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When I got back to Nashville, I had this boxed package in the mail from Mark Wilson, the folklorist who co-produced Parkersburg Landing. Inside the box was a pile of wire recordings, looking very much like a gossamer bird’s nest, which Mark said were Lynn Davis’ recordings of Ed Haley from the forties. I had no idea why Mark had these wires, or really why he had sent them to me. Some years before, I had called him about Ed and received a cool reception, sort of like, “Why don’t you leave all of this to the real folklorists?”

I took the wire recordings to Lee Hazen, a studio engineer and friend whose life-long hobby was wire recordings, and he told me right away that they were way beyond hope. “Even if you took pieces of them and run them through and taped them and then assembled the tape?” I asked.

Nope.

He said it would require someone with enough patience to spend the rest of their life untangling them. I decided to keep them safe though and maybe someday, who knows? But wouldn’t it be awful to get them all together and discover that they were not even of Ed?

Later that spring, Bruce Nemerov notified me that he’d completed his work on Ed Haley’s recordings. I got a hold of the new copies, which included an audio log. There were several records that Bruce didn’t copy.