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fifties popsongs that started as folk

The Sandman 23 Sep 14 - 05:44 AM
Stanron 23 Sep 14 - 05:50 AM
Leadfingers 23 Sep 14 - 05:57 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 14 - 06:39 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 14 - 06:43 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 14 - 06:45 AM
Susan of DT 23 Sep 14 - 06:45 AM
Leadfingers 23 Sep 14 - 06:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Sep 14 - 06:49 AM
Tradsinger 23 Sep 14 - 06:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Sep 14 - 07:01 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Sep 14 - 07:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Sep 14 - 07:31 AM
Tootler 23 Sep 14 - 07:37 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM
The Sandman 23 Sep 14 - 08:49 AM
Bert 23 Sep 14 - 02:13 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Sep 14 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,cj 24 Sep 14 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 24 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 05:36 AM
Mr Red 24 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM
The Sandman 24 Sep 14 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 25 Sep 14 - 06:12 AM
The Sandman 25 Sep 14 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Desi C 25 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,henryp 25 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
PHJim 25 Sep 14 - 10:41 AM
The Sandman 25 Sep 14 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Stim 25 Sep 14 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Desi C 26 Sep 14 - 10:31 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Sep 14 - 02:25 PM
PHJim 27 Sep 14 - 09:19 AM
PHJim 27 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
fat B****rd 27 Sep 14 - 09:33 AM
Cool Beans 27 Sep 14 - 11:06 AM
bubblyrat 27 Sep 14 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,henryp 27 Sep 14 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,henryp 27 Sep 14 - 04:06 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Sep 14 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,henryp 27 Sep 14 - 07:47 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Sep 14 - 01:40 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 14 - 01:42 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 28 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM
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GUEST 28 Sep 14 - 09:12 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 14 - 09:43 AM
erosconpollo 28 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM
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GUEST,Stim 29 Sep 14 - 01:53 AM
PHJim 29 Sep 14 - 02:25 AM
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MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
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MGM·Lion 29 Sep 14 - 05:43 PM
clueless don 30 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM
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GUEST,Hootenanny 30 Sep 14 - 12:51 PM
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GUEST,Hootenanny 30 Sep 14 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM
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MGM·Lion 30 Sep 14 - 11:51 PM
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MGM·Lion 02 Oct 14 - 12:18 AM
meself 02 Oct 14 - 12:21 AM
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JJ 03 Oct 14 - 08:11 AM
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PHJim 03 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM
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JJ 04 Oct 14 - 08:24 AM
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MGM·Lion 05 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM
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Subject: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:44 AM

Tom dooley, freight train,"Rock Island Line" / "John Henry". Worried man blues, all these are examples, anyone think of any more?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Stanron
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:50 AM

Just about everything in skiffle?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:57 AM

Presley had a few - 'Love Me Tender' - rewrite of Aura Lee

'Wooden Heart' - Rewrite of German Folk song to name but two


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

Get an blooming' earful of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pSKEaGM34c

1960. But when the cultural swing of the 50s come to an end? Like the 60s, which didn't end until 1977...


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM

Andy,
I seem to recall Guy Mitchell recording a version of a song which may (or not) have been 'The Fireship' which had the refrain.........'She had a dark and a roving eye. And her hair hung down in ringlets. She was a nice girl, a decent girl. But one of the rakish kind'

Anyone verify this?

Regards

Andy


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:39 AM

The Thing* {"Get out of here with your [Boom Boom Boom] before I call a cop"} has the form of The Farm Servant ["And there was I with me [Boom Boom Boom] so a-courting we fell straightway"], and echoed the Lincolnshire Poacher tune; and I have always suspected was inspired by them.

≈M≈

*"The Thing" is a hit novelty song by Charles Randolph Grean which received much airplay in 1950.
The song was recorded by Phil Harris on October 13, 1950


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:43 AM

GUEST Andy -- Yes can definitely confirm that Guy Mitchell song. I have it on my old, and much valued, The Best Of Guy Mitchell vinyl LP, titled "The Roving Kind". (Actual words -- "A nice girl, a proper girl, and one of the roving kind.")

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:45 AM

And, in interests of accuracy, she had a "dark and a rolling eye"


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Susan of DT
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:45 AM

Stagolee.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:47 AM

Verification of Guy Mitchell -'One of the Roving Kind' as I recall


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:49 AM

Donegan did a version of Sloop John B back then, and his Battle of New Orleans.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Tradsinger
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:56 AM

"The Twelth of Never" to the tune of "I gave my love a cherry".


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:01 AM

Curiosity got the better of me....

The Thing - Phil Harris


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:28 AM

Strawberry Fair by Anthony Newly.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:31 AM

Does no-one bother reading other posts? I put that way up top there.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:37 AM

I bought some sheet music from the 50s/early 60s at a vintage fair on Sunday. One them, "The Homing Waltz" was to the tune of The Streets of Laredo/Unfortunate Rake.

So new words to a traditional melody rather than a reworking of a traditional song.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:37 AM

"Strawberry Fair by Anthony Newly."
MacColl used this in his opening programme of the 'Song Carriers' series - still the best introduction to British folk-song ever produced.
We loaned a copy to the young producer of the proposed MacColl programmes, who was gob-smacked at their relevance, though she was only vaguely aware of Ewan when we started work.
Jim Carroll

Anthony Newly singing Strawberry Fair
Is it animal, mineral or vegetable? There are those who consider it to be folk music. It certainly began life as a folk song. Both the words and the tune were conceived in the folk idiom and it has been sung by generations of folk singers. And yet, there are many people who would deny that it is still a folk song when performed in that particular manner. What then, has happened to it? Its utterance has been translated, its idiom changed to that of pop-music It is as if we were to take over a pop song and recast it in a classical mould, and then have it performed by a string orchestra whose natural metier was, say, the Beethoven quartets. Do you think it would still be pop music? Conversely, if we took one of those same quartets and performed it on three electric guitars and bongo drums, would it still be Beethoven? It would not. The imposition of styles and idioms foreign to a particular form results in that form being transformed. It becomes something different. Not necessarily something worse or better, just different.
And yet, many of the young singers of the folk revival have based their singing style on what is called "the pop sound". They would probably argue: "Ah yes I But if only we had traditional singers as expert as those of Azerbaijan, or Spain or Syria'... "Well, it's true that most of our traditional singers are old and well past their prime. It is also true that our traditional singing style is somewhat run down. How could it be otherwise! The dislocation of our traditional way of life by the Industrial Revolution didn't merely result in fewer people singing fewer of the old songs; it also reduced the community status of those singers who did survive the changes in society and, ultimately, it resulted in a decay of style. Nevertheless, the few traditional singers who are still with us can, between them, furnish us with a fairly complete model of English, Irish or Scots traditional singing style. They are certainly much closer to the three singers we have just heard than are the most gifted pop group. Let's make a few comparisons. Here is our Spanish singer again, joined by an Irish tinker

Margaret Barry singing Lagan Love faded into a Canto Hondo singer

Both of those singers produce their voices in the same way. Both are concerned with high¬lighting the melodic line and both use the same open emphatic style of delivery. Let's listen again to the Syrian singer with his elaborately decorated melody followed by a singer from Donegal, Paddy Tunney, who also uses fairly complicated decorations.

Paddy Tunney singing 'Mountain Streams' faded into Azerbaijani bard

Song Carriers programme 1 Thursday, 28th January 1965


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM

Oh, no John, no John, no.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:49 AM

"The imposition of styles and idioms foreign to a particular form results in that form being transformed. It becomes something different. Not necessarily something worse or better, just different."
brilliant analysis


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 02:13 PM

There was a song based on The Crawdad song in the early Fifties.
I don't remember who recorded it.

