The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95164   Message #1850990
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
05-Oct-06 - 10:13 AM
Thread Name: Origin: This Morn, This Eve, Right Now
Subject: RE: Origin: This Morn, This Eve, Right Now
This still leaves "Tell Ol' Bill" a mystery, with only one original source, Sandburg. There must be some other root to this! Not written by his artist friend, Nancy Barnhart, I assume -- if so, she was an extremely unusual artist.

Where did she get it? Does anybody have research resources into St. Louis black history c. 1920s that might turn up a murder case with similarities?

More important, does anyone know of ANY other version of "Tell Ol' Bill" contemporary with, or earlier than, Sandburg's (collected 1922?, in print 1927)???

There's Sam Hinton's version, of course, but that may not differ much. I listened to the sample of Hinton singing "Tell Old Bill" on the Library of Congress CD. He varies the tune somewhat, but not significantly. What's audible is melodically pretty much the same as Sandburg, and lyrically identical for two verses.

Anybody got clues? Where is Hercule Poirot when we need him? "Do not derange yourself" etc. -- Bob