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Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)

28 Feb 98 - 08:55 PM
Gene 28 Feb 98 - 11:27 PM
Art Thieme 01 Mar 98 - 12:27 AM
Rodney 01 Mar 98 - 05:42 PM
Sir 02 Mar 98 - 04:10 PM
02 Mar 98 - 04:39 PM
Bill in Alabama 02 Mar 98 - 06:36 PM
Rodney 03 Mar 98 - 09:56 AM
Art Thieme 03 Mar 98 - 10:25 AM
Jon W. 03 Mar 98 - 11:30 AM
Art Thieme 03 Mar 98 - 02:04 PM
04 Mar 98 - 06:37 PM
Robert Griffith (griff@pacific.net) 25 Jun 98 - 02:17 AM
mikej1is@yahoo.com 02 Aug 98 - 03:01 AM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 98 - 03:28 AM
BSeed 02 Aug 98 - 10:09 PM
Gene 05 Aug 98 - 02:36 AM
John 29 Oct 98 - 04:27 AM
impltz@mail.icongrp.com 29 Oct 98 - 02:47 PM
ktthole@papadocs.com 15 Nov 98 - 11:21 PM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 98 - 04:53 AM
Cannonmaker 08 Dec 98 - 01:59 PM
Sandy 08 Dec 98 - 08:16 PM
Sandy 08 Dec 98 - 08:19 PM
Bill Kemp 06 Jan 99 - 07:11 PM
Joe(the other one) 06 Jan 99 - 07:45 PM
Benson 06 Jan 99 - 09:08 PM
Benson 06 Jan 99 - 09:23 PM
catspaw49 06 Jan 99 - 09:25 PM
Gene 06 Jan 99 - 10:34 PM
Mike Billo 06 Jan 99 - 11:19 PM
Misty in AR 20 Mar 99 - 10:03 PM
Gene 20 Mar 99 - 10:24 PM
catspaw49 16 Aug 01 - 07:55 PM
RangerSteve 16 Aug 01 - 08:36 PM
Lin in Kansas 17 Aug 01 - 01:42 AM
Fiolar 17 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM
Bat Goddess 17 Aug 01 - 09:02 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 17 Aug 01 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Marty in Detroit 17 Aug 01 - 05:12 PM
Bat Goddess 18 Aug 01 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,winnett98@comwares.net 26 May 05 - 12:17 AM
Warsaw Ed 26 May 05 - 06:07 PM
freightdawg 26 May 05 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,rebelwithkidz 17 Jun 09 - 08:17 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 09 - 08:49 PM
DonMeixner 17 Jun 09 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 18 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Gues RQ in Me 25 Feb 10 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 25 Feb 10 - 07:37 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Feb 10 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,mr stone 20 Sep 10 - 05:17 PM
clueless don 21 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM
clueless don 23 Sep 10 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,12vman 13 Feb 11 - 09:57 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 13 Feb 11 - 10:22 AM
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Subject: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From:
Date: 28 Feb 98 - 08:55 PM

One pop record I've always loved that has, I suppose, a folkish feel to it is the one song hit by the character actor Walter Brennan: Ol' Rivers. Luckily, the task of carrying the tune was borne by the background chorus, and he just did Sprechgesang (a word I suppose he never heard of), but in spite of this or because of it, I find the record deeply moving.

This is true even though the world and the view of life depicted in the song holds not a whit of attraction for me. When I hear the final line, "That mule, Ol' Rivers . . . and me" - I am heartbroken. (I talk about this mystery of art in my page.)

Apparently Brennan tried to repeat his success, as I own an album of his efforts; but nothing else he did has the kind of power found in Ol' Rivers. Perhaps it's because Ol' Rivers expresses a yearning that a great many people of the modern industrial world can identify with ("One of these days / I'm gonna climb that mountain, / Walk up high / Among them clouds"), a quality lacking in such uninteresting cuts as "Who'll Take Grandma?"

