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Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again

DigiTrad:
WE'VE GOT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT BACK AGAIN


GUEST 29 Oct 10 - 11:56 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 10 - 12:05 AM
GUEST,Orville 01 Nov 10 - 10:48 PM
Stewart 01 Nov 10 - 11:02 PM
Joe Offer 02 Nov 10 - 11:40 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 10 - 12:01 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 14 Nov 10 - 07:16 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 10 - 07:18 PM
Stewie 14 Nov 10 - 07:46 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 10 - 07:48 PM
Martha Burns 14 Nov 10 - 07:51 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 10 - 07:53 PM
Stewie 14 Nov 10 - 07:54 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 10 - 08:10 PM
12-stringer 15 Nov 10 - 04:29 PM
judyac 16 Nov 10 - 09:29 AM
judyac 21 Nov 10 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Pete 10 Apr 11 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,Guest Julian 10 Apr 11 - 09:42 PM
12-stringer 01 Jul 13 - 03:58 PM
12-stringer 01 Jul 13 - 05:17 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Jul 13 - 09:56 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Jul 13 - 11:02 AM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 14 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,Murray Kirch 23 Jan 18 - 01:05 PM
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Subject: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 11:56 PM

Does anyone know the owner of the license for "Franklin D Roosevelt's back again"? Orville


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 12:05 AM

Hmmmm. You'd think that would be an easy one, but I can't find an answer immediately. I have to conclude that the songwriter is "unknown." The Traditional Ballad Index claims the songwriter was Bill Cox. Songs America Voted By (Irwin Silber, 1971) says Bill Cox recorded the song, but does not identify the songwriter. The New Lost City Ramblers Songbook says it is from Bill Cox, not by Bill Cox. The Cox recording was released on the Okeh label just after the 1936 election.
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on the song.

The usual licensing agency in the US is the Harry Fox Agency, and it does not have a listing for the song.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again

    DESCRIPTION: "Just hand me my old Martin, for soon I will be startin... Since Roosevelt's been re-elected, we'll not be neglected." Singer praises Roosevelt's re-election, celebrates legal liquor and the end of moonshine, and returning prosperity.
    AUTHOR: Bill Cox
    EARLIEST DATE: 1936 (recording, Bill Cox and Cliff Hobbs)
    KEYWORDS: drink hardtimes nonballad political
    HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
    1933-1945 - Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt
    FOUND IN:
    REFERENCES (3 citations):
    Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 230-231, "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Silber-FSWB, p. 287, "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again" (1 text)
    DT, FDRBACK*

    RECORDINGS:
    Bill Cox, "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again" (Melotone 07-02-61/Oriole 07-02-61, 1937; OKeh 05896 [as Bill Cox & Cliff Hobbs], 1940; 1940; rec. 1936)
    New Lost City Ramblers, "Franklin Roosevelt's Back Again" (on NCLR09, AmHist2, NLCRCD1)

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "The Democratic Donkey is Back In His Stall" (subject matter)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    We've Got Franklin Delano Roosevelt Back Again
    Notes: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an anti-Prohibition Democrat, was elected to his second of four terms in 1936, carrying all but two states. - PJS
    As poetry, this is about as bad as a song can get. But as a reflection of the attitude of its time, it is obviously highly accurate. - RBW
    "As poetry, this is about as bad as a song can get." Oh yeah? Ever listen to "MacArthur Park"? - PJS
    No, I haven't. Sounds like I should be glad.... - RBW
    File: CSW230

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST,Orville
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 10:48 PM

Thanks Joe for your efforts. I haven't been able to get anything either on the origins of FDR's Back Again. Orville


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Stewart
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 11:02 PM

Here's a video from our Coffeehouse Concert last July.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 11:40 PM

So, what do you do in a case like this? Do you record the song, or do you let it be forever lost because you can't figure out who to pay rights to?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 12:01 PM

Don't know when this went up but Bill Cox did write it along with some other great ones like Democratic Donkey and NRA Blues.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:16 PM

Dennis Prager, my favorite radio talker, once opined that the reason most Jews are Democrats, today, is that they STILL think Roosevelt IS in the White House. Sort of kidding or???


