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fifties popsongs that started as folk

GUEST,henryp 27 Oct 14 - 10:44 AM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 03:53 PM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 03:34 PM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 03:25 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Oct 14 - 07:05 AM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 04:02 AM
Genie 26 Oct 14 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Oct 14 - 08:08 AM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 14 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,henryp 13 Oct 14 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,henryp 13 Oct 14 - 01:33 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,henryp 12 Oct 14 - 06:45 PM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 14 - 03:49 PM
Bert 12 Oct 14 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,henryp 12 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Oct 14 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,henryp 11 Oct 14 - 07:34 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Oct 14 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,henryp 11 Oct 14 - 03:27 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Oct 14 - 12:29 AM
beeliner 10 Oct 14 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,henryp 10 Oct 14 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,henryp 10 Oct 14 - 05:10 PM
Bert 10 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,henryp 10 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,henryp 10 Oct 14 - 12:52 PM
Bert 10 Oct 14 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Oct 14 - 07:10 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 14 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,henryp 08 Oct 14 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,henryp 08 Oct 14 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,henryp 08 Oct 14 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,henryp 08 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,henryp 08 Oct 14 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 Oct 14 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,henryp 07 Oct 14 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,henryp 06 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 06 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,henryp 05 Oct 14 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Oct 14 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Oct 14 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Oct 14 - 12:37 PM
MGM·Lion 05 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM
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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 10:44 AM

He also recorded a string of successful albums and singles, featuring a male chorale and his own distinctive arrangements, under the name "Mitch Miller and the Gang" starting in 1950.

The ensemble's hits included "The Children's Marching Song" (more commonly known as "This Old Man"), "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena", and "The Yellow Rose of Texas", which topped the US Billboard chart in 1955, sold over one million copies in the US alone, and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart.

Miller's medley of the two marches from The Bridge on the River Kwai, "The River Kwai March" and "Colonel Bogey March", lasted 29 weeks on the Billboard pop charts in 1958, longer than any other record completely within that year. (Wikipedia)

I actually bought Colonel Bogey! It was my first record - and a 78 too. I found it in a cupboard not long ago - in pieces. My sister's first record was Tammy by Debbie Reynolds - on a 45 - while my brother bought Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como. Magic Moments, indeed!


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:53 PM

Tennessee Ernie Ford's recording of "Sixteen Tons" was a country/pop crossover version of the more folky song attributed to Merle Travis in 1946 but which folk singer/songwriter George S. Davis, a former Kentucky coal miner, claimed to have in '30s as "Nine-to-ten tons."



Also, during the "Sing Along with Mitch" phase in the mid '50s, several folk songs charted as pop hits. Probably the biggest hit was Mitch's orchestra and men's chorus version of "Yellow Rose Of Texas."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:34 PM

Charles E. King wrote "Ke Kali Nei Au" ("Waiting here for you") in 1926 for his operetta, Prince of Hawaii. In 1958, Al Hoffman and Dick Manning wrote a 'singable English translation' of the Hawaiian words, and Andy Williams had a pop hit with it as the "Hawaiian Wedding Song" (which was later recorded by Elvis Presley and others).
I'm not sure King's original song would be called "folk," but Andy Williams's and Elvis's versions were clearly pop.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:25 PM

Jackie Wilson, Sal Mineo, The Four Lads and Patsy Cline all recorded pop/swing versions of
"Down By The Riverside," which was a take-off from the old Gospel/folk song.

"Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside ...
Gonna study war no more"
became
"I met my little brown-eyed doll down by the riverside ..."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:05 AM

---'"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" is a popular love song written by The Weavers in 1950. The song was a hit for Jimmie Rodgers in 1957 and Frankie Vaughan in 1958.'---Wikipedia.

An informative entry.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM

"'Can't Help Falling in Love'is a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley and featured in the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss.
The melody is based on "Plaisir d'amour" (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). "Plaisir d'amour" is a classical French love song written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816); it took its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. Hector Berlioz arranged it for orchestra (H134) in 1859."

