vrijdag 24 mei 2013

Sweet Thing (1941)

SWEET THING was written by Walter Callahan

Recorded on April 27, 1941 by the Callahan Brothers at the Biggs Studio, Dallas, TX 

Callahan Brothers

Walter Callahan [vcl/gt]
Homer Callahan [gt],
Paul Buskirk [mandolin],
? [string bass]
Released on Decca 5952 (Matrix 93687)

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(c) Cowboy Copas 1946 - "Sweet Thing"
Recorded ca August 1946 King Recording Studio, 1540 Brewster Ave., Cincinnati, OH –
Cowboy Copas (Producer: Syd Nathan)
Matrix K2074
Released in 1946 on King 630 (78) and released in 1961 on King 5571 (45)

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In 1933 Whistlin Rufus (=Rufus Bridey) recorded "Sweet Thing" for the Bluebird-label, but that is a totally different song:



(c) Fiddlin' Arthur Smith 1947 ("Sweet Thing")
Recorded 10 October 1947 [no.716] Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood 38, CA Arthur Smith & His Dixie-Liners
Matrix 2309
Released on Capitol 40086



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(c) T Texas Tyler 1948 ("Sweet Thing")
Recorded ca. December 1947 poss. Associated Studio, 305 S. Fairoaks Ave., Pasadena, CA -
T. Texas Tyler (T.Texas Tyler [vcl/gt], Porky Freeman [ld gt], Roy Wiggins [steel], ? [bass], Reuben Daniel Alguire [trumpet])
Matrix 1713
Released on 4 Star 1228

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(c) Stanley Brothers 1959 ("Sweet Thing")
Recorded September 15, 1959 King Recording Studio, 1540 Brewster Ave., Cincinnati, OH -
Stanley Brothers (Carter Stanley [vcl/gt], Ralph Stanley [vcl/banjo], Bill Napier [mandolin], George Shuffler [bass]
Matrix K4344 
Released in 1960 on the album "The Stanley Brothers Sing Everybody's Country Favorites"  (King KS-690)


Listen here:

(c) September 25, 1959 : TRINI LOPEZ is at the King studio in Cincinnati to record six tracks. "Sweet Thing" (matrix K4375) coupled with "Chain of Love" is released in the first week of 1960 on King 5304.

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(c) Reno & Smiley 1961 ("Sweet Thing")
Recorded 24 April 1961 King Recording Studio, 1540 Brewster Ave., Cincinnati, OH –
Reno and Smiley, 
(Don Reno [vcl/banjo], Red Smiley [vcl/rh gt], Steve Chapman [el gt], Ronnie Reno [mandolin], Ray Pennington [drums], Mack Magaha [fiddle/percussion])
Matrix K10765
Released on the album "Reno & Smiley (King LP-794) (withdrawn shortly after release)
Than rereleased on the album "Variety Show" (King KS-932)



Listen to a sample here:


(c) Osborne Brothers(1963) ("Sweet Thing")
Recorded January 11, 1963 [19:00-22:00] Columbia Recording Studio B, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville 3, TN Recording Date:1963-01-11
Composer: Rufus Bridey   ????????
Instruments: Sonny Osborne-bj; Bob Osborne-m; Grady Martin-g; Benny Birchfield-g; Jerry Byrd-bs; Willie Ackerman-drums
Vocals: Sonny. Osborne, Bob Osborne and Benny Birchfield
Producer: Wesley Rose & Jim Vienneau)
Released on the album "Cuttin' Grass - The Osborne Brothers Style"(MGM SE 4149)


(c) Rob de Nijs 1964 (Liefste (Ik schrijf je een brief)).
Dutch singer Rob de Nijs covered "Sweet Thing" (Buddy Starcher / Dutch lyrics by Lodewijk Post) (as "Liefste (Ik Schrijf Je Een Brief)" on the B-side of "Loop Naar De Maan" 

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(c) Steve Young 1976 (on album "Renegade Picker")

Listen here:

(c) Bluegrass Blend (1979)



(c) The Lost Kentuckians With Joe Meadows (1981)                          


(c) Dave Evans And River Bend (1984)


NOT to be confused with "Sweet Thing" on the next link, contrary to what is being said.


And also NOT to be confused with "Sweet Thing" composed by Van Morrison (covered by ao Jeff Buckley and by The Waterboys, "Sweet Thing" composed by David Bowie, "Sweet Thing" composed by Chaka Khan (covered by Mary J Blige) or "Sweet Thing" composed by Mick Jagger.

