Appalachia Music

Rock Of Ages Hide Thou Me – 50 Years Ago

  Hide Me Rock of Ages
Pap holding Tipper, Ray, and Henry

A few weeks back I told you about the John C. Campbell Folk School’s newest cd Nighthoots and Morningsongs Volume 2. The two part anthology features live music from various artists at the Keith House and Festival Barn on the JCCFS Campus. We were tickled pink to find out track 8 was a recording of Pap, Paul, the girls, and me playing Rock of Ages at a concert at the folk school.

The news about the cd jogged Paul’s mind to another Rock of Ages song. I’ll let him tell you about the other song.

One Rock of Ages deserves another. Last week, we uploaded a live recording of trio-version of Rock of Ages recorded at the JCCFS. My mind drifted back to an old reel-to-reel radio broadcast by Pap and his brothers of another song, I believe the official title is Hide Me, Rock of Ages, but I’ve always thought of it simply as the other Rock of Ages. I copied the cut onto a cassette tape around 25 years ago, but a friend of mine lost the copy, and the reel-to-reel player that I used died while I was finishing up all the media transferring that I was doing. A week ago, I was able to buy a functioning reel-to-reel from someone on Ebay. It came yesterday, and last night I found the song and made a digital copy. The volume comes and goes due to tape deterioration. This recording is 50-55 years old, I think. I love my Uncle Henry’s guitar work on the cut. Most guitarists don’t particularly enjoy playing in the F position, partly because the high chord is B flat. Somehow, F position seemed to suit Henry just fine. The vocals on the recording are completely “dry,” with no reverb. Henry’s guitar amp seems to have been set with generous reverb, which helps it cut through the muffled come-and-go audio on this old tape. I let Chitter listen to the recording, and it was interesting that it took about 15 minutes to explain to her what a reel-to-reel recorder is. I sometimes forget that people in their early 20’s have always lived in a digital world. I do not know who played upright bass during the radio broadcast, but he did a good job. In the group photo, Pap is on the left, holding Tipper; Ray is in the middle; Henry is on the right. I believe they are leaning against a ’64 Impala that Pap had at that time. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the old song from “the archives.”


I hope you enjoyed the old recording. As Paul went through the old reel-to-reels from Pap’s early music he found all sorts of gems. Most of the finds are music, but the recordings captured more than a few conversations and other tid-bits of talking. Pap and Granny would go in the back room to sing and get away from the racket of us kids. On one recording Paul found you can hear a little Tipper come into the room to tell them she’s worried a storm is coming. They assure me it will be fine and tell me to go back out and shut the door. In a few minutes I’m back telling them I hear the wind a blowing and a storm really is coming.




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  • Reply
    February 21, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    amazing guitar work on that recording great song as well keep digging the old ones out

  • Reply
    Brenda Schlosser
    November 6, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    We sang this in church back in the ’50’s and 60’s.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    November 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    That sounded just fine to me. Evidently piano players don’t like playing F position either because my Mama and daughter were talking yesterday about how much they hated playing in F. LOl. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    November 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Had to leave for church early so didn’t get to listen to this til today, Monday. Tipper, that was wonderful. I absolutely loved your Uncle’s guitar and the vocals. Thank you Paul for finding it on the Reel to Reel.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 6, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Dear Tipper, that was a beautiful song. I don’t know a lot about music but that seemed to be some really nice guitar playing. The vocals were great, too.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I have also added this video to my playlists on Youtube. I have one for the Pressley Girls, The Blind Pig Gang and The Wilson Brothers. I can start one and play my kind of music for hours without stop (well an ad might pop up every now and then and make me go back and “skip ad”.) Ads before videos are irritating but they are a harbinger of good things. They mean people are watching the videos
    I checked with my resident modern electronic device expert Dusty. He tapped and held his smart phone on the video and the menu came up with loop on it. That little bitty speaker didn’t do it justice though.