I'm engaged to marry Sue
Honey
I'm engaged to marry Sue
Babe
I'm afraid to get undressed
Mary's tattooed on my chest
Honey oh baby mine.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 02:43 PM

I read your post Jack Bandliver but I couldn't be arsed clicking your link.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,cj
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 02:24 AM

GsS mentioned Freight Train, which is an interesting one as it was written, I believe, by one person - Elizabeth Cotton - and only introduced to the world reasonably recently prior to its adoption into the world of coffee shops. I'd always considered it a blues in the Mississippi John Hurt style - did this blues become a folk song because it was covered by skiffle groups?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM

I seem to remember Guy Mitchell doing "Black-eyed Susie" and Johnny Ray doing "Let's Walk This-away" which was obviously taken from Leadbelly's "Hah-Ha This-away". I believe Mitchell also recorded "Cindy". Even before this there was "Irene Goodnight", and wasn't "Tzena Tzena" a folk song?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 05:36 AM

I'm working up that Phil Harris song for next week...


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM

Guy Mitchell "Hair in Ring-u-lets"
When I was in NZ my GF there remembered it. I vaguely do as well.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:38 AM

anything of burl ives? lavenders blue?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM

"Guy Mitchell "Hair in Ring-u-lets" "
An extensively re-written and very much cleaned up version of'The Fireship' or 'Cruising 'Round Yarmouth'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 06:12 AM

When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Adam Faith got to number five in the British charts in 1960.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqImVvfttAI


R


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 06:14 AM

all around my hat.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM

Are You Lonesome tonight, old Carter family song long before Elvis


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

The version of "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" that is widely known today was adapted by Boston folksinger and teacher Tony Saletan, who taught it to Pete Seeger in 1954. Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 10:41 AM

GUEST,cj - PM
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 02:24 AM

"GsS mentioned Freight Train, which is an interesting one as it was written, I believe, by one person - Elizabeth Cotton - and only introduced to the world reasonably recently prior to its adoption into the world of coffee shops. I'd always considered it a blues in the Mississippi John Hurt style - did this blues become a folk song because it was covered by skiffle groups?"

I have always considered Mississippi John Hurt's songs and Libba Cotton's songs folk music. I would put most blues in the category of folk music. While I sure don't want to get into the discussion of "What is folk music?" if John Hurt and Libba Cotton aren't folk singers, then who is?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 01:15 PM

it became a popular song because it was covered by a skiffle group, lots of people bought it because there was a craze called skiffle, but it was treated sympathetically and still was popular, in my opinion its treatment did not stop it from being a folk song.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 04:27 PM

Speaking of Mississippi John Hurt, let's not forget that Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" was pretty much "Richland Woman" with updated cultural references. When it comes down to it, a lot early rock'n'roll was uptempo blues; "Matchbox", "Long Tall, Sally", 'Blue Suede Shoes" and the like were basically older songs, with bass lines, chords, solos and floating verses that had been used and reused for fifty years or so in boogie-woogie, jump, blues, etc, with a few references changed.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 10:31 AM

Interesting point re Country songs becomming Folk etc. Not too many people remember now that Hank Williams Your Cheating Heart was 'Folk Song Of The Year when it was released. he 'Country' tag probably originated from the Carter family, again via radio where their music was introduced as 'Songs of the country' I class a lot of their stuff as Folk Music


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM

on top of old smokey an american folk song collected by lomaxwas a hit in 1951


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 02:25 PM

A decade earlier than the topic of this thread, in 1943, the Andrews Sisters had a hit with Down In The Valley [aka Birmingham Jail], which entered the pop-standard repertoire for some years and was covered by many other singers, from the Brady Bunch to The Chipmunks. Earlier recordings had been made, in the 20s by Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton and in the 30s by Leadbelly. It was also in Burl Ives's repertoire, in his influential Song Book, and on his Historical America In Song record set.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 09:19 AM

GUEST:Stim, I can't see Richland Woman as being the source for Sweet Little Sixteen. There's not much similarity. Sweet Little Sixteen is just a twelve bar blues that starts on the I chord. Richland Woman is a sixteen bar song that starts on the V chord.

Taking a broad definition of what's "folk" and what's "pop", You could say that John Hartford's Gentle On My Mind, which started life as a bluegrass song was made pretty poppy by Elvis and Dean Martin.
Jerry Jeff's Mr Bojangles crossed over to pop when Sammy Davis Jr. recorded it.
How about this one:

Clarence Ashley - Banks Of The Ohio

Olivia Newton John - Banks Of The Ohio


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM

My apologies for drifting away from "Fifties" and into the "Sixties"


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: fat B****rd
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 09:33 AM

"Have A Drink On Me" was based totally "Take A Whiff On Me" which was banned by the Beeb I believe.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 11:06 AM

Who can forget Conway Twitty's rockin' rendition of "Danny Boy"?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 02:47 PM

Or "There's a Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose" (" Wi' a Hundred Pipers an a' an a'" ) -- ( Lord Rockingham's Eleven ) .And I loved Donegan's "The Golden Vanity" .


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 03:41 PM

The Whistling Gypsy/The Gypsy Rover

From Wikipedia; Dorothy Scarborough's 1937 book A Song Catcher In Southern Mountains: American Folk Songs of British Ancestry includes a lullaby called "Gypsy Davy", which Scarborough collected from two Virginia women who had learned the song from their respective grandmothers who in turn had learned it in Ireland. Scarborough's "Gypsy Davy" has a similar construction to Maguire's song, both in some of the lyrics in the verses and in the "ah dee do" chorus.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 04:06 PM

And in the sixties; Theme from Z Cars/Johnny Todd.

From Wikipedia; Based on the traditional folk song "Johnny Todd", which was in a collection of traditional tunes by Frank Kidson dated 1891 called Traditional Tunes: A Collection of Ballad Airs.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 05:10 PM

Johnny Todd was used for Z-Cars by Fritz Spiegl because it, like him, was of Scouse origin, & the cop series, tho ostensibly based in a fictitious suburb called Newtown, was clearly Liverpool based.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 07:47 PM

Fritz Spiegl had an extraordinary life. He grew up in Austria. In 1939, his parents sent him, aged 13, to England to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. He came to Liverpool in 1948 as principal flautist of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

He became an adopted Liverpudlian - his publications included Liverpool Street Songs and Broadside Ballads.

Johnny Todd he took a notion
For to cross the raging tide,
And he left his true love behind him
Weeping on the Liverpool side.

Johnny Todd was indeed collected in Liverpool. Fritz Spiegl and his first wife, Bridget Fry, arranged the melody as the signature tune for the BBC TV police series Z-cars. This was set in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby, Merseyside.

Sources; Mudcat and Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 01:40 AM

"Newtown, based on Kirkby, Merseyside."
'That's my home town', as the song says!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 01:42 AM

The thing about that arrangement was that it hit the charts == very very popular, contantly muzak-ed &c. Not many sig-tunes to tv progs to which that happens: witness to catchiness of Todd tune, and excellence of the Spiegls' arrangement. Versions were recorded by such distinguished bands as that of Norrie Paramor.

It became the theme tune of the Liverpool-based Premier League football club Everton and is therefore regularly heard to this day, still played as the teams emerge at Everton's ground Goodison Park at the beginning of a match.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

Guantanamera
Little boxes
sloop john B
If I had a hammer by Trini Lopez
wimoweh wimoweh
Where have all the flowers gone?