And also NOT to be confused with "Sweet Thing" composed in 1926 by Ralph Williams, Herman Kahn and Joe Verges


dinsdag 21 mei 2013

Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho (1922)

"Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" (or alternatively "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" or "Joshua Fit de Battle ob Jericho") is a well-known African-American spiritual.
The song is believed to have been composed by slaves in the first half of the nineteenth century. Some references suggest that it was copyrighted by Jay Roberts in 1865.
The lyrics allude to the biblical story of the Battle of Jericho, in which Joshua led the Israelites against Canaan (Joshua 6:15-21). However, like those of many other spirituals, the words may have had a hidden meaning alluding to eventual escape from slavery - in the case of this song,

The first recorded version was in July 1922 by Harrod's Jubilee Singers, on Black Swan 2057-B.

Harrod's Jubilee Singers were an internationally acclaimed gospel quartet patterned after the famous ensemble formed during the 19th century at Fisk University. The group was led by tenor Archie Harrod, who also recorded as a solo comedian.
Harrod's Jubilee Singers consisted of:
Ruth Mays, soprano
Mathilde Walton, contralto 
Archie Harrod, tenor
John Woodward, bass
In July 1922 the group recorded six religious titles in New York for Harry Pace's Black Swan label.


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Listen here:

The Black Swan-label went into swift decline through the end of 1922 and into 1923. It would declare bankruptcy before 1923 ended and in May, 1924 the recordings would be leased to Paramount.
The ORIGINAL version of "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" was also re-released in 1924 on Paramount 12116. Apparantly Jay Roberts was the name of the composer credits on this Paramount re-release.

(c) Paul Robeson recorded "Joshua Fit De Battle Ob Jericho" on July 16, 1925 in Camden New Jersey. With Lawrence Brown on the piano and vocals.
It was released on Victor 19743.

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(c) Nazarene Congregational Church Choir, "Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho"
Recorded November 20, 1926
Released on the B-side Herschel Gold Seal 2016

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And on the B-side of  Black Patti 8018

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and also on Herwin 92002 and on Gennett 6004 and on Champion 15380

Listen here:

(c) Dixie Jubilee Singers, "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho"
Recorded in May 31, 1928.
Released on Columbia 14329-D

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Listen to a sample here;


(c) W.C. Elkins and His Dextra Singers recorded in December 1928
Released on QRS R7068.

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Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Listen here:

(c) Clarence Williams Rhythm Kings 1935


(c) The Delta Rhythm Boys recorded a version on December 16, 1940.
It was released on Decca 8522 and Decca 25019.

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And here are the Delta Rhythm Boys in 1959:

(c) Josh White "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" recorded in 1944
Released on the Asch-label (Asch 358)

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Read the linernotes (scroll down on the next link)


Here's Josh White filmed for British television in 1965, including narrative fragments which seem to have been adapted from the autobiographical sections of The Josh White Song Book. This was near the end of Josh’s career, and, while he is playing well, he is obviously tired. Still, the selection of songs gives a good picture of his prime repertoire:
“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” seems to have been a favorite song since childhood, based as it was on his namesake, and it remained a highlight of Josh’s concerts throughout his career. It was also one of his most characteristic guitar arrangements, with a fast, swinging rhythmic attack that was quite different from the playing of anyone else on the scene.

(c) Cozy Cole All Stars 1944 (as "Jericho")
Lammar Wright (trumpet)
Ray Conniff (trombone)
Ben Webster (tenor saxophone)
Johnny Guarnieri (piano)
Teddy Walters (guitar)
Billy Taylor (bass)
Cozy Cole (drums)
Recorded NYC, March 13, 1944
Released on Savoy 502.

