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'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart

DigiTrad:
FLOYD COLLINS


Related thread:
(DTStudy) Lyr Add: The Death of Floyd Collins (9)


marymarymary 19 Oct 01 - 09:09 PM
catspaw49 19 Oct 01 - 09:51 PM
Zorro 20 Oct 01 - 07:12 AM
catspaw49 20 Oct 01 - 09:15 AM
fox4zero 20 Oct 01 - 10:46 AM
fox4zero 20 Oct 01 - 11:07 AM
catspaw49 20 Oct 01 - 11:11 AM
catspaw49 20 Oct 01 - 01:24 PM
Stewie 20 Oct 01 - 09:07 PM
Stewie 20 Oct 01 - 09:13 PM
catspaw49 20 Oct 01 - 09:30 PM
Stewie 20 Oct 01 - 09:48 PM
catspaw49 20 Oct 01 - 10:08 PM
marymarymary 22 Oct 01 - 10:55 AM
GUEST 23 May 03 - 06:51 PM
kendall 23 May 03 - 08:24 PM
SINSULL 23 May 03 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,nascarwert 05 Sep 08 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,marlena 31 Mar 11 - 05:22 PM
GUEST 10 Mar 15 - 09:06 AM
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Subject: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: marymarymary
Date: 19 Oct 01 - 09:09 PM

This is a pretty vague request, but I'm constantly amazed at the depth and breadth of you folks' knowledge, so I'm going to ask and cross my fingers...

I'm looking for a recording of "The Death of Floyd Collins", but *not* the Vernon Dalhart one. The lyrics were closer to the Dalhart record than to the version in the DT, but I seem to recall that the end of each verse ended with the same line, something like "And now he lies a-dyin' at the bottom of a cave". The singer was male, with an unusually high-pitched, nasal voice, and it was an older record, one of those thick, brittle 78's.

If anyone knows who might have done this recording, I'd be grateful to know it. Thank you much!


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Oct 01 - 09:51 PM

Hi MultiMary! .....someone left the cake out in the rain..... Oops, sorry...Wrong thread......LOL

This is a toughie. Sounds like a job for Stewie maybe. I think (before Stewie comes along and corrects my dumb ass) that the first recording of this was by Fiddlin' John Carson in 1924 or 25. Since then, I know of a ton of folks who've recorded it, even Ronnie Hawkins, though I doubt his version is the one you're looking for!

I'm also willing to bet that Vernon Dalhart had more than one version recorded as that was pretty common. It was also picked up of course by some mainstream country artists like Little Jimmy Dickens and ending each verse with the same line was very popular with country singers then.

Also, 'Catter Gene posted THESE LYRICS which differ some and are longer than the ones in the DT.

I'll have a look around in my meager scrabble for any additional stuff and await Stewie to come in and say I'm an idiot!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: Zorro
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 07:12 AM

The guy's name on my copy is Al Craver. On the label It says: "The Death of Floyd Collins" "Vocal-Harmonica and Guitar accomp. Al Craver" Hope this helps.

Zorro


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 09:15 AM

"Al Craver" was one of the numerous pseudonyms used by Vernon Dalhart. Of course, as I said above that Dalhart undoubtedly recorded several versions, an "Al Craver" variant is a good possibility.

Zorro.....How do the lyrics Match up?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: fox4zero
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 10:46 AM

As copied from the original sheet music, C.1935, published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. "The Death of Floyd Collins" Words by Rev Andrew Jenkins, Music by Mrs. Irene Spain.

Oh come all you young people and listen while I tell;

The fate of Floyd Collins A lad we all know well

His face was fair and handsome, his heart was true and brave:

His body now lies sleeping in a lonely sand stone grave.

I just looked ahead at the music and there are 8 more verses, which exceeds my ambition by 8 verses. Please send me your fax # or snail-mail name and address and I will send you a photocopy of Floyd C.