I've heard that for years, but really the only overlap in melody between those two songs is one single line: "Chagrin d'amour dure la vie" and "For I can't help falling in love with you." And those two melody lines are far from identical anyway.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 04:02 AM

"Love's Ring Of Fire" (June Carter and Merle Kilgore) was first recorded as a folk song by Anita Carter. It later became a huge pop and country hit, with a new arrangement and some lyric modifications, for Johnny Cash as "Ring Of Fire."


Yes, Elvis's "It's Now Or Never" and Tony Martin's "There's No Tomorrow" are to the tune of the Italian 'O Sole Mio' (which was a Neapolitan street song in the late 19th C.) Not sure if any of those really count as "folk," but in any case it's only the tune they share.

BTW, "The Swallow" (Richard Fariña) is to the tune of the trad. Ladino folk song "Los Bilbilicos," which was also recorded by Theo Bikel.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:56 AM

@MGM·Lion   "Kisses sweeter than wine" was a particularly popular one of theirs, IIRC."

The Weavers' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" was folk. The Jimmie Rodgers (the younger one) version was pure pop.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:08 AM

Seth Davy/Whiskey on a Sunday

Hum; mm mm mm mm Come day, go day
Wish in me heart for Sunday
Hum; mm mm mm mm Drinking buttermilk all the week
Whiskey on a Sunday.

Glyn Hughes of Liverpool, England [1932-1972]

Notes by Matthew Edwards on Mudcat: Glyn Hughes was a folk singer in Liverpool in the late 50's and 60's who died quite young, and it seems that he wrote this song after hearing stories about Seth Davy from older people. Glyn Hughes recorded the song for Fritz Spiegl about 1959. (Information from Fritz Spiegl's Liverpool Street Songs and Broadside Ballads published by the Scouse Press as Liverpool Packet No 1)

Popularised by The Spinners and a hit for Danny Doyle in 1968, when it remained at No. 1 in the Irish charts for 10 weeks.

The chorus is adapted from Come Day, Go Day, or Massa is a Stingy Man, sung by Dan Emmett (1815–1904), an American songwriter, entertainer, and founder of the first troupe of the blackface minstrel tradition.

Oh, massa is a stingy man,
And all his neighbors knows it.
He keeps good whiskey in his house,
An neber says, here goes it.

Sing come day, go day,
God send Sunday,
We'll drink whiskey all de week,
And buttermilk o' Sunday.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM

How about Corrine, Corrina?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:55 PM

"Üsküdar'a gider iken" probably dates to the early 19th century. Its route of transmission to Eartha Kitt most likely runs through Zeki Müren, who had a Turkish hit with it a few years before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwh_3yt_DTU

This wonderful documentary by the Bulgarian filmmaker Adela Peeva goes into all the other places that song got to:

Whose Is This Song?

Its last few minutes are absolutely hair-raising.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:34 PM

Uska Dara (A Turkish Tale) is a 1953 song made famous by Eartha Kitt, also recorded by Eydie Gormé.

It is based on the Turkish folk song "Kâtibim" about a woman and her secretary traveling to Üsküdar. On early recordings, this adaptation is credited to Stella Lee.

Eartha Kitt recorded it with Henri René and his orchestra at Manhattan Center, New York City, on March 13, 1953. Kitt's recording sold 120,000 copies when it was first released by RCA Victor in 1953.

The 1978 disco song "Rasputin" by Boney M uses part of the melody of "Kâtibim", and mimics the line "Oh! those Turks" (as "Oh! those Russians") at the end of the song. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 01:33 PM

Midnight in Moscow does come from a Russian song but, according to Wikipedia, it was composed in 1955.

"Moscow Nights" (Podmoskovnye Vechera) is a Russian song, one of those best known outside its homeland.

The song was originally created as "Leningradskie Vechera" ("Leningrad Nights") by composer Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Mikhail Matusovsky in 1955 but, at the request of the Soviet Ministry of Culture, "Podmoskovnye Vechera" was prepared.

The British jazz group, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, had a hit with the song in 1961 under the title "Midnight in Moscow". This version peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1962; in March that year it spent three weeks at number one on the American Easy Listening chart.