All used to get regular airplay


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM

I'm surprised that the name of that great folk song group, The Weavers, hasn't come up ? Surely quite a few of their recordings "popularised" a number of folk songs ? Remember them with Lee Hayes, Fred Hellerman, Eric Darling and Ronnie Gilbert, not to mention Pete Seeger?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:17 AM

Yes, good point. "Kisses sweeter than wine" was a particularly popular one of theirs, IIRC.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:12 AM

From Mudcat threadid=9698; Just looked in Paterson & Gray "Songs of Scotland," 1996 and found the following:

Hill you ho, boys, let her go, boys,
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill you ho, boys: let her go, boys;
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952) was conductor of the famous Orpheus Choir of Glasgow for which he made many choral arrangements of Scots songs. He also published Songs of the Isles (1950), a collection of traditional tunes for which he invented English words. 'Mairi's Wedding' (the Lewis Bridal Song), 'Westering Home' and the 'Mingulay Boat Song' were all popularized by Roberton and they remain perennial favourites.


For many people - even Scots - I should think that Mairi's Wedding, Westering Home and Mingulay Boat Song represent three of the best-known traditional Scottish songs, although they were apparently only published in 1950. That is a compliment to Sir Hugh Roberton, also known as the Red Knight of Clydeside.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:43 AM

Another two film-influenced hits which were 40s rather than 50s --

i. ~ "Let him go, let him tarry", sung by Jean Simmons in The Way To The Stars {US Title: Johnny in the Clouds}, 1945. A version of "Farewell He [Fare ye well cold winter]" -- whose words Steeleye's Maddy Prior sang for some reason 30 years later to the tune & chorus of "All Round My Hat", causing a myriad of category confusions!

The "Let Him Go/Tarry version", a big pop hit in late 40s.

ii. ~ Same year, "I Know Where I'm Going" (Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Barbara Mullen) did much the same for its title song, and to a lesser extent for "HoRo My Nutbrown Maiden".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: erosconpollo
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM

'Yellow Bird,' a hit for the Mills Brothers in '57, ultimately goes back to folk tunes from Hispanola.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 03:17 PM

Guantanamera - 'the girl from Guantanamo' derives from a song attributed to José Fernández Diaz in 1929; Pete Seeger recorded his version in 1963.

Little Boxes - was written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962 and became a hit for Pete Seeger in 1963.

Sloop John B - The John B. Sails is a Bahamian folk song from Nassau, first was published in 1916. The Kingston Trio released their version in 1958.

If I had a Hammer by Trini Lopez - written by Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger in 1949 and released by The Weavers in 1950.

Wimoweh Wimoweh - originally known as "Mbube", this was written and recorded by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds in 1939. It was adapted and covered by The Weavers in 1952, The Kingston Trio in 1959 and The Tokens in 1961. Until recently, royalties - including $15 million from Disney's The Lion King - were largely swallowed up by the music publishing industry.

Where have All the Flowers Gone? - Pete Seeger found the inspiration for the words in October 1955 and set them to the tune of the Russian folksong "Koloda Duda". He released his recording in 1960. The Kingston Trio recorded it in 1961, thinking it was traditional.

Sources; inevitably Wikipedia

It does not take long for songs to be considered traditional, and for their royalties to be diverted, especially if they are commercially successful!


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 01:53 AM

PHJim- You'd better get your tape measure out and check. You've got the size and shape of "Sweet Little Sixteen" wrong.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 02:25 AM

GUEST:Stim, You're right. I was singing Johnny B. Good to myself while counting bars. They are kinda similar (same chords) now that I get the right song in my head. Mississippi John must've really liked that tune, because he used it for Creole Belle too.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 02:42 AM

You wouldn't be the first person who got their Chuck Berry tunes confused;-)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM

Little Boxes -- yuk. Most horrible song ever. A thread I OPd on why this was so ran for a year, Sep 09 - Aug 10.

≈M≈


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY CREOLE BELLE (Johnson/Johnson)
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:53 AM

are you saying sweet little sixteen is the same tune as my creole belle?, incidentally origins of my creole belle here although the words are different


MY CREOLE BELLE
Words by J.W. Johnson, music by Rosamond Johnson
Published 1900

1. Now if you want to see a girl to put you in a trance,
Get one whose pedigree goes back to flow'ry Spain or sunny France,
The ragtime blood in her veins gives her a red-hot pace,
But ev'ry move is modified by her Parisian grace,
Just watch her air,
So debonair,
Her cakewalk prance
Is à la France.

CHORUS: She is a belle, a Creole belle,
So charming and so very swell,
Just see her when she walks the street,
A vision fair from head to feet.
You catch a glimpse as round she flirts,
Of pretty lace and dainty skirts,
Upon your heart she puts a spell,
This fascinating Creole belle.

2. This Creole belle she sets you mad with her bewitching smiles.
Well versed is she in all the tricks and magic of love's arts and wiles.
Your heart beats in ragtime when you look into her eyes,
And you are deep in love with her before you realize.
Just ask a kiss.
She laughs like this,
And flirts away
To your dismay.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

Surely the song "My Creole Belle" by Mississippi John Hurt is derived from one section of an instrumental ragtime piano piece entitled "Creole Belles",a cakewalk by J. Bodewalt Lampe 1900. The Johnson piece quoted above seems to be a much different piece.

Other pieces that use this (John Hurt)tune; "Back Up and Push" and "Rubber Dolly Rag"


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM

Has anyone yet mentioned the British pop hit "Bell Bottom Trousers" by Alma Cogan, a cleaned up "The Waitress and the Sailor"


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM

We remember your thread Michael, and respectfully disagree with your wrong opinion.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:00 PM

Fair enuf, indeed. You don't have to agree of course. But thank you for remembering. I still think it an unwarranted [and unwarrantable] attack on the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people; but there you go, your mileage obviously varies.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM

... and nobody can deny that its tune is a blatant ripoff [from Pawnshop On The Corner].


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:52 PM

That's something I have pointed out for years. Given that, no one really remembers that, song, or even Guy Mitchell. A shame, because they do remember his hits "Heartaches by the Number" and "Singing the Blues". "Pat Him on the 'Po-Po", not so much.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 05:18 PM

Try making some comparisons:

John Hurt - Richland Woman

John Hurt's Creole Belle

Chuck Berry lip synching Sweet Little Sixteen


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 05:43 PM

"My Truly Truly Fair" always my favourite Guy Mitchell, FWIW, Stim.

But you denounce my opinion as wrong; and than express agreement with at least part of it. Consistency, dear old chappie. Consistency!

If you please!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM

I recall that there was a version of Muleskinner Blues that got a lot of popular radio airplay - can't remember if it was in the 50s or the early 60s.

Don


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 09:36 AM

This song, "Dark Moon," caught my fancy sometime in the late fifties or early sixties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlrI0-VJrZ4

Years later, a friend came back from a trip to New Zealand, and it turned up on a tape of Maori traditional music.

It makes a good tune to play on my mountain dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 09:40 AM

Lead Belly's repertoire provided many hits and songs still familiar today.

Lead Belly died on December 6, 1949. Six months later, 'Goodnight Irene' by The Weavers was at the top of the pop charts. The song was credited to Huddie Ledbetter and John Lomax.

'Rock Island Line' by Lonnie Donegan was released in 1955. It was an enormous hit and ushered in the skiffle boom. The song was listed as traditional, and Donegan was criticised for not crediting his arrangement to Lead Belly. In turn, Donegan received no royalties from Decca for record sales, beyond his original session fee.

'Bring a Little Water, Sylvie' was released in 1956, credited to Donegan. Lonnie Donegan Showcase (1956) - a 10" LP - also reached the singles charts and included 'I'm Alabammy Bound'. 'Cotton Fields', credited to Huddie Ledbetter, became a hit for the Beach Boys in 1969.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:51 PM

GUEST,henryp

The probable reason that Lonnie didn't get royalties for "Rock Island Line" was that the recording was made at a recording session for the Chris Barber Band not Lonnie Donegan. I believe that at the time the band was a co-operative. Very soon after "Rock Island line" became a success Lonnie left the Chris Barber Band and went solo. Lonnie would still have received PPL royalties for the track as a featured member of the band on the recording but royalties on sales from the record company would have gone to the Chris Barber Band.