Fox4zero (Larry Parish)


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: fox4zero
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 11:07 AM

Whoops...my nine verses are the same as Catspaw49's reference to 'Catter Gene's. In the words of Charlie Chan: "So solly" Larry


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 11:11 AM

Larry, how about just comparing to the link I gave above and see what you get? The song was written in 1924 (I think) so the sheet music may be a reissue.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 01:24 PM

Sorry there Larry....You caught it and we cross posted. Anyway..........

Spaw


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DEATH OF FLOYD COLLINS
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 09:07 PM

Spaw and Larry,

I can't be of any help to Mary because the versions I am familiar with are those by Carson and Dalhart. However, I can add a little background to these for future reference purposes.

Spaw is right in saying that Carson was the first to record the piece. It was perhaps the first 'hillbilly' song to be actually commissioned by a record industry executive. Up to that point, the 'hillbillies' had brought in their traditional songs for recording.

Polk Brockman was director of the phonograph department of his father's furniture store in Atlanta. Brockman had been the catalyst in Ralph Peer recording Fiddlin' John Carson for Okeh and thereby inaugurating the development of country music as a commercial entity. In February 1925, Collins died in the sandstone wormhole. At the time, Brockman was in Florida. He telegraphed his friend Andrew 'Blind Andy' Jenkins, newspaper seller/revivalist preacher, in Atlanta, asking him to compose a Collins ballad.

Evidently, Jenkins took 45 minutes to compose the 'tragedy song' with his stepdaughter, Irene Spain, scoring the music and sending the text and tune to Brockman. Irene later recalled that, if she had sensed that it was destined to become a national hit, she would have added 'a few grace notes to colour its melodic simplicity'. Fiddlin' John Carson recorded it for Okeh on 14 or 15 April 1925, within 2 months of Collins' death. Brockman paid $25 for it.

The Carson recording sold only slowly, but Brockman was convinced of its commercial potential. He sold the song to Frank Walker, the A&R man in New York for Columbia. Vernon Dalhart recorded it on 27 May 1925 (Columbia 15031-D) under the pseudonym Al Craver, mentioned above. He recorded it again in September for Victor which issued it coupled with 'The Wreck of the Shenandoah'. The song became immensely popular and spawned recordings, which took on local colourings, under a variety of titles all across the country. I recall reading somewhere that there were about 40 recorded versions.

Spaw has linked to Gene's posting of the Jenkins original. Neither Carson nor Dalhart recorded the complete text - indeed, they omitted the same stanzas. There are only minor differences in the text of Carson's recordings and Dalhart's Victor recording. Here is how Carson recorded it:

THE DEATH OF FLOYD COLLINS
(Rev Andrew Jenkins/Mrs Irene Spain)

Come all you young people
And listen while I tell
The fate of Floyd Collins
A lad we all knew well
His face was fair and handsome
His heart was true and brave
His body now lies sleeping
In a lonely sandstone cave

How sad, how sad, the story
It filled our eyes with tears
This memory too will linger
For many, many a year
A broken-hearted father
Who tried his boy to save
Will now weep tears of sorrow
At the door of Floyd's cave.

Oh mother don't you worry
Dear father don't be sad
I'll tell you all my troubles
In an awful dream I had
I dreamed that I was prisoner
My life could not be saved
I cried, Oh must I perish
Within this silent cave?

The rescue party they gathered
They laboured night and day
To move the mighty barrier
That stood within the way
To rescue Floyd Collins
This was their battle cry
We'll never, no we'll never,
Let Floyd Collins die

But on that fatal morning
The sun rose in the sky,
The workers still were busy
We'll save him by and by.
But oh how sad the ending
His life they could not save
His body then was a-sleeping
In a lonely sandstone cave

Young people all take warning
It is for you and I
We may not be like Collins
But you and I must die
It may not be in a sand cave
In which we find our tomb
But at the mighty judgment
We too must meet our doom

Source: transcription of Fiddlin' John Carson 'The Death of Floyd Collins' OK 40363. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, on 14 or 15 April 1925. Reissued on Fiddlin' John Carson 'Complete Recorded Works Vol II' Document DOCD- 8015

Here is a version by Dalhart. No recording detail is given with the source CD, but it seems to be the 9 September Victor recording in inferior sound to that reissued on 'Native American Ballads' (RCA LPV-548) in Victors wonderful RCA Vintage Series of LPs:

THE DEATH OF FLOYD COLLINS
(Rev Andrew Jenkins/Mrs Irene Spain)

Oh come all you young people
And listen while I tell
The fate of Floyd Collins
A lad we all know well
His face was fair and handsome
His heart was true and brave
His body now lies sleeping
In a lonely sandstone cave

How sad, how sad, the story
It fills our eyes with tears
The memory too will linger
For many many years
A broken-hearted father
Who tried his boy to save
Will now weep tears of sorrow
At the door of Floyd's cave

Oh mother don't you worry,
Dear father don't be sad I'll tell you all my story
In an awful dream I had
I dreamed I was a prisoner My life I could not save I cried, Oh must I perish Within this silent cave?

The rescue party laboured
They worked both night and day
To move the mighty barrier
That stood within the way
To rescue Floyd Collins
This was their battle cry
We'll never, no we'll never,
Let Floyd Collins die

But on that fatal morning
The sun rose in the sky,
The workers still were busy
We'll save him by and by
But, oh how sad the ending
His life could not be saved
His body then was sleeping
In the lonely sandstone cave

Young people all take warning
From Floyd Collins' fate And get right with your maker
Before it is too late
It may not be a sand cave
In which we find our tomb
But at the bar of judgment We too must meet our doom

Source: transcription of Vernon Dalhart 'The Death of Floyd Collins' reissued on Vernon Dalhart 'Hall of Fame, Inducted 1981' King KSCD-3820. Recording details not given.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 09:13 PM

Sorry, I missed more than a few line breaks in the Dalhart one - perhaps a kind Joe clone could fix them up and delete this message.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 09:30 PM

Thanks Stewie as always. Though it may not help in the search, it's once agin the great info I always expect from you.

I got to poking around the net looking for some other versions and who else may have recorded it, but in the process I ran across a bio of Dalhart (not remarkable) that had a list of of pseudonyms and also groups that he had used and it's a lot more than I was familiar with.....frankly it's pretty remarkable in terms of size alone.

**********************************************************

Vernon Dalhart was born Marion Try Slaughter on April 6, 1883 in north east Texas. Marion took his professional name from Vernon and Dalhart Texas, the towns between which he had punched cattle in the second half of the 1890's. His first commercially released recording was Edison Blue Amberol #3185 "Can't Yo' Heah Me Callin' in June 1917. Dalhart's first Victor recording was recorded in 1918. His first Victor side "The Pickaninny's Paradise" went on sale in February 1919. He recorded his biggest hit "Wreck of the Old '97" first for Edison in May of 1924 and again for Victor on July 13, 1924. Dalhart's Victor recording of "Wreck of the Old '97" and "The Prisoner's Song" sold six to eight million copies. His lifetime record sales is in excess of seventy - five million records. More than two thirds of the material was country. Dalhart recorded with the following groups or using the following pseudonyms: James Ahern, Jon Albin, Mack Allen, Wolfe Ballard, James Belmount, Harry Blake, Harry Britt, Billy Burton, Jeff Calhoun, Jess Calhoun, Jimmy Cannon, Jimmy Cantrell, Ed Clifford, Al Cramer, Al Craver, James Cummings, Frank Dalbert, Frank Dalhart, Cernon Dall, Charles Dalton, Vernon Dell, Hugh Donovan, Joseph Elliot, Frank Evans, Clifford Ford, Jeff Fuller, Jep Fuller, Albert Gordon, Leslie Gray, David Harris, Harry Harris, Francis Harold, Lou Hays, Fern Holmes, Howard Hull, Frank Hutchinson, Joe Kincaid, Fred King, Louis Lane, Hugh Latimer, Hugh Lattimore, Tobe Little, the Lone Star Ranger, Bob Massey, Guy Massey, B. McAfee, Bob McAfee, Carlos B. McAfee, Warren Mitchell, George Morbid, Dick Morse, Charles Nelson, Gwyrick O'Hara, Sam Peters, Joseph Smith, Josephus Smith, Cliff Stewart, Edward Stone, Howard Stone, Billy Turner, Sid Turner, Bill Vernon, Billy Vernon, Herbert Vernon, Val Veteran, Vel Veteran, Tom Watson, Bob White, Bobby White, Robert White, Walter Whitlock, George Woods, Mister X, Allen and Parker, the Archie Ruff Singers, the Arkansas Travelers, the Arkansas Trio, Ballard and Samuels, the Barbary Coast Four, the Birmingham Blue Bugles, the Broadway Quartet, Calhoun and Andrews, the California Ramblers, the Cramer Brothers, Dalhart's Big Cypress Boys, Dalhart's Texas Panhandlers, the Domino Quartet, Evans and Clark, Fred Ozark's Jug Blowers, the Harmony Four, the Jewel Trio, the Jones Brothers, the Kanawha Singers, Ladd's Black Aces, Mitchell and White, the National Music Lovers Quartet, the Old Southern Sacred Singers, the Oriole Trio, Peter and Jones, the Regal Rascals, Salt and Pepper, the Smoky Mountain Sacred Singers, the Virginians, the Windy City Duo, and the Windy City Jazzers. Dalhart recorded his last songs for Bluebird in 1938. He Died in Bridgeport Connecticut at 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday , September 14, 1948. The death certificate indicated the immediate cause of death as a coronary occlusion.

