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Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)

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21 Dec 99 - 11:00 AM
Stewie 21 Dec 99 - 05:50 PM
MMario 21 Dec 99 - 06:02 PM
John of the Hill 21 Dec 99 - 08:11 PM
Stewie 21 Dec 99 - 11:31 PM
Art Thieme 22 Dec 99 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 29 Apr 15 - 01:57 PM
Louie Roy 29 Apr 15 - 10:45 PM
Jim Dixon 01 May 15 - 01:26 AM
Jim Dixon 01 May 15 - 01:33 AM
12-stringer 01 May 15 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 22 Jun 15 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: Blueridge cabin home
From:
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 11:00 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: steaboat whistle blues
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 05:50 PM

'Steamboat whistle blues' was from Roy Acuff's first recording session in Oct 1936, with Sam 'Dynamite' Hatcher on vocal. It was the title track of Roy Acuff album on Rounder, but that appears to have disappeared entirely - not even available on cassette. However, the song is available on CD on John Hartford's 'Aero-Plain' Rounder. CDNOW has it.

Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STEAMBOAT WHISTLE BLUES (Roy Acuff)
From: MMario
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 06:02 PM


STEAMBOAT WHISTLE BLUES

I crossed the river, I felt fast asleep
Crossed the river, I felt fast asleep
Crossed the river, I felt fast asleep
When I woke, I had shackles on my feet

I thought I heard that steamboat whistle blow
I thought I heard that steamboat whistle blow
I thought I heard that steamboat whistle blow
Blow like she's never blowed before

I said Judge what might be my fine ?
I said Judge what might be my fine ?
I said Judge what might be my fine ?
Sixty days away on down the line

* Refrain

Sixty days in a lonesome jail to go
Sixty days in a lonesome jail to go
Sixty days in a lonesome jail to go
I can't hear that steamboat whistle blow

* Refrain


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: steaboat whistle blues
From: John of the Hill
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 08:11 PM

John Hartford's "Steamboat Whistle Blues" is a very different song, with such lyrics as "Far out, Johnny I heard him say as he stretched out back on the waterbed, Bluegrass music is a thing of the past and the same for rock and roll" I don't remember all the lyrics, but figure what I did recall is pretty good, given I learned them off 8-track tape, a technology that won't follow us into the new millenium. John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: steaboat whistle blues
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 11:31 PM

Thanks for that, John. The Acuff 1936 version is the same as that posted by MMario with a couple of verses swapping order. I came across the reference to Hartford when looking to see if the Acuff was still in print. Given the title, I assumed it was the same song - so much for assumptions! Actually, I have the Hartford album somewhere on an old cassette - I'll have to dig it out.

Regards, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: steaboat whistle blues
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 03:49 PM

The song was also recorded on an LP of many different folks who used to hang around on the steamboat JULIA BELLE SWAIN before Capt. Dennis Trone (the man who owned, designed and built that boat) had to sell it because of a decade of pressure from gambling vessels. And they'll always try to tell ya about all the jobs gambling has created??? What B.S.!!! Dennis Trone is doing better than ever with his remaining boat THE TWILIGHT. But it was sad that he couldn't hold onto the Julia Belle Swain long enough to survive the bad years. But ten years of gigs for me playing on both boats was how our son, Chris, got through college.

A strange tale:
The TV show GOOD MORNING AMERICA (ABC) was doing a feature on John Hartford and his occasional piloting of that boat. The TV crew was riding the boat to the town of Henry, Illinois on the Illinois River. They had left their station wagon at the Starved Rock landing. John called me from the pilot house as he knew I lived in Peru, IL and told me they'd pay me $50.00 to drive their car to Henry. Carol drove our car there so I'd have a ride back and everyone turned out pretty happy. When the Julia Belle landed at Henry, I gave my business card to Captain Trone and mentioned I was a folksinger. That led to ten years singing on the river for me. Amazing how this old world works sometimes.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 01:57 PM

"Thought I heard old K.C. when it blowed,
Lord, I thought I heard old K.C. when it blowed
Lord, I thought I heard old K.C. when it blowed
Blowed like it never blowed before" -- Andrew and Jim Baxter, "K.C. Railroad Blues"

"Good morning judge, what may be my fine?
Good morning judge, what may be my fine?
Good morning judge, what may be my fine?
Fifty dollars eleven twenty-nine" -- Furry Lewis, "Judge Boushay Blues"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)
From: Louie Roy
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 10:45 PM

In the 1930s we had a 78 record with a similar song with different words but the same tune and this what I remember

I went across the river and I lied down to sleep
I went across the river and I lied down to sleep
When I awoke I had shackles on my ankle and my feet

21 links of chain around each ankle
21 links of chain around each ankle
And on each link was a initial of my name


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Subject: Lyr Add: STEAMBOAT WHISTLE BLUES (Roy Acuff)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 May 15 - 01:26 AM

I listened to a recording and it is quite different than what Mmario posted above. The verses are only 3 lines, not 4; the verses are in a different order; there is no refrain; and there are some small differences in the words.


STEAMBOAT WHISTLE BLUES
As recorded by Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys, 1936.

1. Thought I heard that steamboat whistle blow. (2x)
Blowed like she'd never blowed before.

2. Crossed the river, I fell fast asleep. (2x)
When I woke, they had shackles on my feet.

3. I said: "Judge, what may be my fine?" (2x)
"Sixty days; get away on down that line."

4. Sixty days in the lonesome jail to go. (2x)
I can't hear that steamboat whistle blow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 May 15 - 01:33 AM

I figured it out: the version posted by MMario is the one recorded by Flatt & Scruggs on "Recorded Live at Vanderbilt University" (1964).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)
From: 12-stringer
Date: 01 May 15 - 11:39 AM

Compare Earl Shirkey & Roy Harper [Harvey], "Steamboat Man," Columbia 15326-D, recorded 18 Oct 1928 at Johnson City, TN. Tune is indistinguishable from "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad." Shirkey provides a Swiss-style yodel between verses, and the usually impeccable Harvey fluffs the beat at the beginning of the "work no more" verse. Harvey, vcl/gtr, Shirkey, ydl.

Thought I heard that steamboat whistle a-blow (x3)
And she blowed like she never blowed before.

I'm afraid my little lover's on that boat (x3)
And it will take her to the Lord knows where.

I'm a-gonna have a dollar some old day (x3)
And I'm going to the Lord knows where.

Goin' where I won't have to work no more (x3)
And I'm a-going to the Lord knows where.

Oh, I hate see [sic] that evening sun go down (x3)
For I know I'm on my last go-round.

Goin' to have a dollar some old day (x3)
And I'm a-going to the Lord knows where.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steamboat Whistle Blues (Roy Acuff)
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 02:55 PM

"Steamboat Man" shipped almost 75,000 copies; the Baxters' earlier, similar "K.C. Railroad Blues" shipped over 15,000 copies. (Robert Johnson's best-selling 78 shipped about 5,000 copies.)


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