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Lyr Req: How's Your Folks and My Folks (Down in..

GUEST,Ken Brock 28 Apr 10 - 01:48 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Apr 10 - 01:45 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Apr 10 - 01:59 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 10 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: How's Your Folks and My Folks (Down in..
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:48 PM

The song title is "How's Your Folks and My Folks (Down in Norfolk Town)"

I have a CD re-release (The Obscure and Neglected Chicagoans, iajrc label CD 1007) of this as an instrumental, recorded 1925 in Chicago as a demo. Does anyone know the words? I'm interested because of possible Norfolk, Va references, such as "the Church Street Five" in Gary U. S. Bonds' "A Quarter to Three".

Written by Dudley C. Mecum and Cal Devall. The recording I have is by "Dud Mecum's Wolverines" - a name applied at the time of the reissue, as the record was a 1925 demo, never issued at the time (Bix Biederbecke had previously been with these same Wolverines). There is a vocal recording by Art Gillham, who was the first to make an electrical recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How's Your Folks and My Folks (Down in..
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:45 PM

The Online 78-rpm Discography Project lists these recordings of HOW'S YOUR FOLKS AND MY FOLKS:

Ambrose Haley Ozark Ramblers - May 27, 1937
* Conqueror - 8888
* Melotone - 7-10-54
* Vocalion - 03648

Art Gillham (Whispering Piano) - February 26, 1925
* Columbia - 387D

Billy Jones & Ernest Hare a.k.a. The Happiness Boys - September 21, 1925
* Perfect - 12219
* Pathe - 32140
* Victor - 19739


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW'S YOUR FOLKS AND MY FOLKS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:59 PM

You can hear the recording by Art Gillham at The Internet Archive. Here's my transcription:

HOW'S YOUR FOLKS AND MY FOLKS

VERSE: I'm just a little rollin' stone,
Rollin' 'round all alone.
I've learned a lot, but what have I got?
Nothin' to call my own.
I met a friend from my home town today.
Believe me, I was mighty glad to say:

CHORUS 1: How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?
Not one word have I heard since I've been knockin' around.
How's dear old dad and mother and all the family?
How's little sis and brother? Do they ever talk about me?
How's my gal, my old pal? That's the girl I left behind.
Now I find she's always on my mind.
I'm just an old black sheep and I'll get no sleep
Till I'm Virginia bound.
How's my girl and your girl down in Norfolk town?

CHORUS 2: How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?
Not one word have I heard since I've been knockin' around.
How's dear old dad and mother and all the family?
How's little sis and brother? Do they ever talk about me?
Now, how's my gal, my old pal? That's the one I left behind.
Now I find she's always on my mind.
I'll get back there in that Dixie air
And gain another pound.
How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW'S YOUR FOLKS AND MY FOLKS?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:10 PM

The Internet Archive also has a recording by Billy Jones (tenor) & Ernest Hare (bass), who were also known as The Happiness Boys. (Click to play.) As they often did, they turned the song into a dialogue. I have indicated their voices as (t) and (b) respectively. I have omitted the spoken "patter":


HOW'S YOUR FOLKS AND MY FOLKS?
As sung by Billy Jones & Ernest Hare (1925)

VERSE: (b) I'm a Dixie rollin' stone,
Roamin' 'round all alone.
(t) You've learned a lot, but what have you got?
(b) Nothin' worth callin' my own.
I hear that you returned from home today.
(t) I often wonder why you went away.

CHORUS: (b) How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?
(t) Not one word have they heard since you've been knockin' around.
(b) How's dear old dad and mother and all the family?
How's little sis and brother? Do they ever talk about me?
(t) Your old gal, your old pal, the one you left behind—
Now I found you're always on her mind.
(b) I'm just an old black sheep and I'll get no sleep
Till I'm Virginia bound,
(both) To your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town.

[DIFFERENT MELODY BEGINS:]
(b) I know when the L&N is leaving in the eve'ning,
  But it's bound for Louisville;
And I know the B&O was bound to go to Baltimo',
  And down to Jacksonville;
And they say that ev'ry day the Santa Fe is on its way
  Out to the Golden Gate;
But those three don't worry me; the only place I want to be
  I might as well confess:
[RETURN TO THE MELODY OF THE CHORUS:]
(both) I'm just an old black sheep and I'll get no sleep
Till I'm Virginia bound.
To your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town.


[* Starting here, Hare (b) sings the lyrics shown above while Jones (t) softly sings the chorus of CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINNY as counterpoint:

["Carry me back to old Virginny,
There's where the cotton and the corn and 'tatoes grow,
There's where the birds warble sweet in the springtime,
There's where...."

[Jones sings something different from the original "darkie" dialect in the last line, but I wasn't able to make out what it was.]


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