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Origins: Geronimo's Cadillac (Quarto/Murphey)

Related threads:
BS: Geronimo (53)
Obit: Geronimo - Anniversary (5)
BS: Release Geronimo's Spirit (46)
Geronimo (27)
Lyr Req: Geronimo's Cadillac (3) (closed)


jaxon 17 Nov 97 - 08:02 AM
Ralph Butts 17 Nov 97 - 08:48 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 17 Nov 97 - 07:05 PM
lesblank 18 Nov 97 - 05:11 PM
Cliff McGann 18 Nov 97 - 06:45 PM
Jack mostly folk 18 Nov 97 - 07:29 PM
Dale Rose 18 Nov 97 - 08:40 PM
rechal 18 Nov 97 - 09:36 PM
Jaxon 19 Nov 97 - 04:38 PM
Jack mostly folk 25 Nov 97 - 07:51 PM
Jack mostly folk 25 Nov 97 - 08:32 PM
Coinneach 31 Aug 98 - 05:50 PM
Roger Himler 31 Aug 98 - 06:29 PM
The Shambles 31 Aug 98 - 08:43 PM
Earl 01 Sep 98 - 01:01 AM
Jerry Bryant 01 Sep 98 - 09:47 AM
Jerry Friedman 01 Sep 98 - 01:16 PM
Bob Schwarer 01 Sep 98 - 03:26 PM
The Shambles 01 Sep 98 - 04:55 PM
GUEST 12 Jun 13 - 08:48 PM
Backwoodsman 13 Jun 13 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 13 Jun 13 - 06:07 AM
pdq 13 Jun 13 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 13 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM
Gurney 13 Jun 13 - 04:51 PM
Joe Offer 19 Apr 21 - 07:44 PM
Hagman 19 Apr 21 - 08:46 PM
Stewie 19 Apr 21 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 20 Apr 21 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,DTM 20 Apr 21 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 20 Apr 21 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,DTM 20 Apr 21 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,DTM 20 Apr 21 - 07:22 PM
cnd 20 Apr 21 - 10:39 PM
Stewie 21 Apr 21 - 10:10 PM
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Subject: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: jaxon
Date: 17 Nov 97 - 08:02 AM

Does anyone know who either wrote or recorded Geronimo's Cadillac? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 17 Nov 97 - 08:48 AM

jaxon......That would be Michael Murphey (before he added the Martin)........Tiger


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 17 Nov 97 - 07:05 PM

Yes, I believe off an album of the same name that had a picture of an aged Geronimo standing by a car. (I assume it was Geronimo)


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: lesblank
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 05:11 PM

It was also recorded by Hoyt Axton on "Life Machine", a 1974 A & M album, I believe. I thought he wrote it , too !!


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac-Dick Gaughan
From: Cliff McGann
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 06:45 PM

Great version on Dick Gaughan's latest as well.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 07:29 PM

Hi jaxon, Geronimo's Cadilac was written by Charles Quarto and Michael Murphy according to the record label of what I think has to be the very best ever recorded version.Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer (Jim now deceasesd) covered G's Caddy on their "The Bramble and the Rose". It's just a great alltime album likely out of print.Philo 1055. Goodluck.If all else fails, I can tape the one song for you. Jack mostly folk


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Dale Rose
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 08:40 PM

Well, Jack beat me to it, but I strongly second his choice of the Jim Ringer version as the absolute best ever. Philo/Rounder put out a Best Of Jim Ringer CD last year, (Philo 1202) 17 cuts in all. It does not include Geronimo's Cadillac, however.

I just checked, The Bramble And The Rose, Philo 1055, 1978, is still available, but only on cassette. (I know that Rounder has some titles still available in vinyl, so if a person prefers that, just ask them) Info, including a sound sample of Geronimo's Cadillac here~~ http://www.rounder.com/rounder/catalog/bylabel/phil/1055/1055.html

I was fortunate to be able to see Jim and Mary McCaslin (another great voice) live in St. Louis in the mid seventies. I also have all of his albums, (I think) including two with the Sweets Mill String Band.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: rechal
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 09:36 PM

Cher also recorded it. I think her version was pretty popular at one time. (But not this time.)


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jaxon
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 04:38 PM

Thanks to you all.