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Listen here:


(c) The Golden Gate Quartet recorded a version in June 1946.
It was released on Columbia 37833 (USA) as part of the album "Golden Gate Spirituals"

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And on Columbia D.C. 505 (UK)

Listen here:

And here is the Golden Gate Quartett live in France, 1958

(c) Kid Ory recorded a version on October 16, 1946.
It was released on Columbia 37275

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(c) Sidney Bechet and His Blue Note Jazzmen
Wild Bill Davison (cnt), Ray Diehl (tbn), Sidney Bechet (sop), Art Hodes (pno), Walter Page (bs), Wilmore "Slick" Jones (dms).
Recorded New York March 23 1949
Matrix BN358-0 Joshua Fit De Battle Ob Jericho
Released on the Blue Note album: "Sidney Bechet and Wild Bill Davison Vol 2"

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(c) Ralph Flanagan adapted it under the title "Joshua".
Ralph Flanagan and His Orchestra recorded the spiritual in New York City on March 1, 1950.
It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3724

(c) Mahalia Jackson recorded "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho" in New York City on Thursday November 3, 1955 With the Falls-Jones Ensemble: Mildred Falls, piano; Ralph Jones, organ; Clifton "Skeeter" Best, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Gordon "Specs" Powell, drums;
Released on Columbia EP "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Columbia B 2072)

Here's Gospel Queen Mahalia Jackson as she appeared in 1957 singing on the Nat King Cole show.

(c) Laurie London tried her luck at another traditional after her Millionselling #1 US Hit "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands".
Her follow-up "Joshua" was a cover of "Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho".

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Listen here:

(c) Odetta recorded a version on July 11, 1959 at the Newport Folk Festival


In 1960 Odetta recorded a version at Carnegie Hall:


(c) Pete Seeger 1960



(c) Jimmie Rodgers 1960


Listen here:

(c) Jordanaires 1951
Recorded July 4, 1950 Castle Studio, The Tulane Hotel, 206 8th Ave. North, Nashville, TN– Jordanaires (Bill Matthews,Warren M. Matthews,Robert T. Hubbard,Culley Holt)
Released on Decca 9-14589

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Listen here:

(c) Elvis Presley (" Joshua Fit The Battle")
Recorded by Elvis on Monday, 31 October 1960
Released on the album "His Hand In Mine" 


Listen here:

(c)  Grant Green (1963) (as"Joshua Fit De Battle Ob Jericho")
Herbie Hancock (piano) Grant Green (guitar) Butch Warren (bass) Billy Higgins (drums) Garvin Masseaux (tambourine)
Recorded at the Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 21, 1962
Released on "Feelin' the Spirit" (Blue Note Records BLP 4132).


Listen here:

(c) Lonnie Donegan (1962) on the album "Sing Hallelujah"


Listen here:


(c) Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins 1963


Listen here:

(c) Clara Ward Singers 1959


Here are the Clara Ward Singers in Antibes, France during the 1962 Antibes Jazz Festival.
Geraldine Jones, lead. Mildred Means, soprano.

(c) Weavers (1967)


(c) Prince Buster (1967) [as Dance Cleopatra hit in the Netherlands in '72]

Listen here:

(c) Big Maybelle 1968


Listen here:

(c) Les Humphries Singers 1970 on album "Rock My Soul" (Decca label)


(c) Swingle Singers 1991 ("Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho") on album "Around The World - Folk Music" (Virgin label)


Listen here:

(c) Cassandra Wilson (and Ron Carter) 1995 (as "Joshua Fit de Battle ob Jericho") on album "Bob Belden's Shades of Blue"


Listen here:


(c) Tom Verlaine 2011 from compilation: Pioneers For A Cure - American Songs To Fight Cancer

Songs | Pioneers for a Cure

(c) Hugh Laurie 2011 (as "Battle Of Jericho") on album "Let Them Talk" 

(c) And finally here's a very beautiful version from a group called "Amicitiae Vocis" from "Chile"


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)

"On Top of Old Smoky" is a traditional folk song and a well-known ballad of 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.

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)




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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.

"On Top Of Old Smoky" was first recorded in New York on October 15, 1925 by George Reneau, "The Blind Musician of the Smoky Mountains", for Vocalion (B 15366). 

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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

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And Broadway 8071 as by the Cramer Brothers.

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As you can hear this ORIGINAL version has not the common melody as we know it from the hit-version of The Weavers.
The Weavers used a melody clearly derived from the traditional "Little Mohee",


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.