In 1962, at the height of the folk revival in the United States, the song was recorded by The Chad Mitchell Trio on its popular live performance album "At The Bitter End" on Kapp Records.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

"The Old Homing Waltz" had the tune of "Streets of Laredo, also.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:45 AM

only the heartaches are waiting for me   was the street of laredo.

midnight in moscow was a russian folksong

maybellene reputed to be ida red.

lord of the dance was a shaker hymn tune

and masters of war was supposed to be nottanum town - but neversounded much like to me

wasn't don't think twice supposed to who'll count your chickens...

and a hard rain supposed to be lord randall


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM

"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 19th century. Some references suggest that it was copyrighted by Jay Roberts in 1865. The first recorded version was by Harrod's Jubilee Singers, on Paramount Records No. 12116 in 1922. Later recordings include those by Paul Robeson (1925), Mahalia Jackson (1958) and Hugh Laurie (2011) among many others.

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 (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog numbers B 9938 and IP 604. (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 06:45 PM

"Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn" is a Negro spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War. The first recording of the song was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1915. The best known recordings were made by the vocal gospel group The Caravans in 1958, with Inez Andrews as the lead singer, and The Swan Silvertones in 1959.

The song again became popular during the 1950s and 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, "If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus", written by Charles Neblett of The Freedom Singers, was sung to this tune and became one of the most well-known songs of that movement.

In 1960, Stonewall Jackson recorded a country version of the song which became a hit in the Country and Pop charts. And it was one of the highlights of the 2006 Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour.

The spiritual's lyric "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water the fire next time" inspired the title of "The Fire Next Time", James Baldwin's 1963 account of race relations in America. The Swan Silvertones' lead singer Claude Jeter's interjection "I'll be a bridge over deep water if you trust in my name" served as Paul Simon's inspiration for his 1970 song "Bridge over Troubled Water".


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 03:49 PM

I keep reading the thread title as either "filthy popsongs that started as folk" (probably quite a few of those) or "fifties poisonings that started as folk" (did somebody end up in the Old Bailey after emulating Lord Randal's girlfriend?).


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 03:14 PM

The hoedown tune is here
Wake up Susan


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM

The Quartermaster's Stores was popular in the skiffle craze of the fifties.

There are snakes, snakes, snakes Big as garden rakes,
In the store! In the store!
There are snakes, snakes, snakes, Big as garden rakes,
In the Quartermaster's store.

My eyes are dim I cannot see
I have not brought my specs with me
I have not brought my specs with me

It's a British WW2 song, a parody of the hymn "There is Power in the Blood";

There is power, power, Wonder working power,
In the blood, Of the Lamb!
There is power, power, Wonder working power,
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

The text and tune were both written Lewis Edgar Jones at a camp meeting at Mountain Lake Park, MD. It was first printed in Songs of Praise and Victory, compiled at Philadelphia, PA, in 1899 for the Pepper Publishing Co. by Gilmour and William James Kirkpatrick. (Source; Hymn of the Day)

The Shadows had all played in skiffle groups. Hank B Marvin and Bruce Welch had been in a skiffle group at school, while Jet Harris and Tony Meehan had played in The Vipers. Quatermasster's Stores became the B side of Apache by The Shadows. Norrie Paramor had wanted it to be the A side, but his daughters preferred Apache. The record was released in July 1960 - and The Shadows became an instrumental group.

Does anyone remember Quatermass and the Pit?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 11:44 AM

"Beautiful Brown Eyes" is a traditional country song arranged by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith & Alton Delmore of The Delmore Brothers in 1951. An award was presented to Alton Delmore for "Beautiful Brown Eyes" in 1951. -- Wiki

Most notably sung by Rosemary Clooney IMO.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 07:34 AM

(Jim) Roger McGuinn was a folk singer who emerged from folk music as the leader of The Byrds in 1964.

In 1957, he enrolled as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, where he learned the five-string banjo and continued to improve his guitar skills. After graduation, McGuinn was hired as a sideman by folk music groups in the same vein as the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Judy Collins.

