Riverside

Folklore #600(12”)    

RLP-630~657

 

RLP 12-630 AMERICAN DRINKING SONGS  

Oscar Brand (vcl, g)  acc by Erik Darling (vcl,g) 

Ritter & Lerner, New York; May 1956 

Side 1 

 1. Little Brown Jug 

 2. Vive L’Amour 

 3. Quartermaster Corps 

 4. Three Jolly Coachmen 

 5. Red Light  Saloon 

 6. Mother Rackett’s 

 7. No More Booze 

 8. I’ve Been a Moonshiner 

 9. Rye Whiskey 

Side 2 

 1. Drunk Last Night 

 2. Good Old Mountain Dew 

 3. Old King Cole 

 4. Johnson’s Ale 

 5. Copper Kettle 

 6. The E-R-I-E Was Rising 

 7. Bootlegger’s Song 

 8. Whiskey Johnny 

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NOTE: RLP12-630 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein, notes written by Oscar Brand. 

Cover photograph courtesy of McSorley’s Old Ale House, New York; by Paul Weller. 

RLP12-630 reissued as Offbeat OLP-4021 and Washington WLP-725 “American Drinking Songs” 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

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RLP-630R

RLP 12-631 MERRICK JARRETT: THE OLD CHISHOLM TRAIL 

AND OTHR TRADITIONAL SONGS OF THE OLD WEST 

 

Merrick Jarrett (vcl, g)

Hallmark Studios, Toronto, Canada; May 1956 

Side 1

 1. The Old Shisholm Trail 

 2. When the Work’s All Done This Fall 

 3. The Cowboy’s Dream 

 4. The railroad Corral 

 5. High Chin Bob 

 6. I’m a Poor Lonesome Cowboy 

 7. The Cowboy’s Dance Song 

 8. Cowboy Jack 

Side 2

 1. The Gal I Left Behind Me 

 2. Roy Bean 

 3. Little Joe the Wrangler 

 4. TheRoan 

 5. Lone Star Trail 

 6. The Strawberry 

 7. Utah Caroll 

 8. All Day on the Prairie 

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NOTE: RLP12-631 edited Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Edith Fowke. Cover Gene Gogerty. 

RLP12-631 reissued as Washington WLP-725 “The Old Chisholm Trail”   

 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

418 West 49th Street New York 19, NY

 

RLP 12-632 EWAN MacCOLL: BAD LADS AND HARD CASES 

BRITISH BALLADS OF CRIME AND CRIMINALS 

Ewan MacColl (vcl, g) acc by Peggy Seeger (bj, g) 

Unknown place and date (1956?)

Side 1

 1. Turpin Hero 

 2. Spence Broughton 

 3. Ivor 

 4. The Bonnie Banks of Airdrie (Child #1) 

 5. Superintendent Barratt 

 6. Barratty Parratty 

 7. Go Down Yu Murderer 

 8. Van Diemen’s Land 

Side 2

 1. Whiskey in the Jar 

 2. Bill Brown 

 3. The Banks of the Royal Canal 

 4. The Black Velvet Band 

 5. Hard Case 

 6. The Ballad of Bentley and Craig 

 7. Treadmill Song 

 8. Gilderoy 

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NOTE: RLP12-632 edited and notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Cover by Darth. 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS

418 West 49th Street New York 19, N.Y. 

 

RLP 12-633 JEANNIE ROBERTSON: songs of a SCOTS TINKER LADY  

Jeannie Robertson (vcl)  acc by Josh MacCrae (g)

Unknown place and date (1956?) 

 

The Broken Token (4:19) 

When I Was Noo But Sweet Sixteen (1:22) 

The Butcher Boy (5:32)  

Brennan on the Moor (4:53) 

Go Away from My Window (1:34) 

Lord Lovat (Child #75) (5:25) 

The Overgate (2:29) 

The Four Marys (Child #173) (4:30) 

The Bonnie Wee Lassie Who Never 

Said No (1:51)  

The Gypsy Laddies (Child #200) (5:14) 

MacCrimmon’s Lament (5:18) 

What a Voice (5:36) 

 

NOTE: RLP12-633 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Hamish Henderson.  recording Engineer: no information

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc. 

235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y. 

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RLP 12-634 MILT OKUN AND ELLEN STEKERT: TRADITIONAL AMERICAN LOVE SONGS 

 

Milt Okun (vcl, g)  Ellen Stekert (vcl, g) 

New York; October 1956 

Side 1

 1. Must I Go Round 

 2. She’s Like the Swallow 

 3. Shule Aroo 

 4. The Cambric Shirt (Child #2) 

 5. The Lass from the Low Country 

 6. Poor Lolette 

 7. Who Wil Shoe? 

 8. The Lass of Glenshee 

 9. He Took Me By the Hand 

Side 2

 1. Paper of Pins 

 2. Trouble 

 3. The Foggy Dew 

 4. The Brazos River 

 5. Spanish Is the Loving Tongue 

 6. Every Night When the Sun Goes In 

 7. Jenny Jenkins cover design 

 8. Red Rosy Bush 

 9. No, John, No 

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NOTE: RLP12-634 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Ellen Stekert. Recorded by Mel Kaiser.