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(c) Roe Brothers and Morrell, "My Little Mohi"
Label: Columbia 15199-D)
Recorded March 28, 1927

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(c) Buell Kazee recorded "Little Mohee" in New York on April 21, 1927.
Buell Kazee: vocals en banjo; Carson Robison: guitar and whistling
Released on the B-side of Brunswick 156

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Buell Kazee - The Roving Cowboy / My Little Mohee (Shellac) at Discogs

Listen  here:


(c) Riley Puckett, "Little Maumee" (Columbia 15277-D, 1928)

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(c) Ernest Stoneman and His Dixie Mountaineers, "The Pretty Mohea" (Edison, unissued, 1928)

Listen here:

(c) Bradley Kincaid ("Little Mohee")
Recorded on January 28, 1929 on Gennett 6856, on Supertone 9402 and on Champion 15731 (as by Dan Hughey)

Listen here:

Or to a sample here (Disc 2, song #3)

A Man and His Guitar: Selected Sides 1927 - Bradley Kincaid | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

In the same year when Kincaid recorded "Little Mohee" he also recorded "On Top Of Old Smokey"

(c) Dan Hughey (=Bradley Kincaid) ("On Top Of Old Smokey")
Recorded on October 4, 1929 on Gennett 7053 (also on Supertone 9566 and Superior 2770 and Champion 16029 and Montgomery Ward 4984)

Listen here:

Or to a sample here (Disc 2, song #13)

A Man and His Guitar: Selected Sides 1927 - Bradley Kincaid | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

(c) Pie Plant Pete (= Claude Moye) recorded "Little Mo-Hee" in 1934, it was released on Perfect 5-10-14 and Melotone 5-10-14 in 1935.

(c) Hall Brothers 1937 on Bluebird 6843

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On November 3, 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.

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Listen here

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".

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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:


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"On Top Of Old Smoky" was on the B-side of Record #3, which had labelnumber Okeh 6317.
In 1944 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.

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(c) Libby Holman, with Josh White on guitar, in 1942 ("Old Smoky")

(c) Hally Wood with Pete Seeger recorded "On Top Of Old Smoky" in 1944 by for Lomax's radio ballad opera "The Martins and the Coys,"


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 again 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 recorded a version of "On Top Of Old Smoky" in Aug/Sept 1946 and released on the B-side of King 590

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Listen here:

(c) Bob Atcher 1948 (as "Old Smokey") on Columbia 20484

Listen here:

(c) 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.

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Listen here:

(c) In 1951 Burl Ives (with the Percy Faith Orchestra) again sang "(On Top Of Old) Smoky", after The Weavers hit the big time with this song.

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Listen here to Burl Ives's cover-version:


(c) Vaughn Monroe could not stay behind and recorded his cover for the RCA-label

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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


(c) Eddy Christiani (1951) (as "Daar Ginds Bij Die Molen") on Decca M 33182

Met koor en orkest o.l.v. Pi Scheffer

(c) Pete Seeger 1957 on LP: "American Favorite Ballads".


(c) Elvis sang an excerpt of "On Top Of Old Smoky" in the movie Follow That Dream (1961)

Listen here:

(c) Johnny and The Hurricanes 1961 (as "Old Smokie")
Released on Big Top 3076 (USA)
and London 45-HLX 9378 (UK) (# 12 Hit UK)

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(c) Connie Francis recorded "On Top Of Old Smokey" in 1961 for the album "Connie Francis Sings Folk Song Favorites".

Listen here:

(c) Dick Biondi 1961 (The Pizza Song)

This tune, which was made in 1961 by Chicago radio's living legend, Dick Biondi, was a parody of the traditional folk classic, "On Top Of Old Smokey." (Two years later, the parody song "On Top Of Spaghetti" came out, which was basically a rip-off of Biondi's song.)


Listen here:

(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.

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Listen here:

(c) Rijk de Gooyer did a cover of this cover with Dutch lyrics by Pi Veriss as "Een Bord Met Spaghetti"

Listen here:

(c) 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.

Listen here:

(c) 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)

Listen here:

(c) Ronny 1964 (as "Kein Gold Im Blue River") (# 5 Hit Germany)


Listen here:

(c) John Lennon sang a version of "On Top Of Old Smoky" on his 31st Birthday on 10/09/71 in Syracuse, NY, with Yoko, Phil Spector, Klaus Voorman, Allan Ginsberg, Jim Keltner, and ? (2:00)- LHAP JL31

Listen to John's cover (after 6 minutes in the Youtube below )

(c) ABBA sang a medley of "Pick A Bale Of Cotton/On Top Of Ols Smokey/Midnight Special"
Recording began on 6 May 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.

Listen here:

(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.


