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GUEST,TJ in San Diego Origins: The Preacher and the Bear (41) RE: Lyr Req: The Preacher and the Bear 09 Nov 09


I still have, somewhere, the old LP of Phil Harris doing this song. The album also contains "The Thing," which received a lot of air play in the early 1950's.

I heard Randy Sparks do the song when he was still doing a solo act. He was appearing at the old Fresno (CA) Hacienda Hotel showroom, probably around 1959-60 and this song was on the playlist. Also on that list was a song (by Randy, I believe) called "Rosie's House of Sin." With its references to green stamps, etc., it's more than a bit dated now.

One of my Renaissance coffee house fellows "gleaned" that latter song and localized it with some familiar landmarks, making it part of his regular repertoire, usually to a rousing response. Randy got wind of it somehow and showed up unannounced at our place one evening. He sought out our hero, Jon, after hearing him do the song and had a friendly chat about crediting authorship, royalties, etc., etc.

I mentioned that to Randy in an e-mail a year or so ago and he recalled it sure enough. He always was a little "tender" about those compositions of his which never got proper credit or were modified without acknowledgement.


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