Jack Murray


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 25 Nov 97 - 07:51 PM

Jaxon, I've tried to send a personal message through this site and the the page just hangs there. If you can include your e mail and send me another message I'll oblidge your request. I really like mudcat, it's people, topics but I have a difficult time going from place to place inside the site. I have to accept blame for that since I'm relatively new to the cyberspace thing.Let's try it again....Yours Jack mostly folk....


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 25 Nov 97 - 08:32 PM

To all, Please ignore the previous, little by little I'll learn how this site works. I did get a personal message through. It's like going into a big city for the first time. You always feel lost but eventually you begin to recognize landmarks and in no time you begin feeling compitent with the travel . Mudcat is a neat big city to get lost in. .....Jack Mostly folk


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Subject: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Coinneach
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 05:50 PM

Dick gaughan sings a song called "Geronimo's Cadillac" on his 1996 CD Sail On. Did Geronimo and Cadillacs ever meet?


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Roger Himler
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 06:29 PM

Coinneach asked about this song. I can't answer the question, but I can post the lyrics and chords from Rise Up Singing.

GERONIMO'S CADILLAC (1984)
(Charles Quarto and Michael M. Murphy)

They put Geronimo in a jail down south,
Where he couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Sergeant, Sergeant, don't you feel,
There's something wrong with your automobile?
Governor, Governor now ain't it strange,
They didn't have no cars on the Indian range?
Warden, Warden, listen to me:
Be brave and set Geronimo free.

G D C G / C - G - :// (repeat 4X)

CHO: Whoa, boys, take me back,
I wanna ride in Geronimo's cadillac (X4)

Warden, Warden, don't you know,
That prisoners have no place to go?
Took Old Geronimo by storm,
Ripped off the feathers from his uniform.
Jesus tells me, I believe it's true,
The red man is in the sunset, too.
Took all their land and they won't give it back,
Sent Geronimo a Cadillac.

By Charles Quarto and Michael M. Murphy.

Enjoy the song.

Roger in Baltimore



1984 Recording by Michael Martin Murphey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlGt5RzZ-N4

1972 Recording by Michael Martin Murphey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJWh1F9SkiE - 4:38 minutes


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 08:43 PM

Grateful if anyone out there can tell me more about this song and it's writers.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Earl
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 01:01 AM

Written by Michael Murphy and Charles Quarto. I believe i t was based on a true story.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jerry Bryant
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 09:47 AM

I don't know anything about the origins of the song. All I remember is that it got a fair amount of radio play back in the 70's here in New England. Michael Murphy had a couple of hit songs then, his biggest being "Wildfire", I believe.

I've always loved the quirky juxtaposition of automobiles and Navahoes in the song. It's got a fine tune to it, as well. Also, the car in the song is named after a Native American chief itself, adding a nice extra layer of meaning.

JB


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 01:16 PM

Geronimo died in 1909, according to a few sources on the Web (another said 1908). When was the first Cadillac?

(Geronimo was Chiricahua Apache, not Navaho--though the two groups speak related languages.)


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 03:26 PM

First Cadillac Oct 7, 1902 Model A. Also, this source says Cadillac was a Frenchman.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 04:55 PM

Is it currently P.C to refer to the 'red man' or 'red folk' as the song does?


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 13 - 08:48 PM

Manfred Mann's Earth Band covered this also.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 04:15 AM

Great version by one of the UK's most under-rated and shamefully ignored performers, Jack Hudson, on his LP 'Starlight and Headlights' - alas no longer available. A man of huge talent performing a brilliant song.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 06:07 AM

I concur with Backwoodsman that this is a brilliant song ... "Geronimo's Cadillac" is, to me, one of the finest songs to come out of the early 70s. It did well on the charts, too. Wikipedia (click) says:

"It was released in July 1972 as the lead single from his debut album of the same name Geronimo's Cadillac. The song peaked at #37 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #30 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart."

And Murphey's performance in the vein of "just a bunch of friends singing a song they love" is irresistibly fetching too. It's running around my brain as I write.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 10:19 AM

Geronimo died about 6 weeks into 1909.

The brand name Cadillac was sold to General Motors in that same year, probably well after Geronimo was gone.

If he was given a Cadillac, it was almost certainly before GM owned the brand. It was a very ordinary car compared to the innovative quality standard that GM made it into.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM

Claire Hamill recorded the song on her 3rd album- "Stage-Door Johnnies".


