Mudcat Café message #1840261 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94873   Message #1840261
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
21-Sep-06 - 04:09 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Diamond Joe--'diamond studded jaw?'
Subject: RE: Origins: Diamond Joe--'diamond studded jaw?'
"Diamond Joe," the song about a Texas cattleman, was communicated to the Lomax collection in 1935 by J. B. Dillingham, a railroad conductor, and first printed in 1938, "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads," reprinted in "Our Singing Country," 1941.

The collected song has no reference to diamonds in the jaw or in a jar. These were silly embellishments added by singers who thought that they could 'improve' on the Lomax version and added something improbable. The only mention of diamond in the song is in the name "Diamond Joe.

Dillingham told Lomax that Joe wore big diamonds on his vest, and that is the only reference to diamonds in relation to this song.