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fifties popsongs that started as folk

GUEST,henryp 05 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM
PHJim 04 Oct 14 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM
JJ 04 Oct 14 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Oct 14 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Oct 14 - 02:37 AM
PHJim 03 Oct 14 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Oct 14 - 01:45 PM
PHJim 03 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Oct 14 - 08:28 AM
JJ 03 Oct 14 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 02 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM
meself 02 Oct 14 - 12:21 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 14 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,Stim 01 Oct 14 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Oct 14 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Sep 14 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Stim 30 Sep 14 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 30 Sep 14 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 30 Sep 14 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Sep 14 - 09:36 AM
clueless don 30 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 05:43 PM
PHJim 29 Sep 14 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Stim 29 Sep 14 - 04:52 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Stim 29 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 04:53 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,Stim 29 Sep 14 - 02:42 AM
PHJim 29 Sep 14 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Stim 29 Sep 14 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,henryp 28 Sep 14 - 03:17 PM
erosconpollo 28 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 14 - 09:43 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 14 - 09:12 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 14 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 28 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 14 - 01:42 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Sep 14 - 01:40 AM
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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM

"El Paso" is a country and western ballad written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins.

"Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl."

Marty Robbins' 1959 album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs features his hit "El Paso", similar in form and content to "The Streets of Laredo". The 1960 follow-up More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs has a version of the original.

"As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a young cowboy, all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped up in white linen and cold as the clay."

The old-time cowboy Frank H. Maynard (1853–1926) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, claimed authorship of the revised "The Cowboy's Lament", and his story was widely reported in 1924 by the journalism professor Elmo Scott Watson. (Source; Wikipedia)

There are several threads on Mudcat discussing the relationship of "The Streets of Laredo" to "The Unfortunate Rake" [Roud 2] and its wide family of songs.

"As I was a-walking down by St. James's Hospital,
I was a-walking down by there one day,
What should I spy but one of my comrades,
All wrapped up in flannel, though warm was the day."

"The House of the Rising Sun" is often considered another branch of the family and was, of course, a hit for the Animals in 1964. In that case, Alan Price was the lucky person who received the publishing royalties.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 11:33 AM

leeneia's link made active


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM

Re: Lemon Tree

We wuz robbed! Listen to this Brazilian version of how this song is supposed to sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoBkkFTO-Xc

Yes, you will have to listen to the banter with the audience beforehand. It's part of the charm.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: JJ
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 08:24 AM

MGM Lion, I do not recall a clock at the pawnshop on the corner, but I was not quite six, and less likely to notice things in the air!

The entire area was destroyed by "urban renewal" less than a decade later...


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 03:16 AM

"Lemon Tree" was the first hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962.

It was written by Will Holt in the late 1950s. The tune is based on the Brazilian folk song Meu limão, meu limoeiro, arranged by José Carlos Burle in 1937 and made popular by Brazilian singer Wilson Simonal.

The song compares love to a lemon tree: "Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

It was a hit single too for Trini Lopez in 1965.

Source; Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 02:37 AM

"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" by The Weavers has a curious history.

From Wikipedia; Irish performer Sam Kennedy in Greenwich Village sang the traditional Irish song "Drimmin Down" aka "Drimmen Dow", about a farmer and his dead cow.
Lead Belly adapted the tune for his own farmer/cow song "If it Wasn't for Dicky", which he first recorded in 1937.
Following the success of "Goodnight Irene", Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote new lyrics, turning it into a love song.
It was recorded by The Weavers on June 12, 1951 in New York City for Decca Records, reaching #19 on the US Hit Parade.
The music was credited to "Joel Newman" and the lyrics to "Paul Campbell", both pseudonyms for Howard Richmond, The Weavers' publisher.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:49 PM

The song was collected in 1933 from a convict named James "Ironhead" Baker by John and Alan Lomax. This apparently is the first recorded version of Black Betty.

James "Ironhead" Baker's Black Betty


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:45 PM

Henryp, thanks for the info on "Those were the days." I wondered where that song came from when first I heard it on the radio.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM

Leadbelly was the source for Black Betty, whether or not he wrote it isn't clear. A lot of singers have sung and recorded it over the years, many blues revivalists during the sixties. Tom Jones was the first (I think) to do it as a pop song, but no one changed it much from the original version.

