The 1960s folk revival brought Martin before new audiences. He died in Detroit on 10 May 1979.
Geographic Location: Wise County
Physical Description of Location: West corner of intersection between E 3rd Street N and Shawnee Avenue E, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219.
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