"He Was a Friend of Mine" is a traditional folk song in which the singer laments the death of a friend. The earliest known version of the song is titled "Shorty George" (Roud 10055).

It was first recorded by John A. and Ruby Terrill Lomax in 1939 at the Clemens State Farm in Brazoria County, Texas in a version performed by African-American inmate Smith Casey.

McGuinn rewrote the song's lyrics in late 1963 to transform it into a eulogy for President Kennedy. The Byrds included a recording of "He Was a Friend of Mine" on their 1965 album Turn! Turn! Turn!. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 05:42 AM

I don't think what the Clancys sang has much relevance to this thread, mind. They were always folk, not pop - however popular, in a dufferent sense, they might have been; so the songs they sang didn't only 'start as folk' but remained folk while they sang them, & after.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 03:27 AM

"The Rambling Gambler" is a traditional folk song of the American West. It was first recorded in print by John and Alan Lomax in the 1938 edition of Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads.

Like many folk songs, it is known by a variety of titles, such as "Rambler, Gambler," "I'm a Rambler, I'm a Gambler," "The Moonshiner," and "Rose of Aberdeen." It begins with the lines "I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home / And the people who don't like me, they can leave me alone." (Wikipedia)

Ewan MacColl wrote the Manchester Hiker's Song, also known as The Manchester Rambler, a little time after the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout. Roy Palmer (History 29) writes that it is sung to a tune from Haydn's 94th Symphony.
I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way
I get all my pleasure the hard moorland way.
I may be a wage slave on Monday,
But I am a free man on Sunday.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem sang The Moonshiner, adapted and arranged by Tom Clancy 1961 with the chorus;
I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home,
And if you don't like me, Well leave me alone.
I'll eat when I'm hungry And I'll drink when I'm dry,
And if moonshine don't kill me, I'll live till I die.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 12:29 AM

Not entirely certain that Work's works [ouch!] are actually 'folk songs'; tho "The Year of Jubilo", "Marching thru Georgia", &c, as well as "Grandfather's Clock" are indeed very fine songs, without doubt, and well within the "folk form", however defined (see my just-now post on the 'What makes a new song folk?' thread).

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: beeliner
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 07:21 PM

The Thing* {"Get out of here with your [Boom Boom Boom] before I call a cop"} has the form of The Farm Servant ["And there was I with me [Boom Boom Boom] so a-courting we fell straightway"], and echoed the Lincolnshire Poacher tune; and I have always suspected was inspired by them.A better-known antecedent is probably "The Chandler's Wife".

As long as this thread has become, it has only scratched the surface. Such revamped songs number in the hundreds, at least.

An obscure British vocal group, The Mudlarks (whose surname was really Mudd) recorded a very nice version of Henry Clay Work's "My Grandfather's Clock" back in the 1950's - it's on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 05:35 PM

And Phil Harris released Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) in 1947; the Crawdad Song was on the B side.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 05:10 PM

I can find references to Wake (Up) Susan/Susie, but I can't find the tune, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM

Thanks henryp.

Was The Everly Brothers "wake up Little Suzie" anything like the Hoedown tune "Wake up Suzie'?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM

1953 "Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie" by Guy Mitchell.

It's a popular bluegrass song, but it's difficult to find its origin. Perhaps it has links to Cripple Creek.

From Mudcat; Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black-Eye Susie / Black-Eyed Susie
From: Jim Dixon Date: 20 Mar 13 - 12:49 PM

A single couplet is quoted in a novel Smiling Pass, by Eliot H. Robinson (Boston: The Page Company, 1921), page 386:

"Hop up, skip up, Black-eyed Susie.
Mighty good-lookin' but the boys won't choose ye."

--which is a unique rhyme, as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 12:52 PM

Ronnie Ronalde! Wikipedia says;

Ronnie Ronalde (born Ronald Charles Waldron, 1923, London) is a British music hall singer and siffleur. Ronalde is famous for his voice, whistling, yodelling, imitations of bird song and stage personality. His crystal clear yodelling gained him acceptance with connoisseurs of Alpine and Western music around the world.