Leadbelly's Black Betty

Tom Jones' Black Betty

Sheryl Crowe's Black Betty

Ram Jam's Black Betty


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:28 AM

Fascinating, JJ.

Did it have a clock of the sort one could walk 'neath?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: JJ
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:11 AM

In the early 1950's, I lived a few blocks from a pawnshop on a corner on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was on Federal St., south of General Robinson, either right under or just south of the railroad overpass.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM

Wikipedia says; "Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("Дорогой длинною", lit. "By the long road"), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in 1925 and in 1926 respectively.

The song is featured in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris, in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics by the Russian Tzigane chanteuse Ludmila Lopato, but is probably best remembered in English-speaking countries for Mary Hopkin's 1968 recording.

On most recorded versions of the song, Raskin is credited as the writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics and not the melody.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: meself
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:21 AM

Has anyone mentioned 'Those Were the Days'? I believe it was a re-working of a Russian folk-song.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:18 AM

I hope it was on a corner!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 11:48 PM

Another area of agreement--we both prefer tea to the multivariate analysis.

Given that, I was once rather close to a person who did an academic paper that followed the general pattern that I described, excepting that the language of the text was Hungarian, one of the mapped variables was stress pattern, and there was something to do with scansion in Altaic and the Samoyed Branch of Fino-Ugric Languages.

The point, at the end of all this, was my friend one played the song in question for me on a fretted zither-like instrument that had come from a pawnshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And now time for tea.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 12:39 PM

Kumbaya

According to Library of Congress editor Stephen Winick, the two earliest versions whose year of origin is known for certain were both collected in 1926, and both reside in the Library's American Folklife Center.

One, collected in Alliance, North Carolina, is a manuscript featuring lyrics but no music. The other was recorded within a few hours' drive of Darien, Georgia.

The Folksmiths recorded the first LP version of the song in August 1957. This group travelled from summer camp to summer camp teaching folk songs. It was recorded by Pete Seeger in 1958, and The Weavers released it on Traveling on With the Weavers in 1959.

Source; Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM

"Incidentally The Barber Band's version of Bobby Shaftoe was quite popular at one time. I believe this had folk origins."

Bobby Shafto and Tommy Armstrong

Dating back to the seventeen hundreds, the Black Horse, Beamish, was one of ten cottages built on the estate of the infamous Bobby Shafto. MP for County Durham from 1760-68, he was born at Whitworth and was immortalised in the famous northern song, "Bonny Bobby Shafto".

The song was used as an election ditty and is thought to be based on the hopes of Mary Bellasis of Brancepeth Castle who believed that Bobby Shafto would come back and marry her. Sadly, he married someone else and Mary is said to have died of a broken heart.

The Black Horse - then the Red Row Inn - was the first and largest of the cottages which all had red tiled roofs, hence the name Red Row. Leases were given to build the cottages on the condition that one able bodied man from each cottage was available to work in the quarry or down the coalmine.

The houses were slums and the miners had no choice but to live in them. In times of strike, miners and their families were evicted from these homes. "Oakey's Strike" was written by Tommy Armstrong - the Pitman's Poet - at the Red Row Inn at Beamish Burn in a duel with rival song-maker William Maguire of Gateshead to improvise a song on the theme of evictions.

"What wad Aw dee, if I had the poower mesel?
Aw wid hang th' twenty candymen and Johnny thit carries the bell."

Sources; Black Horse, Beamish and Sunniside Local History


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 11:51 PM

Morning, Stim. And thank you for your trouble in replying.

...map them multi-axially, and to then make a multivariate analysis of the results, eh?

Oh well; if that's the sort of thing that turns you on!

Think I'll just go downstairs & make another cup of tea...

☺〠☺~M~☺〠☺


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 07:23 PM

To respond to Michael-That "Little Boxes" and "Pawnshop..." have essentially the same melody is something we agree on. You do not like the lyrics of "Little Boxes" and in that area we disagree. Neither of us has expressed whether we like the melody itself. Neither has indicated whether we like "Pawnshop" either.

All of these are independent matters, which both the learned and unlearned may discuss and debate. They may also discuss and debate the value of such a discussion, and may even hold a precursory discussion as to the advantage of having that discussion.

Also, since each of the questions can be independently answered, it is possible to map them multi-axially, and to then make a multivariate analysis of the results.