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Gurney
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 04:51 PM

The best version I've heard was by The New Modern Idiot Grunt Band of Coventry, England. Rod Felton and Rob Armstrong. There are recordings of them, but you have to know where to get them. Possibly from the artists themselves.


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Subject: ADD: Geronimo's Cadillac (Murphey/Quarto)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 07:44 PM

As one would expect of Roger Himler, he did a good job above of transcribing the lyrics from the Rise Up Singing Songbook, which appears to be a transcription of Michael Martin Murphey's 1984 recording. The main difference is in the order of the couplets in the first verse - on the songwriter's 1972 recording, the order is: Sergeant, Warden, Governor. This my transcription from the 1972 recording by the songwriter, Michael Martin Murphey

GERONIMO'S CADILLAC (1972)
(Charles Quarto and Michael Martin Murphey)

They put Geronimo in jail down south,
Where he couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Sergeant, Sergeant, don't you feel,
There's something wrong with your automobile?
Warden, Warden, listen to me:
Be brave and set Geronimo free.
Governor, Governor, isn't it strange,
You never see a car on the Indian range?
CHORUS:
Whoa, boys, take me back,
I wanna ride in Geronimo's cadillac (X4)

Warden, Warden, don't you know,
The prisoners ain't got no place to go?
They took old Geronimo by storm,
They took the feathers from his uniform.
Jesus told me and I believe it's true,
The red men are in the sunset, too.
They stole their land and they won't give it back,
And they sent Geronimo a Cadillac.
CHORUS (4 times)

By Charles Quarto and Michael Martin Murphey.



Recording by Michael Martin Murphey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJWh1F9SkiE - 4:38 minutes (I think this is the original 1972 recording)

1984 recording by Michael Martin Murphey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlGt5RzZ-N4 - 5:26 minutes.

Hoyt Axton recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hQibx6FDRU


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Hagman
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 08:46 PM

https://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/another-look-at-geronimos-cadillac/


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 10:45 PM

Hagman beat me to posting a link to that useful article.

A few years ago, I included 'Geronimo's Cadillac' in a themed concert titled 'Songs of Separation'. Here is my intro:

Land is the foundation of the lives of indigenous peoples, the source of spiritual, cultural and social identity. Geronimo was the last native American leader to surrender to the American military and spent the final 20 years of his life as a prisoner of war. The Theodore Roosevelt administration refused his pleas to be permitted to return to his homelands. Instead, this great warrior was posed in a cadillac and displayed as a tamed Indian, a civilised person. Michael Murphy was inspired to write 'Geronimo’s Cadillac' after seeing the photograph. He commented that the 2 images – Geronimo and the cadillac – struck him as every irony he could think of about American culture in 2 words.

'Geronimo's Cadillac' was the title track of Murphy's first album, released in 1972. Glen A. Baker, the owner of the Australian Raven Records label, reissued the album as a CD in 2004. In 2003, Baker conducted a conversational interview with Murphy who shared his recollections. Extracts from the interview were included in the booklet accompanying the reissue CD.

Baker: Certainly I found it arresting. It was what drew me to your music. It just grabbed you from the opening. Can you tell me about the song?

Murphy: I think first of all there was an emotional reaction to that song. It was a pro-Native American rights song but there was nothing really violent in there. Even so, there were several pop music stations that would not play it. It got banned in Houston and in Boston, they were in to banning things. There was so much sympathy with Indians who were trying to get their rights at the time. The black civil rights movement had its anthems in 'We shall overcome' and a couple of Bob Dylan's things like 'Blowin' in the wind' but there was nothing for the Indian community. Several years later Wounded Knee happened and I think it was because I was on the cutting edge with a song that was about something that was on a whole lot of people's minds that the song was taken up by so many others.

An attorney friend of mine named Dewey Thomas worked for the Lakota Indians up at Pine Ridge before they even started calling themselves Lakota Indians again, and he was the one who introduced me to medicine men like Dull Knife and to Aaron DeSersa, who was an activist on the reservation, the Black Elk family - all these people became my friends. Look at the cover of 'Blue Sky Night Thunder' and you can see how much it had influenced me by then. But 'Geronimo's Cadillac' sort of opened up the door and once I put that song out it started all the things that affect my life to this day.


