On 10 Dec. 1923, millhand Henry Whitter of Fries, Virginia, recorded nine songs in New York City for OKeh Records. Released early in 1924, the coupling of "Wreck on the Southern Old 97" and "Lonesome Road Blues" became one of the first successful country recordings. Whitter recorded more than 100 songs from 1923 to 1930. Whitter's success inspired others who had worked with him at the Fries Textile Plant to travel to New York and audition. Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman made his first recordings in Sept. 1924, eventually exceeding Whitter's output. Likewise, Kelly Harrell traveled north in 1925 and continued to record throughout the 1920s.
Geographic Location: Grayson County
Physical Description of Location: Fries, VA 24330. Located on Scenic Road (Rt. 94), less than 1/5 of a mile east of the junction of Scenic Road (Rt. 94) and Ivanhoe Road. Marker is on the right when traveling east on Scenic Road (Rt. 94).
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