It would then be possible to compare those who, say, liked the melody and lyrics of P, with those who disliked the lyrics of L, factor in a third variable of those who did not perceive the melodies to be the same, and compare the numbers to determine which group saw greater value in having a discussion of those issues.

This might lead to speculation on the existence of an undiscovered "Q" melody, which might then impact interpretation of the L and P texts.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM

Thank you, Guest, Hootenanny. I'm pleased that he did get a reward from the recording.

And it did give him the opportunity to start his solo career. I saw him on his final tour, and he didn't seem to hold anything back.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 06:22 PM

GUEST,henryp

I did not say that PPL royalties went to the Barber Band. PPL royalties are paid to individual performers who took part in commercially recorded material NOT to the leader only.
I am perfectly aware of the history of the British skiffle movement having been there and worked with the Barber Band - not as a musician.
I also later worked at PPL and spoke with Lonnie not long before his death.

The Chris Barber Band was already in existence while Ken Colyer was in New Orleans. On his return to England he joined the band. After a while Ken was unhappy with one of the band members and said he would sack him. Chris reminded him that the band was a co-operative and the band sacked Ken.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 04:38 PM

Choucoune is a 19th-century Haitian song composed by Michel Mauleart Monton with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand. The song appeared in the 1957 Calypso-exploitation film Calypso Heat Wave, performed by The Tarriers.

Harry Belafonte released Don't Ever Love Me as a single in 1957 with lyrics written by Lord Burgess to Michel Mauleart Monton's setting of Choucoune.

It appeared, again in 1957, with the English lyrics of Yellow Bird on the album Calypso Holiday by the Norman Luboff Choir. The Mills Brothers had a minor hit with it in 1959.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM

Sweeney's Men released "The Waxies' Dargle" as a single in Ireland in 1968. It is set to the tune of "Brighton Camp", also used for "The Girl I Left Behind" and "The Rare Old Mountain Dew".

Andy Irvine says;

The Waxies' Dargle was a Dublin song with only a couple of verses but we augmented it with a chorus;

What are ya havin'? Will ya have a pint?
I'll have a pint with you sir.
And if one of youse doesn't order soon,
We'll be thrown out of the boozer.

It went to number two.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 01:43 PM

On his record, Lonnie Donegan sang Rock Island Line backed by Chris Barber on double bass and Beryl Bryden on washboard. As you say, PPL royalties should have gone to Chris Barber's Jazz Band, but I don't know how they would have been shared.

From Wikipedia; While playing in Ken Colyer's Jazzmen with Chris Barber, Donegan sang and played both guitar and banjo as part of their Dixieland jazz set. He also began playing with two other band members during the intervals, to provide what was called on their posters a "skiffle" break, a name suggested by Ken Colyer's brother, Bill, after recalling the Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the 1930s. In 1954 Colyer left, and the band became Chris Barber's Jazz Band.

With a washboard, a tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar, Donegan entertained audiences with folk and blues songs by artists such as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. This proved so popular that in July 1954 he recorded a fast-tempo version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line", with "John Henry" on the B-side. This recording featured Donegan, Chris Barber on double bass and washboard player (Beryl Bryden), but as it was part of a Chris Barber's Jazz Band session for Decca Records, Donegan received no royalties from Decca for record sales, beyond his original session fee.

Lonnie Donegan's recording, released as a single in late 1955, signalled the start of the UK "skiffle" craze. It was an enormous hit in 1956 (which also later inspired the creation of a full album, An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs, released in America on the Mercury label in the early 1960s). It was the first debut record to go gold in the UK, and reached the Top Ten in the United States.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:51 PM

GUEST,henryp

The probable reason that Lonnie didn't get royalties for "Rock Island Line" was that the recording was made at a recording session for the Chris Barber Band not Lonnie Donegan. I believe that at the time the band was a co-operative. Very soon after "Rock Island line" became a success Lonnie left the Chris Barber Band and went solo. Lonnie would still have received PPL royalties for the track as a featured member of the band on the recording but royalties on sales from the record company would have gone to the Chris Barber Band.

Incidentally The Barber Band's version of Bobby Shaftoe was quite popular at one time. I believe this had folk origins.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 09:40 AM

Lead Belly's repertoire provided many hits and songs still familiar today.