Cover design by Paull Bacon and photograph by Paul Weller. 

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

418 West 49th Street New York 19, NY

RLP 12-635 EWAN MacCOLL and A. L. LLOYD: THAR SHE BLOWS! 

WJALING BALLADS AND SONGS 

 

Ewan MacColl (vcl-1)  A. L. Lloyd (vcl-2)  acc by Peggy Seeger (bj, g)  John Cole (hca)

place and date unknown (1957?) 

Sperm Whale Fishery (2)

Blood Red Roses (1) (2) 

Farewell to Tarwathie (1) 

The Eclipse (2) 

The Cold Coast of Greenland (1) 

The Twenty-Third of March (2) 

The Coast of Peru (2) 

We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar (1) 

Reuben Ranzo (1) (2) 

The Bonny Ship the Diamond (1) 

The Cruel Ship’s Captain (2) 

Off to Sea Once More (1) 

Heave Away, My Johnny (1) (2) 

Paddy and the Whale (1) 

Greenland Bound (2) 

 

NOTE: RLP12-635 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by A .L. Lloyd. 

cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration from a Currier and Ives lithograph. 

RLP-635 reissued as Washington WLP-724 “Ewan MacColl: Whaling Ballads” 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc. 

235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y. 

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RLP 12-636 DEAN GITTER: GHOST BALLADS 

 

 

Dean Gitter (vcl, g)

Kendean Productions; January 1957 

Side 1

 1. Anne Boleyn 

 2. The Phantom Stagecoach

 3. Skin and Bones 

 4. The Uniquiet Grave 

 5. Finnegan’s Wake 

 6. Sweet William’s Ghost 

Side 2 

 1. The Flying Dutchman 

 2. The Suffolk Miracle 

 3. Miss Bailey’s Ghost 

 4. The Reaper’s Ghost 

 5. The Lady Gay 

 6. Lost Jimmie Whelan ]

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NOTE: RLP12-636 edited and notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and illustration copyright, 1953 by Charles Addams; used by special permission. 

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

235 West 49th Street New York 36, N. Y. 

 

RLP 12-637 EWAN MacCOLL AND PEGGY SEEGER

MATCHING SONGS OF THE BRITISH ISLE ANND AMERICA

Ewan MacColl (vcl, bj, g)  Peggy Seeger (bj, g, vcl)  acc by Miss Seeger (bj,g) 

Place and date unknown; 1957(?) 

Side 1 

 1. The Sweet Kumadee 

 2. The golden Vanity 

 3. His Old Grey Beard Kept Waggin’ 

 4. Overshoes and Leggin’ 

 5. The Gypsy Laddie 

 6. The Black Jack Davy 

 7. The Shefield Apprentice 

 8. I Was Brought Up in Cornwall 

SIDE 2

 1. There Was a Puggie in a Well 

 2. Froggie Went A Courtn’ 

 3. My Sailor Boy 

 4. Sweet William 

 5. The Fish Song 

 6. The Fish of the Sea 

 7. Scarborough Fair 

 8. The Cambric Shirt 

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NOTE: RLP12-637 edited notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Cover by Paul Bacon. 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc. 

235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y. 

RLP 12-638 SONGS FROM A VILLAGE GARRET: Sung by RAPHAEL BOGUSLAV

Raphael Boguslav (vcl, bj)

New York; May 1956 

SIDE 1

 1. MacPherson’s Lament

 2. Bowling Green

 3. Tobacco’s But an Indian Weed

 4. Moneymusk

 5. Crows In the Garden

 6. The Flying Dutchman

 7. Rambling Boy

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SIDE 2

 1. Weevily Wheat

 2. High Germany

 3. Turtle Dove

 4. Year of Jubilo

 5. The State of Elanoy

 6. Buffalo Skinners

 7. Wagoner’s Lad

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NOTE: RLP12-638 produced by Dean Gitter and edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Recorded by Leonard Ripley. 

Cover by Raphael Boguslav. 

 

RLP 12-639 OSCAR BRAND: G. I. – AMERICAN ARMY SONGSV

 

Oscar Brand (vcl, g)  assisted by Fred Hellerman (g) 

Place and date unknown 

Side 1 

 1. I Don’t Want No More of Army Life 

 2. The Fraking Fusileers 

 3. I’ll Tell You Where They Were 

 4. The Raw Recruit 

 5. Beneath A Bridge In Italy 

 6. Mademoiselle from Armentieres 

 7. The Wide Missouri 

 8. The Soldier’s Life 

Side 2 

 1. Old Soldiers Never Die 

 2. The G. I. Blues 

 3. The Sergeant 

 4. Roll Me Over 

 5. Home, Boys, Home 

 6. He Ain’t Gonna Jump No More 

 7. Around Her Neck 

 8. The Regular Army O 

 9. Follow Washington 

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NOTE: RLP12-639 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Oscar Brand. Recorded by Ritter and Lerner. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by Paul Weller. 

