donderdag 16 mei 2013
On Top Of Old Smok(e)y (1925) / Little Mohee (1926) / Great Shining Light (1938) / Pizza Song (1961) / On Top Of Spaghetti (1963) / Ich geh' noch zur Schule (1963)
"On Top of Old Smoky" is a traditional folk song and a well-known ballad from the United States. As recorded by The Weavers, the song reached the pop music charts in 1951.
Their rendition (Decca 27515) became one of their biggest hits in 1951, when it became the number-two song for many weeks on the Billboard charts.
On Top of Old Smokey
Old Smoky may be a high mountain somewhere in the Ozarks or the central Appalachians, as the tune bears the stylistic hallmarks of the Scottish and Irish people who settled the region. Possibilities include Clingmans Dome, named "Smoky Dome" by local Scots-Irish inhabitants, but exactly which mountain it is may be lost to antiquity.
It is unclear when, where and by whom the song was first recorded. Pete Seeger modified a version that he learned in the Appalachians, writing new words and banjo music. He said that he thought that "certain verses go back to Elizabethan times." The sheet music for the song credited Seeger for "new words and music arrangement". The liner notes identify an early recording as the first, saying, "It was first recorded by George Reneau, "The Blind Musician of the Smoky Mountains," for Vocalion (Vo 15366) in 1925."
Cecil J. Sharp (1917) filed "Old Smoky" together with "Wagoner's Lad" (sung by Miss Memory Shelton at Alleghany, N.C., July 29, 1916), but that is in fact a different song with still another distinctive tune. They only share some floating verses.
"Old Smoky" seems to be first collected in 1913 in North Carolina by Edward Perrow and then also published in his "Songs And Rhymes From The South" in the Journal of American Folklore 1915
The 2nd and 3rd verse in "On top Of Old Smoky" show a striking resemblance to the 1st and 2nd verse of Ballad # 261B "The Young Man's Lamentation" from Douce Ballads 2 (between 1690 and 1696)
CLICK ON THE BLUE LOUPE ON THE TOP LEFT IN THE NEXT LINK TO GET A BIGGER PICTURE: --> getImageFull (3647×2334)
The Young-man's Lamentation
His Passionate Complaint of his Unconstant Lover;
Together with his Resolution to leave her who scornfully slighted him.
To an Excellent New Tune, or, Over Hills and High Mountains
Licensed according to Order.
Meeting's a pleasure,
But parting's a grief,
An Unconstant Lover
Is worse than a Thief;
A Thief he can Rob me,
And take what I have,
But an Unconstant Lover
Will bring me to the Grave.
And here's the first recording:
(o) George Reneau "The Blind Musician of the Smoky Mountains" (1925) (as ""On Top Of Old Smoky"
Recorded in New York on October 15, 1925
Released on Vocalion (B 15366).
George Reneau: A Discography
As you can hear this ORIGINAL version has not the common melody as we know it from the hit-version of The Weavers.
Reneau recorded the number again two years later (June 15, 1927), as a duo with Lester McFarland, under the name the Collins Brothers.
Released on the B-side of Paramount 3040 as by the Collins Brothers
And Broadway 8071 as by the Cramer Brothers.
On Top of Old Smokey : Cramer Bros. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Listen here: On Top of Old Smokey - Cramer Bros..mp3
As you can hear this re-recorded version does use the common melody as we know it from the hit-version of The Weavers, which on his turn is clearly derived from the traditional "Little Mohee".
Little Mohee, The [Laws H8]
Which in his turn has a connection with another traditional: -->"Indian Lass".
On August 25, 1925 Kelly Harrell recorded a version of "Little Mohee" for Okeh.
Accompanied by Henry Whitter on harmonica and guitar.
This version wasn't issued.
(c) Flora Noles recorded "Little Mohee" on March 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Released on Okeh 45037.
OKeh matrix 9609. Little Mohee / Flora Noles - Discography of American Historical Recordings
Flora Noles - Little Mohee / Sailor Boy's Farewell (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
A soundfile of this one is still on my wishlist !
(c) Roe Brothers and Morrell (1927) (as "My Little Mohi")
Recorded March 28, 1927
Released on Columbia 15199-D
Roe Brothers - Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad / My Little Mohi (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
(c) Buell Kazee (1927) (as "Little Mohee")
Buell Kazee: vocals en banjo; Carson Robison: guitar and whistling
Recorded in New York on April 21, 1927.
Released on the B-side of Brunswick 156
Buell Kazee - The Roving Cowboy / My Little Mohee (Shellac) at Discogs
(c) Riley Puckett ( 1928) (as "Little Maumee")
Recorded April 14, 1928, Atlanta, GA.
Released on Columbia 15277-D
Riley Puckett - Little Maumee / Breeze (Shellac, 78 RPM, 10") | Discogs
(c) Ernest Stoneman and His Dixie Mountaineers (1928) (as "The Pretty Mohea")
Recorded November 22, 1928 in New York
Released on "Ernest V. Stoneman Edison Recordings"
(c) Bradley Kincaid ("Little Mohee")
Recorded on January 28, 1929
Released on Gennett 6856, on Supertone 9402 and on Champion 15731 (as by Dan Hughey)
In the same year Kincaid also recorded "On Top Of Old Smoky".