Does anyone else here like the record? Can anyone tell me how it was that Brennan, an actor, recorded it in the first place? What's the story behind Ol' Rivers? Is it an old song? Is the tune sung in the background the actual melody of the song, or did it never have a definite melody?

I'm really curious.

Rodney Rawlings
Stop the Persecution of Bill Gates and Microsoft - Stop the Punishment of Success for Being Success


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Gene
Date: 28 Feb 98 - 11:27 PM

His DUTCHMAN'S GOLD aint TOO SHABBY!


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Art Thieme
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 12:27 AM

I never saw an LP with RIVERS on it, but I had a 45 of it years ago. What was on the flip side? It was a song about John Glenn being the first man to orbit the earth 3 times (as I recall). Was that on the LP too? Art


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Old Rivers
From: Rodney
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 05:42 PM

Yes, It's called The Epic Ride of John H. Glenn.

By the way, the actual title as it appears on the LP is Old Rivers - no apostrophe. I don't suppose anyone cares, but I'm an editor and I like to name things accurately.

Dutchman's Gold is unfortunately not on the album I have, which is called The Very Best of Walter Brennan, so I cannot compare.

Rodney


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Sir
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 04:10 PM

Hey, I'm hokie enough to admit that I like "Old Rivers". Does anyone admit to liking Loren Green's "Johnny Ringo"? Or any other songs spoken by actors or others. John Wayne had one I think and even Senator Everet Dirkson. I heard James Earl Jones do a spoken version of the "Star Spangled Banner" at a sporting event that was effective. Does anyone remember the recording of the poem "Desiderata"? or Bill Cosby's "Letters From Vietnam"?


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From:
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 04:39 PM

AIN'T YOU THE ONE THAT POSTED OL' RIVERS IN THE FIRST PLACE?


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 06:36 PM

Rodney:

I admit, albeit somewhat sheepishly, that the Walter Brennan number always touches me deeply. Of course, I shouldn't wonder about such things, since the culture of which I am a product (6th-generation Appalachian) tends to prefer songs which tear at the heartstrings. As a child, I used to beg my father to sing "Old Shep," knowing that, before he reached the end of the piece I would be in tears. My grandparents sang "Mary of the Wild Moor" and "The Lightning Express" as well as "Father Come Home" regularly. I love them all; Even "Darlin' Little Joe."


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Rodney
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 09:56 AM

Once again, as in the "Today" thread, I see people apologizing for their values - one calls himself hokey, another's embarrassed.

I'll do what I did there and recommend readingAyn Rand on bringing coherence to one's values.

Why disavow
the best
within you?


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 10:25 AM

True enough! I bought that old 45 just because Old Rivers got to me. And so very many of the songs we love do THAT to many of us. Piccasso once said, "Art is a lie that lets us see the truth!" And I'll never be hesitant ever again to cry when I want to-----hell, this music is (as Leslie Gore said) MY PARTY!

Any guy that can get through FIELD OF DREAMS (film) without opening the flood gates is not seeing the truth of it. Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Jon W.
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 11:30 AM

Welcome back Rodney. I was afraid we might have scared you off on the Blues thing a few months ago.

Since this thread seems to have turned into a sensitive '90s new-age-guy type of thing, I'll admit getting choked up from time to time by a number of songs, ranging from "The Death of Queen Jane" to "Strike the Bell." One that almost always does it to me is "America the Beautiful."


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 02:04 PM

Nothing NEW AGE about it------I'm OLD AGE !! Art


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From:
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 06:37 PM

Jon W.:

I was just busy, actually, but thanks!

Truth to tell, I don't come here for the blues' sake (I'm afraid I don't care for the blues), but because Mudcat is flexible enough to allow discussion of the kinds of songs I like.

Regards,

Rodney Rawlings
http://www.druid.net/~rodney


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Robert Griffith (griff@pacific.net)
Date: 25 Jun 98 - 02:17 AM

Hi all, I am looking for a Walter Brennan tune that says something along the lines of "Life Gets Tedious... Hound Dogs a Howlin', sittin' on a thorn, just too lazy to move."