  • Reply
    Janice Chapman
    November 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    This takes me back-this was one of my Daddy’s favorite hymns! He was a song leader at church and I learned to sing alto when I was still a little girl. This was a song we sang often!

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    November 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    so fabulous to hear this from your family would love to have you post some more of it i just love it so much you all have a great week and thanks to paul it must have been amazing listening to the reel to reel tapes i also know what that but dont have one anymore

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I forgot to tell Paul Thanks for providing us with “a touch of the past.” Beautiful!!! …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 5, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Tipper, you should remind your readers with PCs that they can right click on the videos and choose loop to listen to the music over and over if they want to. Right now I am working on my online family tree and listening to (and singing along with) Rock of Ages Hide Thou Me. I’m not sure if it works the same on other devices but I’m sure there is a way.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I love the singing on Reel to Reel tapes, the sound I grew up with. The brothers do an excellent job!
    One time when I was about 19 or 20, I took a portable Reel tape with me deer camping in Georgia. We always camped in Putnam County and I recorded my second oldest brother, Joel and Carl Hardin talking about old times. I’ve even got my daddy’s and Laura’s voice on there, fixin’ to go to a Roper Reunion in Burningtown. Lordy, those were the days!!! …Ken

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    November 5, 2017 at 11:18 am

    That was absolutely wonderful!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 5, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Great – just great. Thank you Paul and Tipper.
    “50 years ago” and reel to reel got me to thinking…..
    Holy cow, it has been almost fifty years since my high school hunting buddy Charlie lent me his reel to reel tape recorder while he was over in Viet Nam (and I was in college ). I can picture it now sitting on the shelf in Bragaw dorm, the place where I first talked – on the one phone shared by eight guys – to that little blonde-headed, pig-tailed girl who has now been my far better half for well over four decades.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I have never heard this song before, but I really enjoyed it, especially the instrumentals. That picture sure brings back memories. I remember those Impalas; they really made cars in those days. Cars all look alike today. And the STP sticker in the window! You can tell it’s early 70’s by the hairstyles. My brother had a little reel-to-reel tape recorder as a child and we all loved recording our voices. Thank you for this wonderful treat!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

    You know that is my kind of music. Yes, it has its imperfections but that is how I know it is real. Real people have imperfections. Back then musicians didn’t have sound studios and computers that could fix things that went wrong. So don’t ever apologize for the quality of such a treasure. Its perfection is in its imperfection.
    Did I mention I LOVE IT!!!
    PS: I notice Uncle Henry is the only one with a watch. He must be the one that kept them in time.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Love the old song, and beautifully done. There are several things in this that brings back memories, one is the hair styles, two. the STP sticker in the window, three, Daddy had a 64 impala super sport in blue, white interior, chrome around the bucket seats, A/C that would freeze a monkey in a dead run, man, I’d love to have that car now, and four, the old reel to reel, ours wasn’t that fancy but you set it up the same way, all just memories now.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 5, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Grew up hearing that one. Can’t do it well at our church just now because we have no bass singer. We could do this particular arrangement without the bass but everybody would have to be together. That could be a challenge.
    Mom and Dad sang in a quartet on a radio program back about 1960. It was recorded in the wash house of one of the church members. I have heard that the family has reel to reel tapes of all the shows.
    By the way, to my unsophisticated ear the sound was just fine. Perhaps that will show the musicians why I am not one?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Oh my goodness…I love this copy that Paul made…Great job Paul…Have you ever thought of putting those copies onto a cd for sale…That sound is what I listening to growing up, especially if my Dad was driving and he had the radio tuned to the right station…It would aggravate him if static, etc. came in and he couldn’t hear the music until he was on top of another hill or clear area! Ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I would love to hear the one where you come in to tell about the storm coming…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 5, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Wow Tip, that’s way cool! and a big thanks to Paul! I’m afraid I do know what reel to reel is, LOL!
    The guitar is amazing and those voices were created for singing. I can easily pick out Pap’s sweet voice.
    What a special treat for this Sunday morning.

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