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

418 West 49th Street New York 19, NY

RLP 12-640 PAUL CLAYTON: WANTED FOR MURDER 

AMERICAN FOLKSONGS OF OUTLAWS AND DESPERADOES

 

Paul Clayton (vcl, g)

NYC; December 1956 

Side 1 

 1. Jesse James 

 2. Cole Younger 

 3. Charles Guiteau 

 4. Duncan and Brady 

 5. Kenny Wagner 

 6. Wild Bill Jones 

 7. Auantrell 

 8. Ella Speed 

Side 2 

 1. Billy the Kid 

 2. Bully of the Twon 

 3. Sidney Allen 

 4. Claude Allen 

 5. Bad Lee Brown 

 6. Sam Bass 

 7. Coon-Can Game 

 8. Zeb Turney’s Girl 

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NOTE: RLP12-640 edited and notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Recorded by Dean Gitter. Cover by Paul Bacon.

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

RLP 12-641 CHICAGO MOB SCENE: A Folk Song Jam Session 

 

University of Chicago; c. mid 1950s

Pete Stone (vcl)  Moe Hirsch (g)  Blind Bill Todd (b)

Talkin’ Nothin’ Blues (2:00)

Larry Ehrlich (vcl, g) 

Ain’t A-Goin’ to Work Tomorrow (1:27) 

Pete Stein (vcl, g)  Moe Hirsch (vcl, g)  Bob March (vcl, bj)  Samuel Hall (vcl, bj)  Blind Bill Todd (vcl, b)

Mama Don’t Allow (2:19)

Pete Stein (vcl, g)  Moe Hirsch (g)

How’ll I Make It Blues (2:38)

Samuel Hall (vcl, bj)

The Old Woman Who Loved A Swine (1:10)

Pete Stone (vcl)  Pete Stein (g)  Moe Hirsch (g)  Blind Bill Todd (b)

900 Miles (2:32)

Bob March (vcl, bj) 

The Cuckoo (1:46)

Pete Stone (vcl)  Moe Hirsch (g)  Blind Bill Todd (b)

The Days of ’49 (2:56)

Pete Hall (vcl, bj)  Pete Stein (g)  Moe Hirsch (g)  Bob March (bj)  Blind Bill Todd (b)

Day-O (1:17)

Pete Stein (vcl, g)  Moe Hirsch (g)

Tin Can Blues (2:15)

Larry Ehrlich (vcl, g) 

Get Away, Ol’ Man (1:32)

Pete Hall (vcl, bj)

Life Is a Trial (2:18)

Bob March (calling, bj)  Pete Stein (g)  Moe Hirsch (g)

Square Dance (1:37)

Larry Ehrlich (vcl, g)

Handsome Molly (1:25)

Pete Stein (vcl, g)  Moe Hirsch (vcl, g)  Samuel Hall (vcl, bj)  Bob March (vcl, bj)  Blind Bill Todd (vcl, b) Dean Gitter (vcl)

Mob Blues (4:14)

Pete Stein (vcl)  Moe Hirsch (bj)

Ol’ Kimball (2:32)

 

NOTE: all 16 titles on RLP12-641

RLP12-641 produced by Dean Gitter and edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Cover design by Paul Bacon.           

 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GAUER PRODUCITONS

553 West 51s Street New York 19, N.Y.

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RLP 12-642 Ewan MacColl  

Ewan MacColl (vcl, g)

Place and date unknown 

Side 1 

 1. Bless ‘Em All 

 2. Tell Me Boys, Have You Any Complaints 

 3. The Dying Soldier 

 4. The Ballad of Wadi Maktilla 

 5. The Trooper Cut Down in His Prime 

 6. Hand Me Down My Pettycoat 

 7. All You Maidens Sweet and Kind 

 8. Columbo 

 9. Seven Years in the Sand 

Side 2 

 1. Join the British Army 

 2. When this Ruddy War Is Over 

 3. The Second Front Song 

 4. Browned Off 

 5. McKaffery 

 6. The Fortress Song 

 7. The D Day Dodgers 

 8. On the Move

 9. The Ghost Army of Koea 

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NOTE: RLP12-642 “Bless ‘Em All” produced by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Ewan MacColl. 

Designed by ..

RLP-642 reissued as Washington WLP-711 “British Army Song”, cover designed by Ken Deardoff. 