**********************************************************

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 09:48 PM

Thanks, Spaw. That list is mindboggling. The 'Frank Hutchinson' one comes perilously close to Frank Hutchison, the West Virginian musician - odd, to say the least. There is a fine essay on Dalhart here:

Vernon Dalhart

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 01 - 10:08 PM

Excellent essay....and the part about his pseudonyms, perhaps half a dozen, AND the record companies usesd a lot more, helps explain the length of the list I found. I couldn't imagine one guy inventing all of those, but when you consider how the record companies worked......

I'm sorry MultiMary.....I know this wasn't what you wanted, but it's turned into one helluva' Vernon Dalhart thread! The thing it does bring home though is that Dalhart may have indeed recorded several versions and it's obviously VERY possible that the 78 you heard is him under a pseudonym. I don't know how you can ever track something like that down though.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: marymarymary
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 10:55 AM

Thanks, you guys! Very interesting, even it wasn't "my" version... I've been looking for this record for about 15 years now, and I guess it's destined to be one of those mystical quests that's never fulfilled :)

I had no idea that Dalhart was so prolific, or that he had used so very many pseudonymns!


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 03 - 06:51 PM

Any one know the chords to the song Floyd Collins?


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: kendall
Date: 23 May 03 - 08:24 PM

I have a copy of this by V.D.

The chords depend on what key you sing it in.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 May 03 - 09:12 PM

There are two copies for sale on Ebay. I recently purchased VD's version of thew "Baggage Coach Ahead". Now I have to unearth my stereo.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: GUEST,nascarwert
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 05:36 PM

has anyone seen anyone singing this song on youtube.   my dad use to sing it all the time.   please let me know where i can hear this song.
   lynn at nascarwert@yahoo.com
thanks much


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: GUEST,marlena
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:22 PM

Hello. I see that this is quite the old thread, but I thought I would chip in my two cents worth.
There were many songs quickly rolled out after the demise of Collins, which occurred in 1925, that capitalized in the fresh tragedy of the man vs. nature sage of Floyd. The most recognized is, of course, The Death of Floyd Collins, as sung by Vernon Dalhart and his many aliases.
There was also "floyd Collins' Fate" by Bob Thomas (Radiex label, B side "The Pickwick Club Tragedy) in addition to Fiddlin John Carson's "Death of Floyd Collins" which was mentioned in the thread above.
Just thought I would add to the thread.


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Subject: RE: 'Floyd Collins' recording, not Dalhart
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 15 - 09:06 AM

I remember as a kid (60 or 70 years ago) hearing the lyric "We all remember Floyd Collins, who lingered so long at death's door." Yet this line appears in none of the versions I have found on line. Anyone know where that line appears?


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