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:18 PM

Hi, oh, ye who posted at noon: what documentation do you have to indicate that Bill Cox wrote the song? It certainly does seem likely. This page (click) is a treasure trove of online recordings of those old songs.
Thanks for the leads to the other Bill Cox songs. Now...does anyone know how to get rights to record "Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again"?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:46 PM

Joe, the New Lost City Ramblers' album, 'Songs of the Depression', references Bill Cox in both the sleeve track listings and in the accompanying booklet. The note in the booklet reads: 'The original Bill Cox record of this song was mastered on the week following the November 1936 presidential election'. The note in the NLCR's 'Old-Time String Band Songbook' states: 'From Bill Cox, Okeh 05896'. Also: 'The "Martin" referred to in the first verse is probably the singer's brand of guitar'. In both cases, they do not specifically state that Cox wrote it, but the implication is there. Certainly, his was the first recording.

Perhaps the above guest will be back with some specific evidence.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:48 PM

Damn. I should have remembered that New Lost City Ramblers Songs from the Depression album. It's such a good album, and the notes are available online if you follow my link.

So, Stewie, can you venture a guess about how to license such songs?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Martha Burns
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:51 PM

Oooh. Great link, Joe. Thanks for that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:53 PM

Yeah, Martha, who knew? What a kick to find so many great songs!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 07:54 PM

My apologies, Joe. I failed to read your introduction to the Traditional Ballad Index above. Please disregard my previous superfluous post.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt (Winchester)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 08:10 PM

Gee, all this puts me in the mood for an old favorite that doesn't seem to have been posted here. I found it at http://www.jessewinchester.com

Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt

(Jesse Winchester)

Tell me why you like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
That's why I like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
That's why I like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
Good God almighty, he's the poor man's friend

Cause in the year of nineteen and thirty-two
We had no idea just what we would do
All our finances had flowed away
Till my dad got a job with the WPA

That's why I like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
That's why I like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
That's why I like Roosevelt, poor man's friend
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend

Tell me why you like Lester B
Tell me why you like Lester B
Tell me why you like Lester B
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend

Cause in the year of nineteen and sixty-seven
I was a somewhat younger man
The call came to bloody glory came
And I would not raise my hand
Cause I'm baptized by water
So I'll pass on the one by fire
If you want to fight
Go on and fight if that be your desire

That's why I like Pierre Trudeau
That's why I like Pierre Trudeau
That's why I like Pierre Trudeau
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend
Good God almighty that's the poor man's friend

©1974 Jesse Winchester
From the LP "Learn To Love It"




    The Roosevelt Campobello International Park was established under an agreement signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson on January 22, 1964. The Roosevelt Campobello International Park was officially opened on August 20, 1964.
Is THAT the Lester B that Jesse Winchester sang about?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: 12-stringer
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 04:29 PM

There is small doubt that the song was written by Bill Cox. See the notes to his 1967 "rediscovery" LP, "Billy Cox -- the Dixie Songbird," in which he claims that the song was written at a New York hotel, where he and Hobbs were staying while in town to record. Nobody else covered the song, so it's not likely that a plugger was shopping it around to hillbilly artists. The next recording of it, I believe, was the one by NLCR and there may have been none after that till Cox's 1967 LP on the Charleston-based indie Kanawha label.

Cox was in his 70s when the LP was recorded, and he may have misremembered some of the chronology. He says that he and Hobbs missed the 1936 election because they were recording in NY, and that he wrote these songs to commemorate it, but Russell's discography shows that Cox and Hobbs recorded on 17 and 28 November 1936, so he was probably still in Charleston on Election Day.

He was a pretty facile songmaker, usually coupling clever lyrics to some older tune (or a variation thereof). The notes to his 1967 LP are forthright enough. He acknowledges traditional sources for a couple of the songs, and credits Riley Puckett and the Delmore Bros for others (he made several variations on "Browns Ferry Blues" during his recording career). The only demonstrably false assertion is that he wrote "Filipino Baby," actually a Charles K Harris pop song from 1899 (Cox was born in 1897). Cox made the tune more hillbilly, less ragtime pop, but the lyrics are little changed. (Cf Cox's remake of the 1905 pop song by Albert von Tilzer and George T Smith, "The Whole Dam Family.")

Someone who interviewed Cox in the late 60s told me that he had characterized his New Deal songs as "foolishness" and inferred a conversion to the Republican party, though the interviewer was a pretty rabid Republican and this may have been no more than a case of wishful hearing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: judyac
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 09:29 AM

Joe Offer wrote

"Is THAT the Lester B that Jesse Winchester sang about?"