Incidentally The Barber Band's version of Bobby Shaftoe was quite popular at one time. I believe this had folk origins.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 01:43 PM

On his record, Lonnie Donegan sang Rock Island Line backed by Chris Barber on double bass and Beryl Bryden on washboard. As you say, PPL royalties should have gone to Chris Barber's Jazz Band, but I don't know how they would have been shared.

From Wikipedia; While playing in Ken Colyer's Jazzmen with Chris Barber, Donegan sang and played both guitar and banjo as part of their Dixieland jazz set. He also began playing with two other band members during the intervals, to provide what was called on their posters a "skiffle" break, a name suggested by Ken Colyer's brother, Bill, after recalling the Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the 1930s. In 1954 Colyer left, and the band became Chris Barber's Jazz Band.

With a washboard, a tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar, Donegan entertained audiences with folk and blues songs by artists such as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. This proved so popular that in July 1954 he recorded a fast-tempo version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line", with "John Henry" on the B-side. This recording featured Donegan, Chris Barber on double bass and washboard player (Beryl Bryden), but as it was part of a Chris Barber's Jazz Band session for Decca Records, Donegan received no royalties from Decca for record sales, beyond his original session fee.

Lonnie Donegan's recording, released as a single in late 1955, signalled the start of the UK "skiffle" craze. It was an enormous hit in 1956 (which also later inspired the creation of a full album, An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs, released in America on the Mercury label in the early 1960s). It was the first debut record to go gold in the UK, and reached the Top Ten in the United States.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM

Sweeney's Men released "The Waxies' Dargle" as a single in Ireland in 1968. It is set to the tune of "Brighton Camp", also used for "The Girl I Left Behind" and "The Rare Old Mountain Dew".

Andy Irvine says;

The Waxies' Dargle was a Dublin song with only a couple of verses but we augmented it with a chorus;

What are ya havin'? Will ya have a pint?
I'll have a pint with you sir.
And if one of youse doesn't order soon,
We'll be thrown out of the boozer.

It went to number two.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 04:38 PM

Choucoune is a 19th-century Haitian song composed by Michel Mauleart Monton with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand. The song appeared in the 1957 Calypso-exploitation film Calypso Heat Wave, performed by The Tarriers.

Harry Belafonte released Don't Ever Love Me as a single in 1957 with lyrics written by Lord Burgess to Michel Mauleart Monton's setting of Choucoune.

It appeared, again in 1957, with the English lyrics of Yellow Bird on the album Calypso Holiday by the Norman Luboff Choir. The Mills Brothers had a minor hit with it in 1959.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 06:22 PM

GUEST,henryp

I did not say that PPL royalties went to the Barber Band. PPL royalties are paid to individual performers who took part in commercially recorded material NOT to the leader only.
I am perfectly aware of the history of the British skiffle movement having been there and worked with the Barber Band - not as a musician.
I also later worked at PPL and spoke with Lonnie not long before his death.

The Chris Barber Band was already in existence while Ken Colyer was in New Orleans. On his return to England he joined the band. After a while Ken was unhappy with one of the band members and said he would sack him. Chris reminded him that the band was a co-operative and the band sacked Ken.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM

Thank you, Guest, Hootenanny. I'm pleased that he did get a reward from the recording.

And it did give him the opportunity to start his solo career. I saw him on his final tour, and he didn't seem to hold anything back.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 07:23 PM

To respond to Michael-That "Little Boxes" and "Pawnshop..." have essentially the same melody is something we agree on. You do not like the lyrics of "Little Boxes" and in that area we disagree. Neither of us has expressed whether we like the melody itself. Neither has indicated whether we like "Pawnshop" either.

All of these are independent matters, which both the learned and unlearned may discuss and debate. They may also discuss and debate the value of such a discussion, and may even hold a precursory discussion as to the advantage of having that discussion.

Also, since each of the questions can be independently answered, it is possible to map them multi-axially, and to then make a multivariate analysis of the results.

It would then be possible to compare those who, say, liked the melody and lyrics of P, with those who disliked the lyrics of L, factor in a third variable of those who did not perceive the melodies to be the same, and compare the numbers to determine which group saw greater value in having a discussion of those issues.

This might lead to speculation on the existence of an undiscovered "Q" melody, which might then impact interpretation of the L and P texts.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 11:51 PM

Morning, Stim. And thank you for your trouble in replying.

...map them multi-axially, and to then make a multivariate analysis of the results, eh?

Oh well; if that's the sort of thing that turns you on!

Think I'll just go downstairs & make another cup of tea...

☺〠☺~M~☺〠☺


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM

"Incidentally The Barber Band's version of Bobby Shaftoe was quite popular at one time. I believe this had folk origins."

Bobby Shafto and Tommy Armstrong

Dating back to the seventeen hundreds, the Black Horse, Beamish, was one of ten cottages built on the estate of the infamous Bobby Shafto. MP for County Durham from 1760-68, he was born at Whitworth and was immortalised in the famous northern song, "Bonny Bobby Shafto".

The song was used as an election ditty and is thought to be based on the hopes of Mary Bellasis of Brancepeth Castle who believed that Bobby Shafto would come back and marry her. Sadly, he married someone else and Mary is said to have died of a broken heart.

The Black Horse - then the Red Row Inn - was the first and largest of the cottages which all had red tiled roofs, hence the name Red Row. Leases were given to build the cottages on the condition that one able bodied man from each cottage was available to work in the quarry or down the coalmine.

The houses were slums and the miners had no choice but to live in them. In times of strike, miners and their families were evicted from these homes. "Oakey's Strike" was written by Tommy Armstrong - the Pitman's Poet - at the Red Row Inn at Beamish Burn in a duel with rival song-maker William Maguire of Gateshead to improvise a song on the theme of evictions.

"What wad Aw dee, if I had the poower mesel?
Aw wid hang th' twenty candymen and Johnny thit carries the bell."

Sources; Black Horse, Beamish and Sunniside Local History


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 12:39 PM

Kumbaya

According to Library of Congress editor Stephen Winick, the two earliest versions whose year of origin is known for certain were both collected in 1926, and both reside in the Library's American Folklife Center.

One, collected in Alliance, North Carolina, is a manuscript featuring lyrics but no music. The other was recorded within a few hours' drive of Darien, Georgia.

The Folksmiths recorded the first LP version of the song in August 1957. This group travelled from summer camp to summer camp teaching folk songs. It was recorded by Pete Seeger in 1958, and The Weavers released it on Traveling on With the Weavers in 1959.

Source; Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 11:48 PM

Another area of agreement--we both prefer tea to the multivariate analysis.

Given that, I was once rather close to a person who did an academic paper that followed the general pattern that I described, excepting that the language of the text was Hungarian, one of the mapped variables was stress pattern, and there was something to do with scansion in Altaic and the Samoyed Branch of Fino-Ugric Languages.

The point, at the end of all this, was my friend one played the song in question for me on a fretted zither-like instrument that had come from a pawnshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And now time for tea.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:18 AM

I hope it was on a corner!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: meself
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:21 AM

Has anyone mentioned 'Those Were the Days'? I believe it was a re-working of a Russian folk-song.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM

Wikipedia says; "Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("Дорогой длинною", lit. "By the long road"), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in 1925 and in 1926 respectively.

The song is featured in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris, in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics by the Russian Tzigane chanteuse Ludmila Lopato, but is probably best remembered in English-speaking countries for Mary Hopkin's 1968 recording.

