J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, circa 1940s. Clockwise from bottom left: J.E., Ernest(?), son Glenn, and son Curly.
J.E. (Joseph Emmett) Mainer (1898 – 1971) learned to play the fiddle as a kid in North Carolina. As a young man, he worked in the textile mills of North Carolina and Tennessee. He made his first recordings in 1935 with the “Crazy Mountaineers,” which consisted of J.E. on fiddle, his brother Wade on banjo and Zeke Morris on guitar. The band survived numerous personnel changes over the years, but disbanded at the onset of World War II. During the 1940s, J.E. recorded with his sons Glenn and Curly and called the band J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers. The band played in the bluegrass/folk tradition, with really lovely harmonies. A lot of his early 78 recordings have been re-issued on CD. See AllMusic.com for a list. More info and a discography can also be found on Wikipedia.