> Julius Boggs and Earnest Maynard–”El Rio Prayer for a Dying Dog”
Julius Boggs and Earnest Maynard–”El Rio Prayer for a Dying Dog”
- Side A–Earnest Prayer for a Dying Dog
Julius Boggs and Earnest Maynard were cousins out of Galax, VA. An early member of the Martinsville string band the Gumtrotters, Boggs was well known for his obscure tunings and off kilter rhythms. Maynard developed a unique style of claw hammer banjo, using the outside of his fingernails to scrape the strings. He spent most of his youth working in a sheet metal business and then went off to Korea. When he returned the fingers on his right hand had been shortened due to a train wheel accident.
In early 1954 Victor talent scout Ralph Peer (who discovered The Carter Family and Jimmie Rogers) advertised an audition in Martinsville that led Boggs and Maynard to a recording contract. They made seven records before Boggs died from heart conditions in the late fifties.
Although Boggs & Maynard were never quite the same after the finger shortening, they never seemed to suffer too much and in fact created a new style of finger-picking this way. You can hear the particular “plunk” of the strings really well on this track about a hapless canine meeting his end.