"If I Were a Blackbird" (1950) is among Ronalde's most famous songs from this period. This rendering of Delia Murphy's Irish folk song had him in the British top 20 for 6 months. She would later jovially express her thanks for boosting her income.

Delia Murphy Kiernan (16 February 1902 – 11 February 1971) was a singer and collector of Irish ballads. She recorded several 78 rpm records in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In 1939 she recorded The Blackbird, The Spinning Wheel and Three Lovely Lassies for HMV.

The modern version is clearly related to a traditional song, with one verse transformed into a chorus;
Now if I were a blackbird I'd whistle, I'd sing
I would follow the ship that my true love sailed in
On the top of his mainmast I would build my nest
That long night, sure I'd gaze upon his lily white breast.

From Mainly Norfolk; If I Were a Blackbird / I Am a Young Maiden [Roud 387 ; Ballad Index FSC38 ; trad.]

Albert 'Diddy' Cook sang Blackbird in a recording supervised by A.L. Lloyd in The Eel's Foot Inn, Eastbridge, Suffolk, on May 13, 1938 (BBC 2168). This recording was included in 1998 on the Topic anthology As Me and My Love Sat Courting (The Voice of the People Volume 15).


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 12:50 AM

If I were a blackbird, Ronnie Ronalde 1950


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 07:10 PM

This was the first - and perhaps only - attempt at folk-rock'n'roll.

Rockin' Around the World was the sixth album of rock and roll music by Bill Haley and His Comets. Released in March 1958 on the Decca Records label, Decca 8692, the album was produced by Milt Gabler, who produced all of Haley's recordings for Decca.

This album featured versions of well-known folk songs from around the world, rearranged in rock and roll style, including new lyrics, by Haley and his songwriting partners, Milt Gabler, Rusty Keefer, and Catherine Cafra.

Examples of the new arrangements include "Come Rock with Me," based upon the melody of "'O sole mio", which was later again adapted by Elvis Presley as "It's Now or Never", and "Piccadilly Rock," which was based upon the melody of "London Bridge is Falling Down". "Vive la Rock and Roll" incorporated the melody of "Frère Jacques".

Most of the melodies were in the public domain, with the exception of "Rockin' Matilda," based upon "Waltzing Matilda", which was still in copyright and thus credited to its original writers. Haley's steel guitar player, Billy Williamson, performs lead vocals on one track, "Jamaica D.J.". (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM

That prolific songster of the 30s 40s 50s Jimmy Kennedy [Isle of Capri, Red Sails in the Sunset...] often achieved a folkie sound, as in South of the Border, which makes one wonder if he had some traditional analogue in his mind somewhere. & surely his 40s/50s creation of the Hokey Cokey, tho the tune probably original to him, derived from such quasi-traditional children's dances as Here We Go Loobyloo?

Max Bacon's Cohen The Crooner [from film Soft Lights & Sweet Music 1936 - google if you don't know it] much derives from Yiddish music traditions, mixed with grand opera tunes {La Donn'e Mobile}, La Marseillaise, Rule Britannia, John Peel &c.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM

Mockin' Bird Hill is a song, written in 3/4 time, by George Vaughn Horton, and perhaps best known through recordings by Patti Page, Donna Fargo, and by Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1951.

The music of "Mockin' Bird Hill" is based closely on a Swedish waltz called "Livet i Finnskogarna" or "Life in the Finn Woods," recorded by Carl Jularbo in 1915, which enjoyed some popularity in the U.S.

The Tanner Sisters with Orchestra recorded their version in London on April 1, 1951. It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10071. The Migil Five sang a bluebeat tempo version of the song - a UK hit in 1964.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 02:13 AM

We seem unaccountably to have overlooked the Israeli song Tsenah Tsenah, on which a whole thread ran not that long since, which hit our charts with anglicised lyrics.

Tsenah hab'not u-renah
Hayalim bemoshavah
Al-nah tit-habenah
Mi ben-hayyal, ish tsevah

Come out girls and see
The soldiers in the village.
Do not hide yourselves away
From that brave man of the army man


≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 04:26 PM

"Can't Help Falling in Love" is a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley and featured in the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss.