 

RLP 12-643 LOGAN ENGLISH: GAMBLING SONGS  

Ewan MacColl (vcl, g)

Logan English (vcl, g) New York; April 1957 

Side 1

 1. The Roving Gambler 

 2. The Texas Gambler 

 3. My Father Was a Gambler 

 4. Stewball 

 5. The California Gambler 

 6. Duncan and Brady 

 7. Spotty and Doodie 

 8. I Got Mine 

Side 2 

 1. Jack o’ Diamonds 

 2. John Hardy 

 3. My True Love Is a Gambler 

 4. Stackerlee 

 5. Little Brown Bulls 

 6. The Coon-Can Game 

 7. A Hearty Good Fellow 

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NOTE: RLP12-643 recorded and edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein.

Cover by photography by Paul Weller and design by Paul Bacon. 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

RLP 12-644 SONNY TERRY AND HIS MOUTHHARP

Guitar accompaniments by ALEC STEWART 

 

Sonny Terry (vcl, hca)  Alec Stewart (vcl, g)

NYC; December 1953

 

Red River     

John Henry                                             

The Fox Chase                             

Talking About the Blues                           

Goodbye Leadbelly                              

 Moaning and Mourning Blues                  

 In the Evening                                               

Mama Told Me                  

Louis Blues                    

Chain The Lock On My Door                        

Baby Baby Blues                                           

Custard Pie                                             

Kansas City                                                 

Old Woman Blues                                          

Little Annie (1)                                            

Down in The Bottom Blues (1)          

Hard Luck Blues (1)                

I Woke Up This Morning         

Late One Saturday Evening       

 

NOTE: (1) A. Stewart on (vcl)

RLP12-644 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Marshall W. Stearns. Recorded by Jac Holzman. 

Cover photo by .Lawrence Photo, design by Paul Bacon.

all 14 titles of RLP12-644 also on Washington LP-702 “Sonny Terry and His Mouth Harp”          

 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.

235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York

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RLP 12-645 BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD: MINSTREL OF THE APPALACHIANS  

Bascom Lamar Lunsford (vcl, bj)  assisted by Freda English (g) 

Place unknown; September 1956 

Side 1

 1. Poor Jesse James 

 2. Go To Italy 

 3. The Merry Golden Tree (Child #286) 

 4. I Shall Not Be Moved 

 5. The Derby Ram 

 6. The Old Ma From the North Country (Child #10) 

 7. The Miller’s Will 

Side 2

 1. Sundown 

 2. Fly Around, My Blue-Eyed Girl 

 3. Black Jack Davy (Child #200) 

 4. Weeping Willow Tree 

 5. Swing Low, Chariot 

 6. The Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea 

 7. John Henry 

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NOTE: RLP12-645 edited and notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Recorded by Paul Clayton. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by Juanita Wilson. 

RLP12-645 reissued as Washington WLP-736 “Bascom Lamar Lunceford: Minstrel of the Appalachians” 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-646 JEAN RITCHIE AND OSCAR BRAND

RIDDLE ME THIS SING RIDDLE AND COURTING SONGS    

Jean Ritchie (dulcimer)  acc by Oscar Brand (g)  Dave Sears (bj) 

NYC; April 6, 1957 

Side 1 

 1. The Cambric Shirt 

 2. The Deaf Woman’s Courtship 

 3. I Will Give My Love An Apple 

 4. Marching Across te Green Grass 

 5. Riddle Me This 

 6. What Are Little Boys Made Of 

 7. Madam, Will You Walk 

 8. Big Glass Doll 

Side 2 

 1. Soldier, Soldier 

 2. My Good Old Man 

 3. Jennie Jenkins 

 4. The Riddle Song 

 5. Pepper of Pins 

 6. Pretty Li’l Reckless 

 7. Who Killed Cock Robin 

 8. Billy Boy 

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NOTE: RLP12-646 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and recorded by Ritter and Lerner. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by George Pickow. 

RLP12-646 reissued as Washington WLP-706 “Oscar Brand – Jean Ritchie: Counting and Riddle Songs” 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-647 RUTH RUBIN: YIDDISH LOVE SONGS   

Ruth Rubin (vcl)  acc by Fred Hellerman (g) 

Cue Recording Studios, New York; June 1957 

Side 1 

 1. Shpilt-zhe (Play for Me) 

 2. Gitare (Guitar) 

 3. Shvern Shver Ich Dir (I Vow to You) 

 4. Vos Vilstu Muter Hobn? (Mother, Why Do You Torment Me?) 

 5. Fishelech Koyf (To Buy Some Fish) 

 6. Ich Fir a Libe (I Am in Love) 

 7. Tsvey Taybelech (Two Little Turtledoves) 

 8. Sheltn Shelt Ich dem Tog (I Curse the Day) 

 9. Avu Biztu Geven? (Where Have You Been?) 

Side 2

 1. Hostu Mich Lib (If You Love Me) 

 2. Forn Forstu Fun Mir Avek (You Are Leaving Me) 

 3. Ale Vasserlech (All the Rivulets) 

 4. Tumbalalayka 

 5. Papir Iz Doch Vays (Paper is White) 

 6. Her Oys, Du Meydele (Listen, Little Maiden) 

 7. Baym Obsheyd (At Parting) 

 8. Oyfn Yam (On the Sea) 

 9. Shtil di Nacht Iz Oysgeshternt (Silent, the Starry Night) 

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NOTE: RLP12-647 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Ruth Rubin; recorded by Mel Kaiser. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and illustration from a Kaethe Kollwitz drawing; courtesy New York Public Library.