In the version of "Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt" on "Live at the Bijou Café" Jesse refers to him by his full name, "Lester B. Pearson" and also as "Mike Pearson" as he was sometimes called.

Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his role in settling the Suez crisis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_B._Pearson


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: judyac
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 10:13 AM

LISTEN TO CLIP OF JESSE

If you have iTunes installed and you live in the U.S.A. you can search for Jesse's album "Live at the Bijou Café, Philadelphia, May 26,1977" and play the clip for "Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt". Interestingly, you can hear Jesse sing the words "Lester B. Pearson" and "old Mike Pearson" in that short clip.

"Live at the Bijou Café" is not for sale at the Canadian iTunes store. To hear the above mentioned clip in Canada, you have to scroll down to the bottom of the iTunes store home page, click on "change country" and then click on the "United States" icon. Then search as usual for the album and clip.

You can also hear the clip at the following iTunes link. I think you need to have QuickTime installed for it to work.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-at-bijou-cafe-philadelphia/id129639268

Jesse's self-titled album is also not for sale at the Canadian iTunes store.

For Doug Sahm fans there is a very good buy at the Canadian iTunes store. The Sir Douglas Quintet's "The Complete Mercury Masters" - all 105 tracks - can be bought for CDN$ 9.99. At the U.S. iTunes store it is U.S.$ 49.99. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 02:27 AM

Does anyone have the words (by Otis Jackson?) to the blues version done by McKinley Peebles on Friends Of Old Time Music [Disc 2]?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST,Guest Julian
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 09:42 PM

Just heard this song on the fabulous Backporch Music radio program (WUNC in Chapel Hill) and came across this helpful thread. Did some more searching and came up with this (see link below). It has a snapshot of the original record cover as well as a clip of the song.

http://www.authentichistory.com/1930-1939/03-music/19361128_Franklin_Roosevelts_Back_Again-Bill_Cox_and_Cliff_Hobbs.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: 12-stringer
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 03:58 PM

Should be noted that "FDR's Back Again" is, after all, a Cox remake of the Bob Miller song, "Those Good Old Times Are Coming Back Again" (1932). This was recorded by Miller for Columbia and ARC, by Ernest Hare on Velvetone (as "Hobo" Jack Turner) and on Columbia (as Earl Harris), and by Bill Elliott (as Jim Baird) on Victor. The Elliott recording is available on one of the Yazoo "Hard Times Come Again No More" compilations of depression songs and is probably the most interesting, as it's accompanied by an organ that sounds like it escaped from a skating rink. Miller's own version can be found at jazz-on-line.com, credited to "Bob Miller's Orchestra." (This version features clarinet, trumpet, et al and was released in the Columbia popular music series; Bob's ARC recording was done with hillbilly instrumentation.)

Some of Cox's lyrics are anticipated in the Miller song, but oddly Miller wrote it all in one strain. Cox added a chorus part, which improves it quite a bit (IMO, of course). Miller's original is a counterpart to (and probably an imitation of) "Happy Days Are Here Again," with some not overly specific assertions that life is getting better and the end of the Depression is in sight.

Lyrics from the Miller version, Columbia 2644-D:

Oh, them good old times are coming back again (x2)
And the good old sun will shine
And there won't be no bread line
Oh, them good old times are coming back again.

Yes sir, them good old times are coming back again
Oh, them good old times are coming back again
We won't have to break our backs
Toting a big carload of tax
Oh, them good old times are coming back again.

Yes, them good old times are coming back again
Oh, them good old times are coming back again
And the long-eared mule will say
To the elephant that day
Them good old times are coming back again.

Yes, sir, I'm saying them good old times are coming back again
I mean, them good old times are coming back again
We'll have money in our jeans
And we'll eat more than turnip beans
Oh, them good old times are coming back again.

Cox was undoubtedly acquainted with Miller, as he recorded Bob's "Trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann." Ballad Index lists Miller as the probable composer of "Fate of Will Rogers and Wiley Post," which Cox also recorded for ARC in the mid-1930s, which seems probable to me as well. At any rate, "FDR" is an offshoot of "Good Old Times," though by most objective standards it's superior to its inspiration.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: 12-stringer
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 05:17 PM

As usual, typing faster than I was thinking. Cox's tune is a more serious recomposition of Miller's than I managed to imply. Miller's tune is more like the chorus of Cox's, though they're not identical. What Cox adds is a verse.