Listen here:


(c) Mickey Newbury recorded "On Top Of Old Smoky" around 1969/1970 and in 2011 finally released it on the album "Better Days"

Listen here:

(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.


zaterdag 11 mei 2013

Shorty George (1939) / He Was a Friend of Mine (1961)

"He Was a Friend of Mine" is a traditional folk song in which the singer laments the death of a friend. In 1961 Rolf Cahn and Eric Von Schmidt cut the first version of "He Was A Friend Of Mine", (recorded by Bob Dylan the same year).
It was contained on the next album on the Folkways-label (FA 2417)

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But at the bottom of the liner-notes of the Folkways-album by Rolf Cahn and Eric Von Schmidt they mention this:

"He Was A Friend Of Mine", sung with the title "Shorty George" by Smith Casey, Clemens State Farm, Brazoria, Texas, 1939.


And indeed Cahn and Von Schmidt's "He Was A Friend Of Mine" is an almost exact cover-version of Smith Casey's mesmerizing "Shorty George". Casey cut the song and ten others for John Lomax in 1939. Traditionally the Shorty George was the train that took convicts (and visitors) to and from the prison.

Listen here:

Or here

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Issued by the Library of Congress in the 1950's on the next album:

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Afro-American Blues and Game Songs
Library of Congress AFS L4:
The LP album  was accompanied by liner note booklet, packed with information about the recordings and the traditions they represented.
Edited by Alan Lomax, 1942. PDF, 10 pp.,


But already in February 1934 James Baker (Iron Head) recorded a version of "Shorty George", at Central State Farm, Sugarland, Texas, with a bit different melody, and with floating lyrics.


Listen here:

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In 1935 Leadbelly recorded the song by the same name about the train, also a bit different than the one Casey sang. He even sings: "Well-a Shorty George, he AIN'T no friend of mine"

Listen here to Leadbelly's version:

Just to add some confusion, Sippie Wallace recorded a song by the same title which is UNRELATED to the versions above.

Okeh 8106A
Matrix 08491=A 
Recorded October 26, 1923

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Listen here:

Gennett 5345
TINY FRANKLIN (piano acc. George Thomas)
Matrix G11696
Recorded December 10, 1923

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Listen here:

But let's see who else covered "He Was A Friend Of Mine":

(c) Bob Dylan 1961

(c) Dave Van Ronk 1963

(c) Dian And The Greenbriar Boys 1963 (as "He Was A Friend") (with an arrangement and lyrics by Hoyt Axton)


Listen here:

(c) Bobby Bare 1964 (dedicated to  Jim Reeves who died in a plane-crash in 1964)

(c) Byrds 1965 (dedicated to John F Kennedy who was killed in 1963)

(c) The Byrds also performed the song during their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 17, 1967, where band member David Crosby made controversial remarks alleging that Kennedy had not been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald alone, but was actually the victim of a U.S. Government conspiracy.

(c) Mark Spoelstra 1965 (Just A Hand To Hold)
Mark says he wrote it after he left Cambridge, when he was in Fresno
doing alternative service, in 1964.  It's partly influenced on the van Ronk
song, but with an entirely different theme, based on a true story.
And that story was contained in Broadside Magazine # 49:

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(The Grateful Dead (SEE THIRD VIDEO BELOW) commonly performed "He Was a Friend of Mine" during live concerts between 1966 and 1970, but their version was in fact based on the Mark Spoelstra song, "Just a Hand to Hold".


(c) Leaves 1966



(c) Ramblin' Jack Elliott 1998 (in remembrance of "Sweet Pete")

(c) Cat Power 2005

(c) Willie Nelson 2005 (in movie: "Brokeback Mountain")

On the website Roots of the Grateful Dead the next song is mentioned as a possible precursor:
Ethel Ridley 1925
"He Was A Good Man (But He's Dead And Gone)"
Label: Ajax 17131
Recorded circa March 1925, New York City


And numerous more cover-versions



woensdag 8 mei 2013

She's Coming Around The Mountain (1924)

"She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" (also sometimes called simply "Coming 'Round the Mountain") is a folk song often categorized as children's music. It is a derivation of a Negro spiritual known as "When the Chariot Comes".

The version in The New England magazine. / Volume 25, Issue 6, p. 718 is said to be the first appearance of "When the Chariot Comes", forerunner of "Coming Round the Mountain."

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"When the Chariot Comes" is similar to "Old Ship of Zion" VIII ("Don't Ye View Dat Ship"), from "Fifty Cabin and Plantation Songs", 1874, Thomas P. Fenner (SEE Mudcat thread 41005: Old Ship of Zion VIII )
Also note that similar verses are in other versions of the "Old Ship of Zion." Some of these verses were noted as early as 1850 (see Epstein) and lines such as "reel and totter" may be applied to both ships and chariots.
Whether these Negro spirituals originally were adapted from White hymns or whether the early White gospel singers adapted Negro spirituals is open to dispute.

