The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9661 Message #2263129
Posted By: Arkie
15-Feb-08 - 11:05 AM
Thread Name: The Battle of New Orleans
Subject: RE: The Battle of New Orleans
There are several stories about where Johnny Horton got "The Battle Of New Orlean". He may well have heard Jimmy's recording but he and Jimmy also performed on the Louisiana Hayride, and he could have heard the song there. The song was published by Don Warden, a member of Porter Wagoner's band. Warden and Wagoner were from southeastern Missouri and not all that far from Stone County, Arkansas. A mutual friend of Jimmy's and Warden, Hugh Ashley, son of Hobart Ashley of Ashley's Melody Men and once a member of Zeke Manner's Beverly Hillbillies (paving the way for Elton Britt, a friend and neighbor) encouraged Warden to listen to Jimmy's songs. Ashley had transcribed some of Jimmy's songs for a Kansas City recording company and knew the potential if they could get in the right hands.
Jimmy's real strength was in live performances. He had some good songs and some good stories. He was in his fiftys when Horton recorded Battle of New Orleans and made the most of the opportunity. Sales of Jimmy's recordings increased after Horton's hit and both performers got a career boost from "Battle". In 1959, after the success of "Battle" other artists became interested in Jimmy's songs and five songs charted in that year.
My personal favorite of Jimmy's songs is "Long Chain On" which was recorded by Peter Paul and Mary and has also been more recently recorded by Robert Earl Keen. Peter Yarrow and his daughter Bethany perfomed a magnificent version at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas a few years ago.