The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32772   Message #3929886
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
08-Jun-18 - 06:10 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Sloop John B
Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
Reposting the known early sources here, with Prouty inserted, just for reference:

Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 02:23 AM

Prouty (Eddy Warren)
Spencer, Mass.
Hoist the John B. sails; two step for piano, by Ed. W. Prouty. 19970
C 46639,Apr.25,1903;2c.Apr.25,1903.

[Catalogue of Title Entries of Books and Other Articles, Vol. 36 Musical Compositions, Washington: GPO, 2 April 1903, p.452]

Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 19 Mar 16 - 08:31 PM
Re: "Sloop John B" and three references (more like 7-8 but anyways…)

Lyrics by romantic novelist-travel writer Richard Le Gallienne (on paid assignment to the Bahamian government) in one of a series of articles for Harper's Magazine. Song title is given as: "The John B. Sails" (Coral Islands and Mangrove Trees, Harper's Dec. 1916)

Le Gallienne recycled and expanded the lyrical meme in his adventure novel "Pieces of Eight: Being the Authentic Narrative of a Treasure Discovered in the Bahama Islands, In the Year 1903 – Now First Given to the Public" (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1918)

The "original" lyrics (credited to F.W. Clark?) were set to music and published by Chicago theater organist-composer A. Leopold Richard. (The John B. Sails, Chicago: Legters Music Co, 1921)

Privately released in songbook form (sans attributions) by Chicago Tribune political cartoonist-author John T. McCutcheon and poet-author Evelyn Shaw McCutcheon. The notes differ from Sandburg's only in the last half of the last sentence "...designed by Mr. Howard Shaw..." &c. This is the first appearance of the "Wreck" meme though the song title remains simply "The John B. Sails" (The Island Song Book, Privately Printed at The Chicago Tribune Tower, Jan. 15, 1927)

Released in songbook form by Sandburg later the same year, with the same song title. Arranged by A.G. Wathall, master-arranger and composer for the Chicago Tribune's WGN radio station. (American Songbag, Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1927)

First audio recording "Histe Up the John B. Sail" was the Cleveland Simmons Group by Alan Lomax in Old Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas in 1935. No mention of Le Gallienne, Richard, or the McCutcheons when finally released over a half-century later. (Rounder CD 11661-1822-2, 1999)

First commercial release by The Weavers as "(The Wreck of the) John B". Credited to Carl Sandburg – Lee Hayes. (b/w: The Roving Kind, Decca 27332, 1950)