On most recorded versions of the song, Raskin is credited as the writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics and not the melody.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: JJ
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:11 AM

In the early 1950's, I lived a few blocks from a pawnshop on a corner on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was on Federal St., south of General Robinson, either right under or just south of the railroad overpass.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:28 AM

Fascinating, JJ.

Did it have a clock of the sort one could walk 'neath?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM

Leadbelly was the source for Black Betty, whether or not he wrote it isn't clear. A lot of singers have sung and recorded it over the years, many blues revivalists during the sixties. Tom Jones was the first (I think) to do it as a pop song, but no one changed it much from the original version.

Leadbelly's Black Betty

Tom Jones' Black Betty

Sheryl Crowe's Black Betty

Ram Jam's Black Betty


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:45 PM

Henryp, thanks for the info on "Those were the days." I wondered where that song came from when first I heard it on the radio.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 01:49 PM

The song was collected in 1933 from a convict named James "Ironhead" Baker by John and Alan Lomax. This apparently is the first recorded version of Black Betty.

James "Ironhead" Baker's Black Betty


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 02:37 AM

"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" by The Weavers has a curious history.

From Wikipedia; Irish performer Sam Kennedy in Greenwich Village sang the traditional Irish song "Drimmin Down" aka "Drimmen Dow", about a farmer and his dead cow.
Lead Belly adapted the tune for his own farmer/cow song "If it Wasn't for Dicky", which he first recorded in 1937.
Following the success of "Goodnight Irene", Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote new lyrics, turning it into a love song.
It was recorded by The Weavers on June 12, 1951 in New York City for Decca Records, reaching #19 on the US Hit Parade.
The music was credited to "Joel Newman" and the lyrics to "Paul Campbell", both pseudonyms for Howard Richmond, The Weavers' publisher.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 03:16 AM

"Lemon Tree" was the first hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962.

It was written by Will Holt in the late 1950s. The tune is based on the Brazilian folk song Meu limão, meu limoeiro, arranged by José Carlos Burle in 1937 and made popular by Brazilian singer Wilson Simonal.

The song compares love to a lemon tree: "Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

It was a hit single too for Trini Lopez in 1965.

Source; Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: JJ
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 08:24 AM

MGM Lion, I do not recall a clock at the pawnshop on the corner, but I was not quite six, and less likely to notice things in the air!

The entire area was destroyed by "urban renewal" less than a decade later...


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM

Re: Lemon Tree

We wuz robbed! Listen to this Brazilian version of how this song is supposed to sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoBkkFTO-Xc

Yes, you will have to listen to the banter with the audience beforehand. It's part of the charm.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: PHJim
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 11:33 AM

leeneia's link made active


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM

"El Paso" is a country and western ballad written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins.

"Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl."

Marty Robbins' 1959 album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs features his hit "El Paso", similar in form and content to "The Streets of Laredo". The 1960 follow-up More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs has a version of the original.

"As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a young cowboy, all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped up in white linen and cold as the clay."

The old-time cowboy Frank H. Maynard (1853–1926) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, claimed authorship of the revised "The Cowboy's Lament", and his story was widely reported in 1924 by the journalism professor Elmo Scott Watson. (Source; Wikipedia)

There are several threads on Mudcat discussing the relationship of "The Streets of Laredo" to "The Unfortunate Rake" [Roud 2] and its wide family of songs.

"As I was a-walking down by St. James's Hospital,
I was a-walking down by there one day,
What should I spy but one of my comrades,
All wrapped up in flannel, though warm was the day."

"The House of the Rising Sun" is often considered another branch of the family and was, of course, a hit for the Animals in 1964. In that case, Alan Price was the lucky person who received the publishing royalties.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM

And, re the mention of St James's Hospital in the early broadsides, cf the well-known St James Infirmary US version. Good Wikipedia entry on the relationships of the various versions under title St James Infirmary Blues.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 12:37 PM

My choir - led by Janet Russell - will be learning "Catch a Falling Star" next week. Written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, it was a hit for Perry Como in 1957, and the first single to receive a gold record certification.

Its melody is apparently based on a theme from Brahms' Academic Festival Overture. Brahms composed this during the summer of 1880 for the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate the previous year.

In a letter to Max Kalbeck, Brahms called it a "very boisterous potpourri of student drinking songs à la Suppé". Hence, no doubt, Brahms' well-known association with Liszt.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 01:43 PM

"All My Trials" was a popular song during the social protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Peter, Paul and Mary included it on their third album, Blowing in the Wind, released in 1963.

It is based on a Bahamian lullaby that tells the story of a mother on her death bed, comforting her children;

"Hush, little baby, don't you cry.
You know your mama's bound to die.
All my trials, Lord, soon be over."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 02:30 PM

"Whiskey in the Jar" appeared in an early form as "The Sporting Hero, or, Whiskey in the Bar" in a mid-1850s broadsheet.

It was recorded by Burl Ives in 1958 as "Kilgary Mountain" and by Thin Lizzy in 1972.

In 1998, heavy metal band Metallica recorded a version very similar to that of Thin Lizzy, winning a Grammy for the song in 2000 for Best Hard Rock Performance. I wonder if they followed that with Seven Drunken Nights.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 04:47 PM

"The Carnival Is Over" by The Seekers spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in November and December 1965.

The main tune is taken from a Russian folk song about Stenka Razin known as "Iz-za ostrova na strezhen" or "Volga, Volga mat' rodnaya". The song became popular in Russia as early as the 1890s.

Tom Springfield - the brother of Dusty Springfield - adapted the melody from the Russian folk song, and also wrote the remaining music used in the song, as well as writing the lyrics, after a trip to Brazil, where he witnessed the Carnaval in Rio. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM

Before Elvis sang It's Now Or Never in 1960 Tony martin had a hit with There's No Tomorrow in January 1950. This was to the tune of the Italian 'O Sole Mio'. You did not mention 'When You're In Love', a song set to the tune 'The swallow' and was also called 'She Wears My Ring' :)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM

Harry Belafonte (now aged 87) released "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" in 1956.

The song originated as a Jamaican folk song. It was thought to be sung by Jamaican banana workers, with a repeated melody and refrain (call and response); In 1955, American singer/songwriters Irving Burgie and William Attaway wrote a version of the lyrics for the Colgate Comedy Hour, in which the song was performed by Harry Belafonte.

Also in 1956, folk singer Bob Gibson, who had travelled to Jamaica and heard the song, taught his version to the folk band The Tarriers. They recorded a version of that song that incorporated the chorus of "Hill and Gully Rider", another Jamaican folk song.

This release became their biggest hit, reaching number four on the pop charts, where it outperformed Belafonte's version. The Tarriers' version was recorded by Shirley Bassey in 1957 and it became a hit in the United Kingdom. (From Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 12:14 AM

You'll Be Gone recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 18 March 1962; Studio
Written by: Presley; Hodge; West
Originally recorded by Charles Walters and June Knight in 1935

Cole Porter wrote the number "Begin The Beguine" in the early thirties, basing it on a dance from Martinique. It seems that this was his favourite song. Elvis liked the number, too, but there were problems involved with him recording it, so he decided to rewrite it, which he promptly did, with the help of friends Charlie Hodge and Red West. The tune was also changed, but elements of the Cole Porter "original" (heck, even he wasn't original!) can clearly be heard.

Source; Elvis Presley The Originals


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 03:39 PM

"La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens.

"La Bamba" is a classic example of the Son Jarocho musical style which originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz and combines Spanish, indigenous, and African musical elements. The traditional aspect of "La Bamba" lies in the tune itself, which remains almost the same through most versions. (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 08:00 AM

"The Battle of New Orleans" is a song written by Jimmy Driftwood.