RLP-647 reissued as Washington WLP-726 “Yiddish Love Songs” 

             

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-648 Paul Clayton: "Timber-R-R" (Logging Songs)  

Paul Clayton 

Side 1 

 1. The Luberman’s Alphabet 

 2. The Jam on Gerry’s rock 

 3. The Little Brown Bulls 

 4. The Hanging Limb 

 5. James Whalen 

 6. The Wild Mustard River

 7. The Banks of the Little Eau Plaine 

Side 2 

 1. Canaday 

 2. Jack Haggerty and the Flat River Girl 

 3. The Rackets around blue Mountain Lake 

 4. The Backwoodsman 

 5. The Lost Jimmy Whalen ]

 6. Peter Amberly 

 7. Harry Bail 

 8. The Jolly Shantyboys 

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NOTE: RLP12-648 “Timber-R-R Lumberjack Folksongs and Ballads” edited by 

Cover designed by Paul Bacon.

 

RLP 12-649 BANJO SONGS of the BLUE RIDGE AND GREAT SMOKIES

Played and sung by ORAY RAMSAY   

Obray Ramsay (vcl,bj)

Western North Carolina State Hospital; July 26, 27, 28, 1957 

SIDE 1

  1. The Rambling Boy 

  2. Keep On the Sunny Side 

  3. Polly Put the Kettle On 

  4. Little Margaret 

  5. I Am a Pilgrim 

  6. Cripple Creek 

  7. Down By the Sea Shore 

SIDE 2

  1. Song of the French Broad River 

  2. God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign 

  3. Shortenin’ Bread 

  4. Wildwood Flower 

  5. My Lord, What a Morning 

  6. Lonesome Road Blues 

  7. Weeping Willow 

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NOTE: RLP12-649 produced, notes written and recorded by Kenneth S. Goldstein. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by Lawrence Photo.     

 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51ST Street New York 19, N.Y.

 
 

RLP 12-650 GEORGE PEGRAM AND WALTER PARHAM: PICKIN’ AND BLOWIN’  

George Pegram (vcl, bj)  Walter Parham (vcl-1, mouth harp)

South Turkey Creek, Leicester, North Carolina; August 1957 

 

Old Pattler (2:06) 

The Wreck of the Old 97 (1:58) 

Lost John (1:44) 

Georgia Buck (2:25) 

Cackling Hen (2:00) 

Sourwood Mountain (1:44) 

Wildwood Flower (1:17) 

Down in the Valley (2:26) 

Fly Around MY Pretty Little Miss (1) (1:12) 

Roll on Buddy (1:26) 

Old Joe Clark (2:20) 

The Dowfall of Paris (1:18) 

Will the Circle b\Be Unbroken (3:17) 

Listen to the Mocking Bird (1:40) 

Johnson’s Old Grey Mule (2:02) 

Chicken Reel (1:07) 

Turkey in the Straw (1:27) 

Foggy Mountain Top (1) (1:54) 

 

   Amid the ridges and hollers of the Southern Mountains, removed from the swift currents of the American “mainstream,” the people of Appalachia have perpetuated a rich tradition of songs, ballads, and dances, mainly of British origin, which have become and integral part of America’s folk heritage. 

   Although some of the more objectionable elements of commercial “hillbilly” and “country and Western” music have tended it has failed to obliterate these folk creations.

   Here are some notable gleanings from this hardy mountain tradition, as banjo and mouth harp come together for a session of Pickin’ and Blowin’.

 

   Much of the history of the development of the banjo remains unwritten.  In the comments of slave owners and the observations of early New World travelers we can note some cursory impressions of the early banjo.  It is known to have been a creation of African slaves brought to the American Colonies, who fashioned their rudimentary instruments from hollow gourds, with a tightly stretched skin secured over the opening to form a resonant sound-box.  A picture of the banjo, used at a worship meeting of Negro slaves in Maryland around 1774 was given by a British travelers in this way: 

   “They … generally meet together and amuse themselves with dancing to the banjo.  This instrument … is made of a gourd, something in the imitation of a guitar, with only four strings and played with the fingers …”

   Writing of the Negroes and their music, in his “Notes on Virginia,” 1781, Thomas Jefferson stated: 

   “The instrument proper to them is the Banjar which they brought hither from Africa …”

   The long-necked, fretless banjo, as embodied in the black-faced minstrel shows (circa 1830), made use of Irish, and Scottish tunes, Negro dances, popular songs of the day, and English ballad elements – all played with repetition and syncopation.  With the innovation of the 5th string, around 1840 (presumably by Joel Walker Sweeney), and the addition of frets to the fingerboard, the style of playing changed considerably – from primarily chording to more developed solo and melody playing – and in this form the banjo was later adopted for use in the Southern mountains. 