The melody is based on "Plaisir d'amour" (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). "Plaisir d'amour" is a classical French love song written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816); it took its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. Hector Berlioz arranged it for orchestra (H134) in 1859.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 12:06 PM

"My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" is a traditional Scottish folk song which remains popular in Western culture. It is often suggested that the subject of the song may be Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie').

In 1881, under the duo of pseudonyms H.J. Fulmer and J.T. Wood, Charles E. Pratt published sheet music for "Bring Back My Bonnie to Me".

Whilst The Beatles were playing in Hamburg, producer Bert Kaempfert used them as Tony Sheridan's backing band on a series of recordings. "My Bonnie", credited to "Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers", was recorded in June 1961 and released four months later. It reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt chart. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 10:09 AM

"Down by the Riverside" (also known as "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" and "Gonna lay down my burden") is a gospel song.

It was first published in "Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland", Chicago, the Rodeheaver Company, 1918. The song was first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922).

Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group recorded/released it on 28 July 1955. The B side was Take this Hammer.

Chris Barber's Jazz Band issued it as the flipside of the single Ice Cream, which was a big success all over the world. It was recorded on 9 October 1955, with Chris Barber: trombone, vocals; Lonnie Donegan: banjo; Pat Halcox: trumpet; Monty Sunshine: clarinet; Ron Bowden: drums.

Ken Colyer, Monty Sunshine and Pat Hawes with The Crane River Jazz Band released it again in 1959.        

Source; Wikipedia and youtube.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM

Mahalia Jackson's 1947 recording of "Amazing Grace" received significant radio airplay and, as her popularity grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she often sang it at public events including concerts at Carnegie Hall. In the 1960s, with the African American Civil Rights Movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, the song took on a political tone.

Mahalia Jackson employed "Amazing Grace" for Civil Rights marchers, writing that she used it "to give magical protection — a charm to ward off danger, an incantation to the angels of heaven to descend ... I was not sure the magic worked outside the church walls ... in the open air of Mississippi. But I wasn't taking any chances." Folk singer Judy Collins, who knew the song before she could remember learning it, witnessed Fannie Lou Hamer leading marchers in Mississippi in 1964, singing "Amazing Grace".

John Newton - a clergyman and reformed slave-trader - wrote "Amazing Grace" to illustrate a sermon on New Year's Day, 1773. The text was published in 1779 in Newton and Cowper's "Olney Hymns" but settled into relative obscurity in England. In the United States, however, "Amazing Grace" was used extensively during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century.

Another verse was first recorded in Harriet Beecher Stowe's immensely influential 1852 anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Three verses were emblematically sung by Tom in his hour of deepest crisis. He sings the sixth and fifth verses in that order, and Stowe included another verse that had been passed down orally in African American communities for at least 50 years.

It was originally one of between 50 and 70 verses of a song titled "Jerusalem, My Happy Home" that first appeared in a 1790 book called "A Collection of Sacred Ballads";
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we first begun.

Common meter hymns were interchangeable with a variety of tunes; more than twenty musical settings of "Amazing Grace" circulated with varying popularity until 1835 when William Walker assigned Newton's words to a traditional song named "New Britain", which was itself an amalgamation of two melodies ("Gallaher" and "St. Mary") first published in the "Columbian Harmony" by Charles H. Spilman and Benjamin Shaw (Cincinnati, 1829).

Spilman and Shaw, students at Kentucky's Centre College, compiled their tunebook both for public worship and revivals, to satisfy "the wants of the Church in her triumphal march." Most of the tunes had been previously published, but "Gallaher" and "St. Mary" had not. As neither tune is attributed and both show elements of oral transmission, scholars can only speculate that they are possibly of British origin. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 08:00 AM

"The Battle of New Orleans" is a song written by Jimmy Driftwood.

The song describes the 1815 Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American soldier. The melody is based on a well-known American fiddle tune, "The 8th of January", which was the date of the Battle of New Orleans.

Johnny Horton's 1959 version is the best-known recording of the song.
In the United Kingdom, Lonnie Donegan and His Skiffle Group's 1959 version competed with Horton's and achieved greater success, peaking at number two. (From Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 03:39 PM

"La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens.