Lead Belly died on December 6, 1949. Six months later, 'Goodnight Irene' by The Weavers was at the top of the pop charts. The song was credited to Huddie Ledbetter and John Lomax.

'Rock Island Line' by Lonnie Donegan was released in 1955. It was an enormous hit and ushered in the skiffle boom. The song was listed as traditional, and Donegan was criticised for not crediting his arrangement to Lead Belly. In turn, Donegan received no royalties from Decca for record sales, beyond his original session fee.

'Bring a Little Water, Sylvie' was released in 1956, credited to Donegan. Lonnie Donegan Showcase (1956) - a 10" LP - also reached the singles charts and included 'I'm Alabammy Bound'. 'Cotton Fields', credited to Huddie Ledbetter, became a hit for the Beach Boys in 1969.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 09:36 AM

This song, "Dark Moon," caught my fancy sometime in the late fifties or early sixties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlrI0-VJrZ4

Years later, a friend came back from a trip to New Zealand, and it turned up on a tape of Maori traditional music.

It makes a good tune to play on my mountain dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM

I recall that there was a version of Muleskinner Blues that got a lot of popular radio airplay - can't remember if it was in the 50s or the early 60s.

Don


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 05:43 PM

"My Truly Truly Fair" always my favourite Guy Mitchell, FWIW, Stim.

But you denounce my opinion as wrong; and than express agreement with at least part of it. Consistency, dear old chappie. Consistency!

If you please!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 05:18 PM

Try making some comparisons:

John Hurt - Richland Woman

John Hurt's Creole Belle

Chuck Berry lip synching Sweet Little Sixteen


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:52 PM

That's something I have pointed out for years. Given that, no one really remembers that, song, or even Guy Mitchell. A shame, because they do remember his hits "Heartaches by the Number" and "Singing the Blues". "Pat Him on the 'Po-Po", not so much.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM

... and nobody can deny that its tune is a blatant ripoff [from Pawnshop On The Corner].


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:00 PM

Fair enuf, indeed. You don't have to agree of course. But thank you for remembering. I still think it an unwarranted [and unwarrantable] attack on the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people; but there you go, your mileage obviously varies.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM

We remember your thread Michael, and respectfully disagree with your wrong opinion.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM

Has anyone yet mentioned the British pop hit "Bell Bottom Trousers" by Alma Cogan, a cleaned up "The Waitress and the Sailor"


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

Surely the song "My Creole Belle" by Mississippi John Hurt is derived from one section of an instrumental ragtime piano piece entitled "Creole Belles",a cakewalk by J. Bodewalt Lampe 1900. The Johnson piece quoted above seems to be a much different piece.

Other pieces that use this (John Hurt)tune; "Back Up and Push" and "Rubber Dolly Rag"


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY CREOLE BELLE (Johnson/Johnson)
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:53 AM

are you saying sweet little sixteen is the same tune as my creole belle?, incidentally origins of my creole belle here although the words are different


MY CREOLE BELLE
Words by J.W. Johnson, music by Rosamond Johnson
Published 1900

1. Now if you want to see a girl to put you in a trance,
Get one whose pedigree goes back to flow'ry Spain or sunny France,
The ragtime blood in her veins gives her a red-hot pace,
But ev'ry move is modified by her Parisian grace,
Just watch her air,
So debonair,
Her cakewalk prance
Is à la France.

CHORUS: She is a belle, a Creole belle,
So charming and so very swell,
Just see her when she walks the street,
A vision fair from head to feet.
You catch a glimpse as round she flirts,
Of pretty lace and dainty skirts,
Upon your heart she puts a spell,
This fascinating Creole belle.

2. This Creole belle she sets you mad with her bewitching smiles.
Well versed is she in all the tricks and magic of love's arts and wiles.
Your heart beats in ragtime when you look into her eyes,
And you are deep in love with her before you realize.
Just ask a kiss.
She laughs like this,
And flirts away
To your dismay.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM

Little Boxes -- yuk. Most horrible song ever. A thread I OPd on why this was so ran for a year, Sep 09 - Aug 10.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 02:42 AM

You wouldn't be the first person who got their Chuck Berry tunes confused;-)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 02:25 AM

GUEST:Stim, You're right. I was singing Johnny B. Good to myself while counting bars. They are kinda similar (same chords) now that I get the right song in my head. Mississippi John must've really liked that tune, because he used it for Creole Belle too.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 01:53 AM

PHJim- You'd better get your tape measure out and check. You've got the size and shape of "Sweet Little Sixteen" wrong.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 03:17 PM

Guantanamera - 'the girl from Guantanamo' derives from a song attributed to José Fernández Diaz in 1929; Pete Seeger recorded his version in 1963.