The song describes the 1815 Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American soldier. The melody is based on a well-known American fiddle tune, "The 8th of January", which was the date of the Battle of New Orleans.

Johnny Horton's 1959 version is the best-known recording of the song.
In the United Kingdom, Lonnie Donegan and His Skiffle Group's 1959 version competed with Horton's and achieved greater success, peaking at number two. (From Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM

Mahalia Jackson's 1947 recording of "Amazing Grace" received significant radio airplay and, as her popularity grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she often sang it at public events including concerts at Carnegie Hall. In the 1960s, with the African American Civil Rights Movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, the song took on a political tone.

Mahalia Jackson employed "Amazing Grace" for Civil Rights marchers, writing that she used it "to give magical protection — a charm to ward off danger, an incantation to the angels of heaven to descend ... I was not sure the magic worked outside the church walls ... in the open air of Mississippi. But I wasn't taking any chances." Folk singer Judy Collins, who knew the song before she could remember learning it, witnessed Fannie Lou Hamer leading marchers in Mississippi in 1964, singing "Amazing Grace".

John Newton - a clergyman and reformed slave-trader - wrote "Amazing Grace" to illustrate a sermon on New Year's Day, 1773. The text was published in 1779 in Newton and Cowper's "Olney Hymns" but settled into relative obscurity in England. In the United States, however, "Amazing Grace" was used extensively during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century.

Another verse was first recorded in Harriet Beecher Stowe's immensely influential 1852 anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Three verses were emblematically sung by Tom in his hour of deepest crisis. He sings the sixth and fifth verses in that order, and Stowe included another verse that had been passed down orally in African American communities for at least 50 years.

It was originally one of between 50 and 70 verses of a song titled "Jerusalem, My Happy Home" that first appeared in a 1790 book called "A Collection of Sacred Ballads";
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we first begun.

Common meter hymns were interchangeable with a variety of tunes; more than twenty musical settings of "Amazing Grace" circulated with varying popularity until 1835 when William Walker assigned Newton's words to a traditional song named "New Britain", which was itself an amalgamation of two melodies ("Gallaher" and "St. Mary") first published in the "Columbian Harmony" by Charles H. Spilman and Benjamin Shaw (Cincinnati, 1829).

Spilman and Shaw, students at Kentucky's Centre College, compiled their tunebook both for public worship and revivals, to satisfy "the wants of the Church in her triumphal march." Most of the tunes had been previously published, but "Gallaher" and "St. Mary" had not. As neither tune is attributed and both show elements of oral transmission, scholars can only speculate that they are possibly of British origin. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 10:09 AM

"Down by the Riverside" (also known as "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" and "Gonna lay down my burden") is a gospel song.

It was first published in "Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland", Chicago, the Rodeheaver Company, 1918. The song was first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922).

Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group recorded/released it on 28 July 1955. The B side was Take this Hammer.

Chris Barber's Jazz Band issued it as the flipside of the single Ice Cream, which was a big success all over the world. It was recorded on 9 October 1955, with Chris Barber: trombone, vocals; Lonnie Donegan: banjo; Pat Halcox: trumpet; Monty Sunshine: clarinet; Ron Bowden: drums.

Ken Colyer, Monty Sunshine and Pat Hawes with The Crane River Jazz Band released it again in 1959.        

Source; Wikipedia and youtube.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 12:06 PM

"My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" is a traditional Scottish folk song which remains popular in Western culture. It is often suggested that the subject of the song may be Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie').

In 1881, under the duo of pseudonyms H.J. Fulmer and J.T. Wood, Charles E. Pratt published sheet music for "Bring Back My Bonnie to Me".

Whilst The Beatles were playing in Hamburg, producer Bert Kaempfert used them as Tony Sheridan's backing band on a series of recordings. "My Bonnie", credited to "Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers", was recorded in June 1961 and released four months later. It reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt chart. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 04:26 PM

"Can't Help Falling in Love" is a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley and featured in the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss.

The melody is based on "Plaisir d'amour" (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). "Plaisir d'amour" is a classical French love song written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816); it took its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. Hector Berlioz arranged it for orchestra (H134) in 1859.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 02:13 AM

We seem unaccountably to have overlooked the Israeli song Tsenah Tsenah, on which a whole thread ran not that long since, which hit our charts with anglicised lyrics.

Tsenah hab'not u-renah
Hayalim bemoshavah
Al-nah tit-habenah
Mi ben-hayyal, ish tsevah

Come out girls and see
The soldiers in the village.
Do not hide yourselves away
From that brave man of the army man


≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM

Mockin' Bird Hill is a song, written in 3/4 time, by George Vaughn Horton, and perhaps best known through recordings by Patti Page, Donna Fargo, and by Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1951.

The music of "Mockin' Bird Hill" is based closely on a Swedish waltz called "Livet i Finnskogarna" or "Life in the Finn Woods," recorded by Carl Jularbo in 1915, which enjoyed some popularity in the U.S.

The Tanner Sisters with Orchestra recorded their version in London on April 1, 1951. It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10071. The Migil Five sang a bluebeat tempo version of the song - a UK hit in 1964.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM

That prolific songster of the 30s 40s 50s Jimmy Kennedy [Isle of Capri, Red Sails in the Sunset...] often achieved a folkie sound, as in South of the Border, which makes one wonder if he had some traditional analogue in his mind somewhere. & surely his 40s/50s creation of the Hokey Cokey, tho the tune probably original to him, derived from such quasi-traditional children's dances as Here We Go Loobyloo?

Max Bacon's Cohen The Crooner [from film Soft Lights & Sweet Music 1936 - google if you don't know it] much derives from Yiddish music traditions, mixed with grand opera tunes {La Donn'e Mobile}, La Marseillaise, Rule Britannia, John Peel &c.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 07:10 PM

This was the first - and perhaps only - attempt at folk-rock'n'roll.

Rockin' Around the World was the sixth album of rock and roll music by Bill Haley and His Comets. Released in March 1958 on the Decca Records label, Decca 8692, the album was produced by Milt Gabler, who produced all of Haley's recordings for Decca.

This album featured versions of well-known folk songs from around the world, rearranged in rock and roll style, including new lyrics, by Haley and his songwriting partners, Milt Gabler, Rusty Keefer, and Catherine Cafra.

Examples of the new arrangements include "Come Rock with Me," based upon the melody of "'O sole mio", which was later again adapted by Elvis Presley as "It's Now or Never", and "Piccadilly Rock," which was based upon the melody of "London Bridge is Falling Down". "Vive la Rock and Roll" incorporated the melody of "Frère Jacques".

Most of the melodies were in the public domain, with the exception of "Rockin' Matilda," based upon "Waltzing Matilda", which was still in copyright and thus credited to its original writers. Haley's steel guitar player, Billy Williamson, performs lead vocals on one track, "Jamaica D.J.". (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 12:50 AM

If I were a blackbird, Ronnie Ronalde 1950


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 12:52 PM

Ronnie Ronalde! Wikipedia says;

Ronnie Ronalde (born Ronald Charles Waldron, 1923, London) is a British music hall singer and siffleur. Ronalde is famous for his voice, whistling, yodelling, imitations of bird song and stage personality. His crystal clear yodelling gained him acceptance with connoisseurs of Alpine and Western music around the world.

"If I Were a Blackbird" (1950) is among Ronalde's most famous songs from this period. This rendering of Delia Murphy's Irish folk song had him in the British top 20 for 6 months. She would later jovially express her thanks for boosting her income.

Delia Murphy Kiernan (16 February 1902 – 11 February 1971) was a singer and collector of Irish ballads. She recorded several 78 rpm records in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In 1939 she recorded The Blackbird, The Spinning Wheel and Three Lovely Lassies for HMV.