(c) Bradley Kincaid (1929) ("On Top Of Old Smoky")
Recorded on October 4, 1929
Released on Gennett 7053, on Supertone 9566, Superior 2770, Montgomery Ward 4984
Bradley Kincaid - I Will Be All Smiles Tonight / On Top Of Old Smoky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
Bradley Kincaid - Cindy / On Top Of Old Smoky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
And on Champion 16029 (as by Dan Hughey)
Dan Hughey - Charlie Brooks / On Top Of Old Smoky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
Listen here: On Top of Old Smoky - Bradley Kincaid.mp3
(c) Pie Plant Pete (= Claude Moye) (1934) (as "Little Mohee")
Recorded Ovember 1, 1934
Released on Perfect 5-10-14 and Melotone 5-10-14 in 1935.
Pie Plant Pete - Little Mohee / The Lake Of Ponchatrain (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
Pie Plant Pete - Little Mohee / The Lake Of Ponchatrain (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
(c) Hall Brothers (1937)
Recorded February 16, 1937 in Charlotte, NC.
Released on Bluebird 6843
Hall Brothers - 'Way Out There / Little Mo-Hee (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
In 1938 Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys recorded "The Great Shining Light"which cleverly used the "Little Mohee / On Top Of Old Smoky" tune.
Recorded on November 3, 1938 in Columbia, SC
Released on Okeh 04590
Roy Acuff And His Smoky Mountain Boys - That Beautiful Picture / The Great Shining Light (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
If the tune isn't original, even the words aren't.
On September 26, 1938 Herald Goodman and his Tennessee Valley Boys already recorded "The Great Shining Light" as the B-side of "New Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley".
Herald Goodman And His Tennessee Valley Boys - (New) Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley / The Great Shining Light (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
Listen here: The Great Shining Light - Herald Goodman and his Tennessee Valley Boys.mp3
More cover-versions of "(On Top Of) Old Smoky":
Okeh Presents Burl Ives: the Wayfaring Stranger (Okeh K-3) issued in August, 1941 marked Ives’ recording debut. It comprised twelve songs, oddly, not including the eponymous “Poor Wayfaring Stranger,” on four 10-inch 78s:
78 RPM - Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stranger - OKeh - USA
"On Top Of Old Smoky" was on the B-side of Record #3, which had labelnumber Okeh 6317.
The same recordings were rereleased on Columbia albumset C-103. On this set "On Top Of Old Smoky" was on the B-side of Record #3, which had labelnumber Columbia 36735.
78 RPM - Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stranger - Columbia - USA
(c) Libby Holman (1942) (as "Old Smoky")
with Josh White on guitar
Recorded March 23, 1942 in New York, NY,
Libby Holman Accompanied By Josh White - Blues Till Dawn (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Album) | Discogs
Listen here (at 1 min and 38 sec in the YT below)
(c) Hally Wood with Pete Seeger (1944) (as "On Top Of Old Smoky")
Recorded in May 1944 in New York for Lomax's radio ballad opera "The Martins and the Coys"
The Martins And The Coys (CD, Album) | Discogs
Listen to a sample here (Song #13)
The Ballad Operas: The Martins & The Coys - Alan Lomax | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
(c) In 1946 Burl Ives sang "(On Top Of Old) Smoky" in the movie "Smoky" along with several other traditional songs:
(c) Minnie Pearl with Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys (1944)
Recorded in Aug/Sept 1946
Released on the B-side of King 590
78 RPM - Minnie Pearl With Pee Wee King And The Golden West Cowboys - In The Shadow Of The Pine / On Top Of Old Smoky - King - USA - 590
(c) Bob Atcher (1948) (as "Old Smoky")
Recorded December 29, 1947 in Chicago, IL
Released on Columbia 20484
Bob Atcher - Old Smoky / The Hunters Of Kentucky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Promo) | Discogs
The Weavers and Terry Gilkyson 1951 had a Millionseller with their version arranged by Pete Seeger. It became Number 2 Hitsong in the USA for 8 Weeks. Only "How High The Moon" and "Too Young" prevented it from getting to the #1 spot.
(c) The Weavers and Terry Gilkyson (1951)
Recorded February 21, 1951
Released on Decca 27515
78 RPM - The Weavers And Terry Gilkyson - Across The Wide Missouri / On Top Of Old Smoky - Decca - USA - 27515
The Weavers And Terry Gilkyson - Across The Wide Missouri / On Top Of Old Smoky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
After The Weavers hit the big time with this song, Burl Ives re-recorded "On Top of Old Smoky" (this time with the Percy Faith Orchestra and Chorus)
(c) Percy Faith and his Orchestra and Chorus with Burl Ives (1951)
Recorded March 22, 1951 in New York
Released on Columbia 39328
Percy Faith And His Orchestra And Chorus - On Top Of Old Smoky / The Syncopated Clock (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Single) | Discogs
Listen here to Burl Ives's cover-version:
Vaughn Monroe could not stay behind and recorded his cover for the RCA Victor-label
(c) Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra (1951)
Recorded March 16, 1951
Released on RCA Victor 20-4114
Vaughn Monroe And His Orchestra - Shall We Dance / On Top Of Old Smoky (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
Listen here to Vaughn Monroe's cover-version.