Little Boxes - was written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962 and became a hit for Pete Seeger in 1963.

Sloop John B - The John B. Sails is a Bahamian folk song from Nassau, first was published in 1916. The Kingston Trio released their version in 1958.

If I had a Hammer by Trini Lopez - written by Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger in 1949 and released by The Weavers in 1950.

Wimoweh Wimoweh - originally known as "Mbube", this was written and recorded by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds in 1939. It was adapted and covered by The Weavers in 1952, The Kingston Trio in 1959 and The Tokens in 1961. Until recently, royalties - including $15 million from Disney's The Lion King - were largely swallowed up by the music publishing industry.

Where have All the Flowers Gone? - Pete Seeger found the inspiration for the words in October 1955 and set them to the tune of the Russian folksong "Koloda Duda". He released his recording in 1960. The Kingston Trio recorded it in 1961, thinking it was traditional.

Sources; inevitably Wikipedia

It does not take long for songs to be considered traditional, and for their royalties to be diverted, especially if they are commercially successful!


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: erosconpollo
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM

'Yellow Bird,' a hit for the Mills Brothers in '57, ultimately goes back to folk tunes from Hispanola.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:43 AM

Another two film-influenced hits which were 40s rather than 50s --

i. ~ "Let him go, let him tarry", sung by Jean Simmons in The Way To The Stars {US Title: Johnny in the Clouds}, 1945. A version of "Farewell He [Fare ye well cold winter]" -- whose words Steeleye's Maddy Prior sang for some reason 30 years later to the tune & chorus of "All Round My Hat", causing a myriad of category confusions!

The "Let Him Go/Tarry version", a big pop hit in late 40s.

ii. ~ Same year, "I Know Where I'm Going" (Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Barbara Mullen) did much the same for its title song, and to a lesser extent for "HoRo My Nutbrown Maiden".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:12 AM

From Mudcat threadid=9698; Just looked in Paterson & Gray "Songs of Scotland," 1996 and found the following:

Hill you ho, boys, let her go, boys,
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill you ho, boys: let her go, boys;
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952) was conductor of the famous Orpheus Choir of Glasgow for which he made many choral arrangements of Scots songs. He also published Songs of the Isles (1950), a collection of traditional tunes for which he invented English words. 'Mairi's Wedding' (the Lewis Bridal Song), 'Westering Home' and the 'Mingulay Boat Song' were all popularized by Roberton and they remain perennial favourites.


For many people - even Scots - I should think that Mairi's Wedding, Westering Home and Mingulay Boat Song represent three of the best-known traditional Scottish songs, although they were apparently only published in 1950. That is a compliment to Sir Hugh Roberton, also known as the Red Knight of Clydeside.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:17 AM

Yes, good point. "Kisses sweeter than wine" was a particularly popular one of theirs, IIRC.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM

I'm surprised that the name of that great folk song group, The Weavers, hasn't come up ? Surely quite a few of their recordings "popularised" a number of folk songs ? Remember them with Lee Hayes, Fred Hellerman, Eric Darling and Ronnie Gilbert, not to mention Pete Seeger?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

Guantanamera
Little boxes
sloop john B
If I had a hammer by Trini Lopez
wimoweh wimoweh
Where have all the flowers gone?


All used to get regular airplay


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 01:42 AM

The thing about that arrangement was that it hit the charts == very very popular, contantly muzak-ed &c. Not many sig-tunes to tv progs to which that happens: witness to catchiness of Todd tune, and excellence of the Spiegls' arrangement. Versions were recorded by such distinguished bands as that of Norrie Paramor.

It became the theme tune of the Liverpool-based Premier League football club Everton and is therefore regularly heard to this day, still played as the teams emerge at Everton's ground Goodison Park at the beginning of a match.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 01:40 AM

"Newtown, based on Kirkby, Merseyside."
'That's my home town', as the song says!
Jim Carroll


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