The modern version is clearly related to a traditional song, with one verse transformed into a chorus;
Now if I were a blackbird I'd whistle, I'd sing
I would follow the ship that my true love sailed in
On the top of his mainmast I would build my nest
That long night, sure I'd gaze upon his lily white breast.

From Mainly Norfolk; If I Were a Blackbird / I Am a Young Maiden [Roud 387 ; Ballad Index FSC38 ; trad.]

Albert 'Diddy' Cook sang Blackbird in a recording supervised by A.L. Lloyd in The Eel's Foot Inn, Eastbridge, Suffolk, on May 13, 1938 (BBC 2168). This recording was included in 1998 on the Topic anthology As Me and My Love Sat Courting (The Voice of the People Volume 15).


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM

1953 "Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie" by Guy Mitchell.

It's a popular bluegrass song, but it's difficult to find its origin. Perhaps it has links to Cripple Creek.

From Mudcat; Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black-Eye Susie / Black-Eyed Susie
From: Jim Dixon Date: 20 Mar 13 - 12:49 PM

A single couplet is quoted in a novel Smiling Pass, by Eliot H. Robinson (Boston: The Page Company, 1921), page 386:

"Hop up, skip up, Black-eyed Susie.
Mighty good-lookin' but the boys won't choose ye."

--which is a unique rhyme, as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM

Thanks henryp.

Was The Everly Brothers "wake up Little Suzie" anything like the Hoedown tune "Wake up Suzie'?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 05:10 PM

I can find references to Wake (Up) Susan/Susie, but I can't find the tune, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 05:35 PM

And Phil Harris released Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) in 1947; the Crawdad Song was on the B side.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: beeliner
Date: 10 Oct 14 - 07:21 PM

The Thing* {"Get out of here with your [Boom Boom Boom] before I call a cop"} has the form of The Farm Servant ["And there was I with me [Boom Boom Boom] so a-courting we fell straightway"], and echoed the Lincolnshire Poacher tune; and I have always suspected was inspired by them.A better-known antecedent is probably "The Chandler's Wife".

As long as this thread has become, it has only scratched the surface. Such revamped songs number in the hundreds, at least.

An obscure British vocal group, The Mudlarks (whose surname was really Mudd) recorded a very nice version of Henry Clay Work's "My Grandfather's Clock" back in the 1950's - it's on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 12:29 AM

Not entirely certain that Work's works [ouch!] are actually 'folk songs'; tho "The Year of Jubilo", "Marching thru Georgia", &c, as well as "Grandfather's Clock" are indeed very fine songs, without doubt, and well within the "folk form", however defined (see my just-now post on the 'What makes a new song folk?' thread).

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 03:27 AM

"The Rambling Gambler" is a traditional folk song of the American West. It was first recorded in print by John and Alan Lomax in the 1938 edition of Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads.

Like many folk songs, it is known by a variety of titles, such as "Rambler, Gambler," "I'm a Rambler, I'm a Gambler," "The Moonshiner," and "Rose of Aberdeen." It begins with the lines "I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home / And the people who don't like me, they can leave me alone." (Wikipedia)

Ewan MacColl wrote the Manchester Hiker's Song, also known as The Manchester Rambler, a little time after the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout. Roy Palmer (History 29) writes that it is sung to a tune from Haydn's 94th Symphony.
I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way
I get all my pleasure the hard moorland way.
I may be a wage slave on Monday,
But I am a free man on Sunday.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem sang The Moonshiner, adapted and arranged by Tom Clancy 1961 with the chorus;
I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home,
And if you don't like me, Well leave me alone.
I'll eat when I'm hungry And I'll drink when I'm dry,
And if moonshine don't kill me, I'll live till I die.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 05:42 AM

I don't think what the Clancys sang has much relevance to this thread, mind. They were always folk, not pop - however popular, in a dufferent sense, they might have been; so the songs they sang didn't only 'start as folk' but remained folk while they sang them, & after.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 07:34 AM

(Jim) Roger McGuinn was a folk singer who emerged from folk music as the leader of The Byrds in 1964.

In 1957, he enrolled as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, where he learned the five-string banjo and continued to improve his guitar skills. After graduation, McGuinn was hired as a sideman by folk music groups in the same vein as the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Judy Collins.

"He Was a Friend of Mine" is a traditional folk song in which the singer laments the death of a friend. The earliest known version of the song is titled "Shorty George" (Roud 10055).

It was first recorded by John A. and Ruby Terrill Lomax in 1939 at the Clemens State Farm in Brazoria County, Texas in a version performed by African-American inmate Smith Casey.

McGuinn rewrote the song's lyrics in late 1963 to transform it into a eulogy for President Kennedy. The Byrds included a recording of "He Was a Friend of Mine" on their 1965 album Turn! Turn! Turn!. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 11:44 AM

"Beautiful Brown Eyes" is a traditional country song arranged by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith & Alton Delmore of The Delmore Brothers in 1951. An award was presented to Alton Delmore for "Beautiful Brown Eyes" in 1951. -- Wiki

Most notably sung by Rosemary Clooney IMO.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM

The Quartermaster's Stores was popular in the skiffle craze of the fifties.

There are snakes, snakes, snakes Big as garden rakes,
In the store! In the store!
There are snakes, snakes, snakes, Big as garden rakes,
In the Quartermaster's store.

My eyes are dim I cannot see
I have not brought my specs with me
I have not brought my specs with me

It's a British WW2 song, a parody of the hymn "There is Power in the Blood";

There is power, power, Wonder working power,
In the blood, Of the Lamb!
There is power, power, Wonder working power,
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

The text and tune were both written Lewis Edgar Jones at a camp meeting at Mountain Lake Park, MD. It was first printed in Songs of Praise and Victory, compiled at Philadelphia, PA, in 1899 for the Pepper Publishing Co. by Gilmour and William James Kirkpatrick. (Source; Hymn of the Day)

The Shadows had all played in skiffle groups. Hank B Marvin and Bruce Welch had been in a skiffle group at school, while Jet Harris and Tony Meehan had played in The Vipers. Quatermasster's Stores became the B side of Apache by The Shadows. Norrie Paramor had wanted it to be the A side, but his daughters preferred Apache. The record was released in July 1960 - and The Shadows became an instrumental group.

Does anyone remember Quatermass and the Pit?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Bert
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 03:14 PM

The hoedown tune is here
Wake up Susan


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 03:49 PM

I keep reading the thread title as either "filthy popsongs that started as folk" (probably quite a few of those) or "fifties poisonings that started as folk" (did somebody end up in the Old Bailey after emulating Lord Randal's girlfriend?).


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 06:45 PM

"Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn" is a Negro spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War. The first recording of the song was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1915. The best known recordings were made by the vocal gospel group The Caravans in 1958, with Inez Andrews as the lead singer, and The Swan Silvertones in 1959.

The song again became popular during the 1950s and 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, "If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus", written by Charles Neblett of The Freedom Singers, was sung to this tune and became one of the most well-known songs of that movement.

In 1960, Stonewall Jackson recorded a country version of the song which became a hit in the Country and Pop charts. And it was one of the highlights of the 2006 Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour.

The spiritual's lyric "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water the fire next time" inspired the title of "The Fire Next Time", James Baldwin's 1963 account of race relations in America. The Swan Silvertones' lead singer Claude Jeter's interjection "I'll be a bridge over deep water if you trust in my name" served as Paul Simon's inspiration for his 1970 song "Bridge over Troubled Water".


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM

"Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" (or alternatively "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" or "Joshua Fit de Battle ob Jericho") is a well-known African-American spiritual.

The song is believed to have been composed by slaves in the first half of the 19th century. Some references suggest that it was copyrighted by Jay Roberts in 1865. The first recorded version was by Harrod's Jubilee Singers, on Paramount Records No. 12116 in 1922. Later recordings include those by Paul Robeson (1925), Mahalia Jackson (1958) and Hugh Laurie (2011) among many others.