   When the pioneer wagon-train and the traveling minstrel shows introduced the banjo into the Southern highlands, it found a receptive environment – perhaps due in part to the pleasing sound of the fifth, or “drone” string, which was analogous to the old world bagpipe and the Irish fiddle. 

   Despite the admonitions of the church leaders, who considered banjo “the instrument of the devil,” it found many uses in mountain life.  As a courting instrument it could accompany a sentimental love song, a lonesome ballad, or a humerous ditty: at a Saturday night dance it was a companion to the fiddle. 

   Through trial and error and imitation (where possible), a definitive “folk-style” for the banjo was developed, as occurred earlier with the fiddle.  Rudimentary chords, melodies, and picking styles were worked out for both the fretted and fretless banjos.  Like the fiddle, the banjo could be adapted to play in certain unorthodox ways by returning the strings, either to produce open chords, or to pitch the instrument for a modal tune.  The so called “basic tuning” was a pattern taken perhaps from the minstrel players, which was changed to suit different melodies.  The melodies themselves undoubtedly were also altered in this process of adaptation.  The banjo was strummed in a number of diversified finger-picking styles, which ranged from a relatively simple two-finger movement to more complicated plucking using a combination of three fingers. 

   George Pegram uses a technique much like the well known “double-thumbing” style.  It is a three-finger movement employing single notes; the melody is picked with the thumb and the drone is alternated between the first and second strings, using the index and the middle fingers. 

   As companion to the banjo in this album, Walter “Red” Parham plays the harmonica, a traditional instrument whose music represents a blending of melodic elements from both Negro and white folk songs.  In combination with the banjo, it brings to life many of the sounds familiarly heard in the farmyards and on the back porches of the peoples of the Southern Mountains. 

 

Side 1 

1.  OLD RATTLER: Negro chain-gang songs tell of Old Rattler as a bloodhound, while this white mountain version is humorous composite about an  old hunting dog.

2. THE WRECK OF THE OLD 98: A journalistic ballad chronicling the wreck of the “Fast Mail” train of the Southern Railway, on its run between  Monroe and Spencer, Virginia, in 1903.  The words were written by the railway agent who was present at the wreck; the melody is from an older  song, The Ship That Never Return. 

3. LOST JOHN: The Stories about “Lost John” are numerous. Some accounts have him as a chain-gang convict from Louisiana; others as a man lost in  the woods who plays his harp to get help; and still others are about a bank robber.  Derived from both Negro and white sources, the song is well- 

 known to harmonica players, who attempt to imitate the baying of hounds on a chase. 

4. GEORGIA BUCK: This bears melodic resemblance to such other pieces as Old Reuben, and Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy.  Its verses, lacking  any real inter-relationship, may be easily interchanged. 

5. CAKLING HEN: A typical mountain breakdown – an instrumental tune repeated often with variations and special effects.  In this case, the sounds of  the barnyard hen are imitated. 

6. SOURWOOD MOUNTAIN: As with many mountain tunes, this derives its name from a number of place names in the South.  It is considered by  some to be the most famous of all mountain songs. Though often played as an instrumental number for square dancing, there are numerous verses,  dealing with love and courting, associates with it. 

7. WILDWOOD FLOWER: A sentimental ballad of probable “parlor” song-book derivation, also known widely by the title The Pale Amaranthus,  which was made famous by a Carter Family recording during the ‘30s. 

8. DOWN IN THE VALLEY: This lonesome mountain song is a standard inclusion in many popular collections of American folksongs. The impression  is crated of listening from a mountain-top to the passing of a train in the valley below. 

9. FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS: While best known today as a breakdown for dancing and singing, this originally came from “play- 

 party” tradition and bears a resemblance to the play-party songs, Pretty Little Pink and Shady Grove. 

 

Side 2 

1. ROLL ON BUDDY: Characterized by a melody of much greater strength than its text, this song gains its effect from sustained mood rather than from  the narrative.  However, the unrelated verses do not seem to detract from the song.  Melodically, it is related to Mole In the Ground and Honey,  Where You Been So Long. 

2. OLD JOW CLARK: The abundant verses to this song are found throughout Negro and white folk music – in play-parties, nursery songs, and as  words to fiddle tunes.  It may hae been a regular play-party game at one time, though it is now usually an instrumental number. 

3. THE DOWNFALL OF PARIS: A fiddle tune of Irish origin which took its name from some historical event, most likely in the last century (Another  example of this is Bonaparte’s Retreat, also well known as a dance tune in New England.) 

4. WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN: Many hums and religious songs of the South have their roots in older traditional songs, the melodies having  been taken over in the adaptation of music to church services.  These songs were eventually printed in hymn books.  This one, well known in  Pentecostal church services, was popularized by hillbilly recording artists. 

5. LISTEN TO THE MOCKING BIRD: originally conceived as a mournful parlor song, this piece was written by Septimus Winner under the  pseudonym of “Alice Hawthorne” in 1855.  (The tune is credited to a little Negro boy, whom he heard whistling it.)  Popular during the Civil War, it  is used today as a square dance tune. 

6, JOHNSON’S OLD GREY MULE: this is said to be derived from an old “music-hall” ditty, but current singers know it as a banjo song.  The owner’s  name, “Simon Slick”, used in this version, is mostly found in Negro texts of a related song, The Kicking Mule. 

7. CHICKEN REE: As a representative of the Irish tradition, this tune has been a frequent participant in fiddler’s contests and has been adopted by  many folk instruments, including the banjo and harmonica.  A great many early instrumental pieces had as their subjects such “critters” a opossum,  coon, mule, dog and chicken. 

8. TURKEY IN THE STRAW: One of the most successful of the early comic minstrel songs, and, known as Old Zip Coon, was first performed in  1834.  The original words are seldom heard, but the melody has been kept alive as a fiddle tune. 

9. FOGGY MOUTAIN TOP: The essence of folk lyric is well illustrated by this popular mountain song made up of a number of distinct and unrelated  verses.  It is found widely distributed throughout the Appalachians and the Ozarks, sometimes under the title Rocky Mountain Top.  Noted by  ROBERT BLACK

 

About the Performers

   GEORGE PERGRAM of Union Grove, North Carolina, WALTER PARHAM of Leicester, North Carolina, have been playing and singing together for many years.  They appear together, and with other instrumentalists, performing for square dances all over Western North Carolina, and are the annual stars of Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s Mountain Folk Music and Dance Festival held each year in Ashville, north Carolina, during the first week of August. When not perfoming, Pegram and Parham work as farm laborers and odd job men. 

These recordings were made at Bascom Lamar Lunsford’ home in South Turkey Creek, Leicester, North Carolina.  Pegram and Parham may also be heard on Riverside in 

 

BANJO SONGS OF THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS (RL 12-610)

SOUSTHERN MOUNTAIN FOLK SONGS AND BALLADS (RLP 12-617)

 

NOTE: RLP12-650 produced and recorded by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by Robert Black. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photo by Lawrence Photo. 

RLP12-650 reissued as Washington VM-743 “George Pegram and Walter Parham: Pickin’ and Blowin’ Cover designed by Ken Deardoff. 

                 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

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RLP 12-651 LEE CHARLES: SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT

AND OTHER FAVORITE NEGRO SPIRITUALS   

Lee Charles (vcl)  acc by Tanya Gould (p)  Walter Raim (g) 

Cue Recordings, New York; June and July 1957 

Side 1 

 1. Every Time I Feel the Spirits 

 2. Motherless Child 

 3. Good News 

 4. Round About the Mountain 

 5. Oh, Freedom 

 6. Daniel 

 7. Nobody Knnows 

 8. Ride Up in the Chariot 

 9. In That Morning 

Side 2

 1. Poor Pilgrim 

 2. Joshua 

 3. Let Us Break Together 

 4. Honor, Honor 

 5. Swing Low, Sweet Shariot 

 6. I Got a Home in That Block 

 7. No More Auction 

 8. Little Boy 

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NOTE: RLP12-651 edited and notes written by Kenneth S. Goldstein. Recording engineer; Mel Kaiser.

Cover design by Paul Bacon and Sheila Ghocoulter. 

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-652 EWAN MacCOLL and A. L. LLOYD: CHAMPIONS AND SPORTING BLADES

Ewan MacColl (vcl-1)  A. L. Lloyd (vcl-2)  Steve Benbow (g)

c. 1958

Card Playing Song (1)

The Bold Gambling (2) 

Gaelic Football (1) 

Creeping Jane (2) 

Morrissey and the Russian Sailor (1) 

The Cock Fight (2) 

The Sporting Races of Galway (1) 

Old Bob Ridley (2) 

Reynard the Fox (1) 

Skewball (2) 

The Turpin –Sugar Ray Fight (1) 

The Football Match (2) 

Govan Pool-Room Song (1) 

Heenan and Sayers (2) 

 

NOTE: RLP-652 “Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd: Champions and Sporting Blades”

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RLP 12-653 JEAN RITCHIE: SINGING FAMILY OF THE CUMBERLAND  

 

Ewan MacColl (vcl, g)

Logan English (vcl, g) New York; April 1957 

Side 1

 1. A Haunt Tale and Ballad (The Uniquet Grave) 

 2. How I Learned a New Song (Fair Ellen) 

 3. We Hear Hezzie Kilburn Sing (Oh, Father, Won’t You Come) 

 4. One Christmas (Wondrous Love) 

Side 2 

 1. Working In the Fields (Old Tyler) 

 2. Granny Katty in Church (A Twelvemonth More Has Rolled Around) 

 3. A Molasses Stir-Off and My First Kiss (Gonna See My True Love Awake, Awake,    You Drowsy Sleeper) 

 4. A Lonely Time and a Happy Reunion (Sweet Bye and Bye The Cuckoo) 

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NOTE: RLP12-643 recorded and edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein.