Henry Whitter was the first one to record a version of "She's Coming Around The Mountain"
Recorded in New York on February 25, 1924 for the OKEH-label: OKEH 40063.

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Next in line Vernon Dalhart and Company, recorded "She's Comin' 'Round The Mountain" in New York on August 3, 1925 on Edison 51608.
Vernon Dalhart: vocal
Murray Kellner: fiddle, harmonica
Carson Robison: guitar

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Same recording was also issued on Edison Blue Amberol cylinder #5052

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The version by Gid Tanner and his Skillet-Lickers was recorded in Atlanta, GA Wednesday, November 3, 1926

Clayton McMichen, f 
Gid Tanner, f /hv
Bert Layne, f 
Fate Norris, bj
Riley Puckett, g /lv 
unidentified, sp.

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(c) Roe Brothers and Morrell 1927 ("She’ll Be Coming Around The Mountain")
Fred Roe, f; Lewis Morrell, bj-1; Henry Roe, g; unidentified, v duet.
Recorded Atlanta, GA Monday, March 28, 1927
Matrix 143783-1
Released on Columbia 15156-D

(c) Hill Billies:
"She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain"
May 16, 1927 on Vocalion 5240.
The same recording was released on Brunswick 181 as by Al Hopkins and his Buckle Busters

(c) Parman and Snyder 1928 ("She’ll Be Coming Around The Mountain")
Dick Parman, Elmer Snyder, v duet; acc. unknown; Dick Parman, g.
Recorded February 20, 1928 in Memphis, TN
Matrix 400273-B
Released on Okeh 45302

(c) Uncle Dave Macon (with Sam McGee) (duet with banjo and guitar)
Recorded July 26, 1928 on Brunswick 263

(c) Pickard Family "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain"
Recorded December 13, 1928
Label: Banner 6311, Paramount 3213, Oriole 1502, Conqueror 7251, etc

(c) H.M. Barnes and His Blue Ridge Ramblers (1929) ("She’ll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain When She Comes")
Recorded January 29, 1929 in New York.
Released on Brunswick 310.

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(c) Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers 1929 ("She's Coming 'Round the Mountain")
Recorded February 28, 1929 in Chicago
Released on Brunswick 7119.

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(c) Hollywood Dance Orchestra ("She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain") (vocal Irving Kaufman)
Label: Conqueror 7580 + Jewel 5978
Matrix 9768=3
Recorded May 27, 1930

Although the first printed version of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" appeared in Carl Sandburg's The American Songbag in 1927, the song is believed to have been written during the late 1800s. The song was based on an old Negro spiritual titled "When the Chariot Comes", which is sung to the same melody. During the 19th century it spread through Appalachia where the lyrics were changed into their current form. The song was later sung by railroad work gangs in the Midwestern United States in the 1890s. The song's style is reminiscent of the call and response structure of many folk songs of the time, where one person would shout the first line and others repeat.
While it is not entirely clear who the "she" in the song refers to, there are various plausible interpretations. One interpretation suggests that "she" is the train that will be coming through the tracks that are being laid out by workers.
Carl Sandburg, in The American Songbag, suggests that "she" refers to union organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones going to promote formation of labor unions in the Appalachian coal mining camps.

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Another song, "Charmin' Betsy", noted in 1908, is clearly related to "Coming Round The Mountain":
I'm comin' round the mountain, Charmin' Betsy,
I'm comin' round the mountain, 'fore I leave,
An' if I never more see you,
Take this ring, an' think of me.
An' wear this ring I give you,
An' wear it on your right han',
An' when I'm dead an' forgotten,
Don't give it to no other man.