On the back cover of CD booklet, Baker printed an excerpt from a piece that Murphy wrote in 1972 about his life. It reads in part:

... Working for Screen Gems and churning them [songs] out for recording artists who go to Vegas and television. Working for the Palomino Club and Isadore's Club. Boozing with the beehive babies (I don't mean maybe) and returning to the Rubiayat to find Omar had gone. To the Troubadour and hang out with who was that man in the cowboy hat and sunglasses with his manager. Who got into the cadillac that brewed the barley that fed the cat that ate the soul that got lost in the house that Jackie and Aristotle built? Working for freedom now. Working for waking up and hoping to work for Geronimo because I think I know how he felt when he said 'I saw many interesting things and learned much of the white people. They are a very kind and peaceful people'. Let me ride with you, Geronimo in prison, on a horse or in a cadillac, you fought them.

Murphy's recording

My favourite cover rendition

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 07:07 AM

Based on a true story... but not the truth.

When the song was first released, most everyone who knew anything about vintage autos could tell you 'Geronimo's Cadillac' was neither Geronimo's (it was a publicity stunt/staged photo-op) nor a Cadillac (Model C, Locomobile.)


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 07:52 AM

Hi Phil d'C. Thanks for the info. I was wondering, was the 'stunt' by Cadillac to promote their brand or by the record company to promote the record?
I was (right or wrongly) led to believe it was the former. If so, was the promo photo 'doctored' or was it genuine? i.e Geronimo with a Caddy (or a variant).


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 05:10 PM

DTM: Hagman's link above should answer most of your questions.

The only part I might disagree with is - I thought the Yank songwriters were the first to call it a Cadillac. I'm just not sure if or why they did so.

It wasn't long before the 1905 photograph was turned into a post card titled "Indians, up to date." No mention of Geronimo.

There is also much folklore about Geronimo actually driving the car in a faked buffalo hunt stunt at the same "Wild West Show." More post card fodder. The whole set isn't all that rare.

The 1972 album art I've seen is a tracing or drawing of the old post cards. Credit is to a William Holloway.


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 07:08 PM

Thanks, Phil :-)


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Subject: RE: Geronimo's Cadillac
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 07:22 PM

"Geronimo's Cadillac" - Dick Gaughan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Geronimo's Cadillac (Quarto/Murphey)
From: cnd
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 10:39 PM

My favorite version of the song is by Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin, though I have to admit that the Hoyt Axton one is pretty good as well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Geronimo's Cadillac (Quarto/Murphey)
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Apr 21 - 10:10 PM

Yes, the Ringer/McCaslin version is a good'un and 'The Bramble and the Rose' album from which it is taken is first rate.

I dug out my vinyl copy of 'Geronimo's Cadillac'. The bio that Baker printed on the CD reissue is on the back of the gatefold cover of the LP. I am curious as to what actual input Charles John Quarto had to the composition of the song. The track listing on the inside of the gatefold gives: 'Geronimo's Cadillac - Murphey-Quarto Mystery Music Inc BMI'. However, the performer list gives: 'Charles John Quarto - vocals and constant encouragement'. Why is there no mention of co-authorship there? It even credits Leonard Cohen for 'good spirits'. Also on the inside sleeve is a poem by Quarto dedicated to Murphey:

Driving a dream you came from Texas
Crying the humble creed which you wrote
Ground from the servant in your solar plexus
With the sound of the tumbleweed in your throat
Like some pious dancer who steps by surprise
You heeled your horses and steered your cars
Until you cleared your courses with the stars
For the Irish ancestors in your eyes
As if a damaged poppy on a damned companion
You showed your peace upon your chest
And you rode your wreath both east and west
From the Grand Ol Opry to the Grand Canyon
With deliberate joy across the furlongs
Through a kind of commotion for a fuse
In divine devotion to the Lord and the Blues
Like a delivery boy you brought us your songs
Like a Kingdom Sunday disciple you act as you do
Playing your part and living just your designs
Displaying your art then giving us your lines
May we sing them someday Michael back to you

Charles John Quarto


I saw one reference on the Net that made the dubious claim that Quarto wrote the lyrics and Murphey supplied the tune.

--Stewie.


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