Ralph Flanagan adapted it under the title "Joshua". Ralph Flanagan and His Orchestra recorded the spiritual in New York City on March 1, 1950. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3724 (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog numbers B 9938 and IP 604. (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:45 AM

only the heartaches are waiting for me   was the street of laredo.

midnight in moscow was a russian folksong

maybellene reputed to be ida red.

lord of the dance was a shaker hymn tune

and masters of war was supposed to be nottanum town - but neversounded much like to me

wasn't don't think twice supposed to who'll count your chickens...

and a hard rain supposed to be lord randall


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

"The Old Homing Waltz" had the tune of "Streets of Laredo, also.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 01:33 PM

Midnight in Moscow does come from a Russian song but, according to Wikipedia, it was composed in 1955.

"Moscow Nights" (Podmoskovnye Vechera) is a Russian song, one of those best known outside its homeland.

The song was originally created as "Leningradskie Vechera" ("Leningrad Nights") by composer Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Mikhail Matusovsky in 1955 but, at the request of the Soviet Ministry of Culture, "Podmoskovnye Vechera" was prepared.

The British jazz group, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, had a hit with the song in 1961 under the title "Midnight in Moscow". This version peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1962; in March that year it spent three weeks at number one on the American Easy Listening chart.

In 1962, at the height of the folk revival in the United States, the song was recorded by The Chad Mitchell Trio on its popular live performance album "At The Bitter End" on Kapp Records.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:34 PM

Uska Dara (A Turkish Tale) is a 1953 song made famous by Eartha Kitt, also recorded by Eydie Gormé.

It is based on the Turkish folk song "Kâtibim" about a woman and her secretary traveling to Üsküdar. On early recordings, this adaptation is credited to Stella Lee.

Eartha Kitt recorded it with Henri René and his orchestra at Manhattan Center, New York City, on March 13, 1953. Kitt's recording sold 120,000 copies when it was first released by RCA Victor in 1953.

The 1978 disco song "Rasputin" by Boney M uses part of the melody of "Kâtibim", and mimics the line "Oh! those Turks" (as "Oh! those Russians") at the end of the song. (Source; Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:55 PM

"Üsküdar'a gider iken" probably dates to the early 19th century. Its route of transmission to Eartha Kitt most likely runs through Zeki Müren, who had a Turkish hit with it a few years before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwh_3yt_DTU

This wonderful documentary by the Bulgarian filmmaker Adela Peeva goes into all the other places that song got to:

Whose Is This Song?

Its last few minutes are absolutely hair-raising.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM

How about Corrine, Corrina?


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:08 AM

Seth Davy/Whiskey on a Sunday

Hum; mm mm mm mm Come day, go day
Wish in me heart for Sunday
Hum; mm mm mm mm Drinking buttermilk all the week
Whiskey on a Sunday.

Glyn Hughes of Liverpool, England [1932-1972]

Notes by Matthew Edwards on Mudcat: Glyn Hughes was a folk singer in Liverpool in the late 50's and 60's who died quite young, and it seems that he wrote this song after hearing stories about Seth Davy from older people. Glyn Hughes recorded the song for Fritz Spiegl about 1959. (Information from Fritz Spiegl's Liverpool Street Songs and Broadside Ballads published by the Scouse Press as Liverpool Packet No 1)

Popularised by The Spinners and a hit for Danny Doyle in 1968, when it remained at No. 1 in the Irish charts for 10 weeks.

The chorus is adapted from Come Day, Go Day, or Massa is a Stingy Man, sung by Dan Emmett (1815–1904), an American songwriter, entertainer, and founder of the first troupe of the blackface minstrel tradition.

Oh, massa is a stingy man,
And all his neighbors knows it.
He keeps good whiskey in his house,
An neber says, here goes it.

Sing come day, go day,
God send Sunday,
We'll drink whiskey all de week,
And buttermilk o' Sunday.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:56 AM

@MGM·Lion   "Kisses sweeter than wine" was a particularly popular one of theirs, IIRC."

The Weavers' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" was folk. The Jimmie Rodgers (the younger one) version was pure pop.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 04:02 AM

"Love's Ring Of Fire" (June Carter and Merle Kilgore) was first recorded as a folk song by Anita Carter. It later became a huge pop and country hit, with a new arrangement and some lyric modifications, for Johnny Cash as "Ring Of Fire."


Yes, Elvis's "It's Now Or Never" and Tony Martin's "There's No Tomorrow" are to the tune of the Italian 'O Sole Mio' (which was a Neapolitan street song in the late 19th C.) Not sure if any of those really count as "folk," but in any case it's only the tune they share.

BTW, "The Swallow" (Richard Fariña) is to the tune of the trad. Ladino folk song "Los Bilbilicos," which was also recorded by Theo Bikel.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM

"'Can't Help Falling in Love'is a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley and featured in the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss.
The melody is based on "Plaisir d'amour" (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). "Plaisir d'amour" is a classical French love song written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816); it took its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. Hector Berlioz arranged it for orchestra (H134) in 1859."

I've heard that for years, but really the only overlap in melody between those two songs is one single line: "Chagrin d'amour dure la vie" and "For I can't help falling in love with you." And those two melody lines are far from identical anyway.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:05 AM

---'"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" is a popular love song written by The Weavers in 1950. The song was a hit for Jimmie Rodgers in 1957 and Frankie Vaughan in 1958.'---Wikipedia.

An informative entry.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:25 PM

Jackie Wilson, Sal Mineo, The Four Lads and Patsy Cline all recorded pop/swing versions of
"Down By The Riverside," which was a take-off from the old Gospel/folk song.

"Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside ...
Gonna study war no more"
became
"I met my little brown-eyed doll down by the riverside ..."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:34 PM

Charles E. King wrote "Ke Kali Nei Au" ("Waiting here for you") in 1926 for his operetta, Prince of Hawaii. In 1958, Al Hoffman and Dick Manning wrote a 'singable English translation' of the Hawaiian words, and Andy Williams had a pop hit with it as the "Hawaiian Wedding Song" (which was later recorded by Elvis Presley and others).
I'm not sure King's original song would be called "folk," but Andy Williams's and Elvis's versions were clearly pop.


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: Genie
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 03:53 PM

Tennessee Ernie Ford's recording of "Sixteen Tons" was a country/pop crossover version of the more folky song attributed to Merle Travis in 1946 but which folk singer/songwriter George S. Davis, a former Kentucky coal miner, claimed to have in '30s as "Nine-to-ten tons."



Also, during the "Sing Along with Mitch" phase in the mid '50s, several folk songs charted as pop hits. Probably the biggest hit was Mitch's orchestra and men's chorus version of "Yellow Rose Of Texas."


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Subject: RE: fifties popsongs that started as folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 10:44 AM

He also recorded a string of successful albums and singles, featuring a male chorale and his own distinctive arrangements, under the name "Mitch Miller and the Gang" starting in 1950.

The ensemble's hits included "The Children's Marching Song" (more commonly known as "This Old Man"), "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena", and "The Yellow Rose of Texas", which topped the US Billboard chart in 1955, sold over one million copies in the US alone, and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart.

Miller's medley of the two marches from The Bridge on the River Kwai, "The River Kwai March" and "Colonel Bogey March", lasted 29 weeks on the Billboard pop charts in 1958, longer than any other record completely within that year. (Wikipedia)

I actually bought Colonel Bogey! It was my first record - and a 78 too. I found it in a cupboard not long ago - in pieces. My sister's first record was Tammy by Debbie Reynolds - on a 45 - while my brother bought Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como. Magic Moments, indeed!


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