RECORDINGS: Fiddlin' John Carson, "Charming Betsy" (OKeh 40363, 1925)
Cleve Chaffin & the McClung Brothers, "Rock House Gamblers" (c. 1930; on RoughWays1)
Georgia Organ Grinders, "Charming Betsy" (Columbia 15415-D, 1929)
Davis & Nelson, "Charming Betsy" (QRS 9011, c. 1929)
Land Norris, "Charming Betsy" (OKeh 45033, c. 1926; rec. 1925)
Virgil Perkins & Jack Sims, "Goin' Around the Mountain" (on AmSkBa)

Jim Jackson, "Going Around The Mountain" (Victor 38525) (rec. 1928)
 Henry Thomas, "Charming Betsy" (Vocalion 1468, 1930 [rec. 1929]; on Cornshuckers2)

Land Norris, "Charming Betsy" (OKeh 45033, c. 1926; rec. 1925)

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(c) Tiny Bradshaw recorded SHE'LL BE COMING ROUND THE MOUNTAIN on October 3, 1934
released on the B-side of MISTER, WILL YOU SERENADE? (Decca 317)

(c) Fats Waller 1939 (radio transcription recorded on November 20, 1939)


And even the natives from Pingo Pongo sang it in this cartoon from 1938.
They sing it at 4 minutes and 25 seconds in the next YT:

In 1949 the song was developed into a complete cartoon: "Comin Round The Mountain".

And in 1951 the song was developed into a complete Abbott and Costello-movie: "Comin' Round The Mountain"

(c) Pete Seeger 1953 on the album: "American Folk Songs For Children"

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1960 album Sing Again with The Chipmunks.

The German Songs "Von den blauen Bergen kommen wir" and "Tante aus Marokko" as well as the Dutch song "Tante uit Marokko" (which are mostly sung at Scouting events and during hiking) share the same melody and some elements from the text.

(c) een tante in Marokko

Ik heb een tante in Marokko
en ze komt, hiep hoi (2x)
ik heb een tante in Marokko,
een tante in Marokko, een tante in Marokko
en ze komt, Hiep hoi
zing ik ay ay yippie, yippie yee
zing ik ay ay yippie, yippie yee
zing ik ay ay yippie, ay ay yippie
ay, ay yippie yippie yee, hiep hoi
en ze komt op twee kamelen
als ze komt, hobbel, hobbel, enz
en dan braden we een varken
aan het spit, knor, knor, enz
en wat zullen we lekker eten
als ze komt, nou, nou,enz




(c) Goldy und Peter de Vries 1949 recorded a German version as "Von den blauen Bergen kommen wir" on the Polydor-label
Recorded in Germany on May 2, 1949.

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German lyrics: Heinz Woezel 


(c) Bob und Eddy 1960 ("Von den blauen Bergen kommen wir")
  Bob Hill and Eddy Börner = Wolfgang Roloff (= Ronny) and Wolfgang Börner

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(c) Capers 1961 (as "Rockin' Round The Mountain") on the Dore-label.

(c) Tielman Brothers 1962

The Tielman Brothers recorded live at the Jolly Bar, Hanau (Germany) in July 1962. Their instrumental "Von den blauen Bergen kommen wir" (German hit in 1949 for Goldy & Peter de Vries) is an adaption from the traditional folksong "She'll be coming around the mountain"

(c) Connie Francis (1965) (recorded 1961)


(c) Booker T Washington White has recorded a version in 1963 under the supervision of Chris Strachwitz.
Click on the next link to listen to Booker White's cover-version:


(c) Muddy Waters recorded "Coming Round The Mountain" on May 2, 1963.
Released on the The Chess Box (Chess LP 6040/6050)

Listen to Muddy here:

(c) Bob Dylan and The Band 1967 ("Comin' Round The Mountain") on Genuine Basement Tapes 4


(c) Buffy Sainte-Marie (1973)  ("She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain When She Comes")


(c) John Lennon (1978) (Home Recording)


Sesame Street Pageants: Prairie Dawn, Ernie, Herry and Cookie Monster perform "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" in a 1976 episode of Sesame Street.
Cookie Monster, playing the heroine in this season's pageant, can't seem to grasp the concept of going "around" the mountain until Prairie lures him with a cookie.


Ned Flanders of The Simpsons sang his own variation in "The Bart of War".

We'll be safe inside our fortress when they come.
We'll be safe from creeps and killers when they come.
Unless they have a blow-torch
Or a poison gas injector,
Then I don't know what will happen when they come!

Listen here to the version from The Simpsons episode "Bart Of War":


(c) Neil Young and Crazy Horse 2012 ("Jesus' Chariot")

NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Eddy Christiani's "Ouwe Taaie" (Yippy Yippy Yay) (1943, which was an original composition by Cees van Noordwijk, Ronny Luco, Jacques Hartman and Eddy Christiani

And NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Winny Dobber's "Zing van Yippie Yippie Yee" (1948)