From the Bill Elliott (as Jim Baird) version on "Hard Times Come Again No More", some extra couplets. The Miller version is much shorter and features a lot of instrumental solos between verses, with only 4 sung stanzas, while Elliott squeezes 12 onto his allotted 10" of shellac..

(first 2 verses as in Miller)

Depression he will go
To the place where there's no snow

'Stead of filling up our jail
We'll fill up our dinner pail

We'll throw out our worn-out shoes
Drive away the hungry blues

(as in Miller's third verse))

We'll ride handsome, wide, and far
In our little touring car

We'll have money in our jeans,
We'll have more than turnip greens

We've had misery in full
Lived on promises and bull

We'll sit in our easy chair
Not a worry or a care

At the sun we'll smile, be durned
Though our tonsils get sunburned

We can rest our weary heads
As we sleep in feather beds


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Subject: Lyr Add: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT'S BACK AGAIN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 09:56 AM

There are several things wrong with the transcription in the DT, starting with the title, so here is my own correction. Note: the link below takes you to a page at AuthenticHistory.com that has both the recording and an image of the record label. (Or, click for an MP3.)


FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT'S BACK AGAIN
As recorded by Bill Cox and Cliff Hobbs (The Dixie Songbirds), 28 Nov 1936; Conqueror 8771, Melotone 7-02-61, Okeh 05896.

Just hand me my old Martin,
For soon I will be startin'
Back to dear old Charleston far away. (Hallelujah!)
Since Roosevelt's been re-'lected,
We'll not be neglected.
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.

Back again, back again,
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.
Since Roosevelt's been elected,
Moonshine
liquor's been corrected.
We've got legal wine, whiskey, beer and gin.

I'll take a drink of brandy
And let myself be handy.
Good old times are comin' back again. (Hallelujah!)
You can laugh and tell a joke.
You can dance and drink and smoke.
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.

Back again, back again,
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.
We'll have money in our jeans.
We can travel with the queens.
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.

No more breadlines, we're glad to say.
The donkey won election day.
No more standin' in the blowin', snowin' rain. (Hallelujah!)
He's got things in full sway.
We're all workin' and gettin' our pay.
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.

Back again, back again,
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.
Since Roosevelt's been elected,
Moonshine
liquor's been corrected.
We've got Franklin D. Roosevelt back again.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROOSEVELT'S ELECTION (Attila the Hun)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 11:02 AM

I found this calypso recording on Spotify:


ROOSEVELT'S ELECTION
As recorded by Attila the Hun, 8 Apr 1941, Decca (American) 17457A; also on "Calypso Pionners [sic], Vol. 1 (1912-1947)"

The Republican opposition
Couldn't affect the American election.
The Republican opposition
Couldn't affect the American election.

Wendell Willkie was defeated easily
By an overwhelming and mammoth(?) majority.
Despite their arguments and talks of precedent(?),
Franklin Roosevelt is still the president.

From senators we heard the prognostication:
They said that Roosevelt couldn't win this election.
Experts agreed unanimously:
His reelection was an impossibility.

But on that day when the nation heard the score,
Roosevelt was leading by a million votes or more,
Doing what was never done by all the candidates:
Three times president of the United States.

From North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia,
Arizona, South Dakota, Montana,
Nevada, Nebraska, Mexico [sic],
All right ...(?) down to Colorado,

Then to New York, Vermont, and Missouri,
South Carolina, back to Tennessee,
Massachusetts, Idaho, and Maine,
All you could hear was: "We want Roosevelt again."

As a Britisher I was exceedingly
Gratified at Roosevelt's victory.
I saw the consummation of my every desire:
Greater aid for the British Empire.

Now we will get more fighters and bombers,
Flying fortresses and destroyers,
All of which must incidentally
Bring about the downfall of Nazi Germany.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 14 - 09:45 PM

Tom Chapin and John Forster wrote a song titled Locally Grown. The tune to the verses sounds very familiar. I think it's the tune to "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again," but I'm never certain of such things. Can anybody identify this tune?
And can you tell me if the tune for "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again" comes from an earlier song?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Franklin D Roosevelt's Back Again
From: GUEST,Murray Kirch
Date: 23 Jan 18 - 01:05 PM

The "Library of Congress Catalog of Copyright Entries" shows Billy Cox copyrighted "Franklin Roosevelt's Back Again" on May 9, 1941, several years after he recorded it.


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