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Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4

DigiTrad:
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)


Related threads:
Tune Req: Rock Island Line (Leadbelly) - tabs (9)
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Review: Lonnie Donegan - Rock Island Line (29)
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Lyr/Chords Req: Rock Island Line (Donegan) (3)


greg stephens 04 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM
Will Fly 04 Jan 10 - 02:17 PM
Will Fly 04 Jan 10 - 02:18 PM
Dave Roberts 04 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM
Will Fly 04 Jan 10 - 02:28 PM
greg stephens 04 Jan 10 - 06:23 PM
Will Fly 05 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
greg stephens 05 Jan 10 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 05 Jan 10 - 11:47 AM
Fred McCormick 05 Jan 10 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Doc John 05 Jan 10 - 01:43 PM
Dave Roberts 06 Jan 10 - 12:59 PM
eddie1 07 Jan 10 - 03:31 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM
greg stephens 26 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM
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Subject: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM

1.30PM tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 4, the BBC is putting out a 30min programme on the history of the song. Now, I prersume all sensible Mudcatters date the start of the interesting part of their lives to when they first heard Lonnie Donegan sing this. So, don't miss this. It may be good, and can't fail to be interesting.
And, in case they forget to include this interesting snippet, who played zither on a very interesting recording of this song?


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 02:17 PM

The zither player was Paul Mason-Howard (asccording to my LP cover) on a recording by Leadbelly. And a fantastic recording it is!

Lonnie ruled - and rules!


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 02:18 PM

Correction, by the way: Not a zither - a dulceola - a zither with a keyboard like a piano.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM

Did they include Jim Dale.s parody, 'The Piccadilly Line'?


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 02:28 PM

For those whose lives (like mone) were changed by Donegan and his like, I can recommend Pete Frame's book, The Restless Generation, published in paperback by Rogan House 2007. A wonderful history of post-war jazz, skiffle and rock'n roll in Britain.

Thanks for heads-up, Greg.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:23 PM

Sorry, should read Tuesday Jan 5. Hope a clone might change this


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM

Well, that was very interesting. I didn't know that the first recording of "Rock Island Line" was by Kelly Pace - and a great version it is.

I hadn't realised that Rock Island was on the borders of Iowa and Illinois. When I took a peek at Google Maps, I also hadn't realised that Rock Island was just across the river from Davenport - a place equally fascinating to me as the home of Bix Beiderbecke and the inspiration for his lovely "Davenport Blues".

You live and learn...


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

Yes, very interesting.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 11:36 AM

The most interesting fact about all this is that the Rock Island Line does not run right down to New Orleans. That Lonnie's been having us all on for years.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 11:47 AM

And I was rather taken with the 'new' version by Lonnie's son and The Quarreymen. Sounds like his dad doesn't he? Really interesting prog and apparently the 'new' recording is available on the BBC blog (somewhere). I agree Will...Lonnie was/is bloomin' marvelous.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 11:59 AM

Will Fly. "Well, that was very interesting. I didn't know that the first recording of "Rock Island Line" was by Kelly Pace"

To be precise, Kelly Pace, leader, with Charlie Porter,L T Edwards, Willie Hubbard, Luther Williams, Napoleon Cooper, Albert Pate, Willie Lee Jones. RIL was collected from them by John Lomax on 02 October 1934 in the penitentiary at Gould, Arkansas.

It doesn't appear completely certain however, that the Pace recording was the earliest. Lomax recorded another version from Joe Battle, C A Story, Willie Johnson, John Denny, George Jones and Joe Green, also at Gould penitentiary on or about 27 September 1934. That's according to the notes for Document DOCD 5659; Too Late Too Late Vol 12 1917 - 1948.

Either way,by the time Lomax made the Gould Farm trip, Leadbelly was working for him as a driver and general assistant. I'd say there's a good chance that he learned RIL from one or maybe both of the groups whom Lomax recorded.

I do agree about Davenport Blues. Gorgeous tune.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 01:43 PM

Fred, could you give me your oppinion on this please? On Document 'Field Recordings Vol 2', there's the Kelly Pace (and others) version stated to have been recorded on October 1934 at Gould (248A1). On Document 'Too Late Too Late Vol 12' there's the recording you mention by Joe Battle (and others) dated September 1934 also at Gould (236A1). Lead Belly, from some notes now lost, was said to have been present on the latter occasion and this is where he learned the song. However these two document recordings, even though stated to have been taken from separate LofC discs, sound indentical to me.
Thanks
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 12:59 PM

It looks like I'll have to answer my own question re: Jim Dale's parody of 'Rock Island Line'.
No, they didn't include the parody in this BBC programme (at least not in the part I was able to hear on 'Listen Again' before the connection packed it in).
It wasn't a frivolous question. Jim Dale wrote 'Piccadilly Line'in 1957 to cash in on Lonnie Donegan's success with 'RIL'.I would only have been five years old then, so would have been a little young to have been a fan of either Donegan or Dale.
But I loved music from a very early age and grew up with my eldest brother's record collection, featuring loads of Donegan, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Elvis (and later Long John Baldry, Chris Farlowe, Howlin' Wolf, Cyril Davies et al - priceless stuff). And 'Piccadilly Line' was always there with the rest. just as legitimate to me as Donegan's song.
On starting Grammar School in 1963 and talking to fellow prisoners about music I got into one of those massive schoolboy arguments which can rumble on for months, rather like Mudcat threads on homosexuality or anti-smoking legislation.
People would keep insisting that Dale's song was NOT a parody of 'Rock Island Line', was 'nothing like it', was 'completely different'.
Remember that feeling of impotent rage when you know you're right but no one will listen to you?
Of course you do.
However, at least it got us talking about music and we all started collecting records ourselves including, in my case, some dubious quality 45rpm re-issues of Leadbelly 78s, including 'Rock Island Line'.
It is such esoteric stuff which shapes our lives and helps make us what we are.


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Subject: RE: Rock Island Line Tues Jan4 BBC Radio4
From: eddie1
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 03:31 AM

Link to Listen Now

Rock Island Line

Eddie


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Subject: Rock Island line revisited
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM

If you missed the BBC Radio 4 programme when it was first broadcast in January 2010 it is repeated at 15.30 on Saturday 29th Jan 2011. "Huw Williams looks at the history of railroad songa & plays John Lennon's prized 78 and a new version by Peter Donegan with the Quarrymen".

RtS


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Subject: RE: Rock Island line revisited
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM

Great, this looks interesting


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