"La Bamba" is a classic example of the Son Jarocho musical style which originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz and combines Spanish, indigenous, and African musical elements. The traditional aspect of "La Bamba" lies in the tune itself, which remains almost the same through most versions. (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 12:14 AM

You'll Be Gone recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 18 March 1962; Studio
Written by: Presley; Hodge; West
Originally recorded by Charles Walters and June Knight in 1935

Cole Porter wrote the number "Begin The Beguine" in the early thirties, basing it on a dance from Martinique. It seems that this was his favourite song. Elvis liked the number, too, but there were problems involved with him recording it, so he decided to rewrite it, which he promptly did, with the help of friends Charlie Hodge and Red West. The tune was also changed, but elements of the Cole Porter "original" (heck, even he wasn't original!) can clearly be heard.

Source; Elvis Presley The Originals


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM

Harry Belafonte (now aged 87) released "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" in 1956.

The song originated as a Jamaican folk song. It was thought to be sung by Jamaican banana workers, with a repeated melody and refrain (call and response); In 1955, American singer/songwriters Irving Burgie and William Attaway wrote a version of the lyrics for the Colgate Comedy Hour, in which the song was performed by Harry Belafonte.

Also in 1956, folk singer Bob Gibson, who had travelled to Jamaica and heard the song, taught his version to the folk band The Tarriers. They recorded a version of that song that incorporated the chorus of "Hill and Gully Rider", another Jamaican folk song.

This release became their biggest hit, reaching number four on the pop charts, where it outperformed Belafonte's version. The Tarriers' version was recorded by Shirley Bassey in 1957 and it became a hit in the United Kingdom. (From Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM

Before Elvis sang It's Now Or Never in 1960 Tony martin had a hit with There's No Tomorrow in January 1950. This was to the tune of the Italian 'O Sole Mio'. You did not mention 'When You're In Love', a song set to the tune 'The swallow' and was also called 'She Wears My Ring' :)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 04:47 PM

"The Carnival Is Over" by The Seekers spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in November and December 1965.

The main tune is taken from a Russian folk song about Stenka Razin known as "Iz-za ostrova na strezhen" or "Volga, Volga mat' rodnaya". The song became popular in Russia as early as the 1890s.

Tom Springfield - the brother of Dusty Springfield - adapted the melody from the Russian folk song, and also wrote the remaining music used in the song, as well as writing the lyrics, after a trip to Brazil, where he witnessed the Carnaval in Rio. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 02:30 PM

"Whiskey in the Jar" appeared in an early form as "The Sporting Hero, or, Whiskey in the Bar" in a mid-1850s broadsheet.

It was recorded by Burl Ives in 1958 as "Kilgary Mountain" and by Thin Lizzy in 1972.

In 1998, heavy metal band Metallica recorded a version very similar to that of Thin Lizzy, winning a Grammy for the song in 2000 for Best Hard Rock Performance. I wonder if they followed that with Seven Drunken Nights.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 01:43 PM

"All My Trials" was a popular song during the social protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Peter, Paul and Mary included it on their third album, Blowing in the Wind, released in 1963.

It is based on a Bahamian lullaby that tells the story of a mother on her death bed, comforting her children;

"Hush, little baby, don't you cry.
You know your mama's bound to die.
All my trials, Lord, soon be over."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 12:37 PM

My choir - led by Janet Russell - will be learning "Catch a Falling Star" next week. Written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, it was a hit for Perry Como in 1957, and the first single to receive a gold record certification.

Its melody is apparently based on a theme from Brahms' Academic Festival Overture. Brahms composed this during the summer of 1880 for the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate the previous year.

In a letter to Max Kalbeck, Brahms called it a "very boisterous potpourri of student drinking songs à la Suppé". Hence, no doubt, Brahms' well-known association with Liszt.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM

And, re the mention of St James's Hospital in the early broadsides, cf the well-known St James Infirmary US version. Good Wikipedia entry on the relationships of the various versions under title St James Infirmary Blues.

≈M≈


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