Cover by photography by Paul Weller and design by Paul Bacon. 

           

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-654 PAT FOSTER , with DICK WEISSMAN: GODL RUSH SONGS

SONGS OF CALIFORNIA ANND THE ‘FORTY-NNINERS 

Pat Foster(vcl)  Dick Weissman (bj, g) 

Hicksville, New York; December 1, 1957

 

Far California 

Sweet Betsy from Pike 

Then Hurrah for Home 

Swet Jane 

Oh, California 

Windham 

The Fools of ’49 

California Boy 

What Was Your Name in the States? 

Striking A Lead 

Arrival of the Greenhorn 

The Miner’s Meeting 

The Dying Californian 

 

NOTE: RLP12-654 produced, recorded notes written by Kenneth S. Golstein.

Cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration courtesy of the Picture Collection, New York Public Library.

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc. 

235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y. 

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RLP 12-655 PEGGY SEEGER: FOLKSONGS AND BALLADS   

Peggy Seeger (vcl, g, bj)

Topic Recording Studio, London, England; September 1957 

Side 1 

 1. Madam, I Have Come to Court You

 2. The Cruel War Is Raging 

 3. The Chickens They Are Growing 

 4. The Mrmaid (Child #289) 

 5. A Rich Old Miser 

 6. Hangman, Hangman (Child #95) 

 7. The Farmer’s Curst Wife (Child #278) 

Side 2 

 1. I Married Me A Wife 

 2. Equinoxial and Phoeve 

 3. So Early, Early In the Spring 

 4. The Rambling Gambler 

 5. The Trooper and the Maid (Child #299) 

 6. Johnson Jinkson 

 7. As I Walked Out One Fair May Moan 

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NOTE: RLP12-655 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and noes written by Peggy Seeger. 

Cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration is a late 18th Century weathervane, from collection of the American Art Gallery; courtesy of The Downtown Gallery, New York.

         

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS 

553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

 

RLP 12-656 EWAN MacCOLL WITH ISLA CAMERON  

Ewan MacColl (vcl)  Isla Cameron (vcl)  and Peggy Seeger (vcl, bj,g)  Ralph Rinzler (bj, g)  

Place and date unknown 

Side 1

 1. Will Ye Gang to the Hielands 

 2. The bonny Miner Lad 

 3. The Foggy Dew 

 4. The Spring of Thyme 

 5. It Was Under My Loves window 

 6. Still I Love Him 

 7. The American Stranger 

 8. Blackbirds and Thrushes 

 9. O Sally My Dear 

Side 2 

 1. Whistle, Daughter, Whistle 

 2. Blow Away the Morning Dew 

 3. To The Weavers Gin Ye Go 

 4. The bird in the Bush 

 5. The Water of Tyne 

 6. The Bleacher Lassie of Kelvinhaugh 

 7. Geordie 

 8. Are Ye Sleeping, Maggie 

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NOTE: RLP12-656 “English and Scottish Love Songs” edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and notes written by A. L. Lloyd.4

Cover designed by Paul Bacon. 

 

RLP 12-657 BILLY FAIER: Travelin’ Man   

Accompanying himself on banjo, or on guitar (on Side 1, #3 and 6, Side 2, #3 and 5 only) Side 1, #2 and 5, and Side 2, #6 are instrumental (banjo) solos 

SIDE 1

  1.  1. Travelin’ Man 

  2.  2. The Downfall of Paris 

  3.  3. Billy the Kid 

  4.  4. Bahaman Lullaby 

  5.  5. Wind in the Trees 

  6.  6. The Dying British Sargeant 

  7.  7. The Great Assembly 

SIDE 2

  1.  1. The Galveston Flood 

  2.  2. Soldier’s Joy 

  3.  3. Miner’s Lifeguard 

  4.  4. Pay Day at Coal Greek 

  5.  5. Nine Pound Hammer 

  6.  6. Diane’s Reel 

  7.  7. The Hell Bound Train 

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A HIGH FIDELITY Recording – Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve) 

Produced by BILL GRAUER 

Cover designed by PAUL BACON; Cover photograph: MEL SOKOLSKY 

Recorded in New York City; August, 1958

Engineer; JACK HIGGINS (Reeeves Sound Studios) 

 

RIVERSIDE RECORDS are released by BILL GARUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc. 

535 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.