(c) Hank Williams performed this one in 1951 on Mother's Best Flour transcriptions
(c) Cisco Houston (1951) ("On Top Of Old Smoky")
Recorded around 1945/1946
Released on the next album
Lonesome Valley (Vinyl, 10") | Discogs
Lonesome Valley - A Collection of American Folk Music | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
(c) Eddy Christiani (1951) (as "Daar Ginds Bij Die Molen")
Met koor en orkest o.l.v. Pi Scheffer
Released on Decca M 33182
(c) Pete Seeger (1957)
Released December 1957 on the album "American Favorite Ballads".
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
(c) Elvis sang an excerpt of "On Top Of Old Smoky" in the movie Follow That Dream (1961)
(c) Johnny and The Hurricanes (1961) (as "Old Smokie")
Released on Big Top 3076 (USA)
and London 45-HLX 9378 (UK) (# 12 Hit UK)
(c) Connie Francis (1961) (as "On Top Of Old Smokey")
Recorded August 8, 1961 in Nashville TN
Released September 1961 on the album "Connie Francis Sings Folk Song Favorites".
Vinyl Album - Connie Francis - Connie Francis Sings Folk Song Favorites - MGM - USA
(c) Dick Biondi 1961 (as "The Pizza Song")
In 1961 Chicago radio's living legend, Dick Biondi made this parody "On Top Of Old Smokey".
And two years later, the parody song "On Top Of Spaghetti" came out, which was basically a rip-off of Biondi's song.
and here's Tom Glazer's ripp-off:
(c) "On Top of Spaghetti" is a ballad and children's song written and originally performed by folk singer Tom Glazer with the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus in 1963. The song is sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smoky". It is essentially the tale of a meatball that was lost when "somebody sneezed". The song discusses what happened to the meatball after it fell off of a pile of spaghetti and rolled away.
It was released on the Kapp-label (Kapp 526) and got to #14 in the US Charts.
(c) Rijk de Gooyer (1963) (as "Een Bord Met Spaghetti")
Dutch lyrics by Pi Veriss (= Piet Visser)
Rijk de Gooyer - Een Bord Met Spaghetti (Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single) | Discogs
In 1963 Little Eva, singer of "The Loco-Motion", recorded a version called "Old Smokey Locomotion", with lyrics describing how the residents of Old Smokey caught on to The Locomotion.
(c) Little Eva (1963) (as "Old Smokey Locomotion")
Little Eva - Old Smokey Locomotion / Just A Little Girl (Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single) | Discogs
In Germany, the tune of the song was used as the chorus to singer Manuela's hit single "Ich geh' noch zur Schule" in 1963. (Nr 4 Hit Germany)
(c) Manuela (1963) (as "Ich geh' noch zur Schule")
German lyrics by Christian Bruhn and Rudolf-Günter Loose)
Manuela - Ich Geh' Noch Zur Schule (Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single) | Discogs
In Germany, the tune of the song was also used as the chorus to singer Ronny's hit single "Kein Gold Im Blue River" in 1964. (Nr 5 Hit Germany)
(c) Ronny (1964) (as "Kein Gold Im Blue River")
German lyrics by Johannes Jorge (=Hans Hee) and Wolf Hausmann (=Wolfgang Roloff)
Ronny - Kein Gold Im Blue River / Valeri, Valera (Vinyl, 7", Single, 45 RPM) | Discogs
(c) John Lennon sang a version as "Old Smoky Mountain" on his 31st Birthday on October 9, 1971 in Syracuse, NY, with Yoko, Phil Spector, Klaus Voorman, Allan Ginsberg, Jim Keltner, and ? (2:00)- LHAP JL31
BootlegZone : John Lennon -- 31st Birthday Party
John Lennon - St. Regis Hotel & Hotel Syracuse, New York (CD, Unofficial Release) | Discogs
Listen to John's cover here:
(c) ABBA sang a medley of "Pick A Bale Of Cotton/On Top Of Old Smokey/Midnight Special"
Recording began on May 6, 1975 at Glen Studio. It remains ABBA's only release of material not written by themselves, and was originally released on the 1975 German charity album "Stars Im Zeichen Eines Guten Sterns". In 1978, it featured (with a slight audio tweak, for many years mistakenly referred to as a 'remix') as the B-side of the "Summer Night City" single.
(c) Bruce Springsteen performed this traditional song only once, during The River tour, on 25 Oct 1980 at the Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, in honor of Mount St. Helens eruption.
(c) Mickey Newbury (2011) (as "On Top Of Old Smokey")
Recorded around 1969/1970
Released on the album "Better Days"
Mickey Newbury - Better Days (Vinyl, LP, Album) | Discogs
(c) In 2005 Roger McGuinn recorded "On Top Of Old Smokey" in the context of his Folk Den project
Listen here to Roger's cover.