My stepfather has talked about it for YEARS and I thought it would make a good present.

Thanks... Robert Griffith


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: mikej1is@yahoo.com
Date: 02 Aug 98 - 03:01 AM

I've always loved Walter Brennan since the days of his TV series called The Real McCoys. What I've been trying to find is the CD of the Best of Walter Brennan put out by CEMA (Capitol) back in 1993. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of it, new or used? Thanks from Arkansas! mikej1@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 98 - 03:28 AM

Robert - "Life Gets Teejus, Don't It" is in the database and you should be able to find it by searching under "Teejus." The database has not been working well at all this week, so I'll e-mail you the lyrics. The tune's there, too. Maybe you can access that later, or download the PC version of the database.
The only CD recording I know of is on Doc Watson's "On Stage" CD, available at www.cdnow.com or probably www.musicblvd.com
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: BSeed
Date: 02 Aug 98 - 10:09 PM

When I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines in 1963-65, I met a red-haired girl (fellow volunteer) named Lynn Menefee who did "Life Gits Teejus, Don't It." I met her about the same time I met Jeb Eddy, a nephew of Dwayne. Jeb (a fine folk musician) and I (a mediocre folk musician) sang together at a folk festival at the University of the Philippines. One of the things we did was a call and response version of "I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago" and "The Great Historical Bum." We also did Hey Li-lee-li-lee that included a couple of verses in Tagalog Jeb and I had written--Jeb's verse was about his loneliness because of the dearth of women in the small town he was assigned to. I was assigned near Manila and responded "Maraming babae sa Maynila, hey li-lee-lo; Sa akin kailangan nila pumila, Hey li-lee, li-lee, lo." It means there are lots of women in Manila, for me they had to stand in line. A week or two later I was in a store and a really beautiful filipina came up to me and said "Pumila ako." It took a minute for my slow brain to translate: "I'm in line," but by that time she had disappeared around the end of the aisle, and I couldn't find her.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Gene
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 02:36 AM


*GO HERE* To hear a recording.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: John
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 04:27 AM

I was surprised to find K-tel records at ktel.com actually has some Walter Brennan for sale Including old Rivers, although they are on compilations of other country songs.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: impltz@mail.icongrp.com
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 02:47 PM

Could you tell me, if there is a song that Walter Brennan sang about John Gleen. I was told that it was on the flip side of the song Ol' Rivers. If you have any information about this song or where I might find it on the web, it would be deeply appreciated. Thank you in advance for you antisipated help. Todd.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: ktthole@papadocs.com
Date: 15 Nov 98 - 11:21 PM

Do you know if I would be able to find Walter Brennan's music on a CD? If so please let me know where!


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 04:53 AM

Use our "Help the Mudcat" link on this page and search CDNow for Brennan. You'll find a nice double album for $16. It has about half Christmas stuff, and the rest is a variety of sentimental readings like Old Rivers. Heck, it's even got Edgar A. Guest's "It Takes A Heap Of Living (To Make A House A Home)." It's my dad's favorite poem, and I used to think it was the most maudlin poem ever written. I've grown to like it after many years of having done comic performances of the poem. Poor Dad.

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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Cannonmaker
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 01:59 PM

I have a friend that asked me to search the web to see if anyone knew anything about "The Epic Ride of John Glenn". Your page was one of the strongest hits. He has one of the 45's with "Ol Rivers" on one side and "The Epic Ride of John Glenn" on the other. Our main question is: Is it worth anything? The record is in excellent shape.

Cannonmaker


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Sandy
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 08:16 PM

Hi:

Going back to the "Life Gets Teejus" question, Kendall Morse recorded it, in that great Maine accent of his, for Folk-Legacy on his album Lights Along the Shore. It's available as one of our "custom cassettes," which are described on our web site. http://folklegacy.com Damn! Another blatant plug. Sorry.

Sandy
Sandy, click here for a refresher on HTML.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Sandy
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 08:19 PM

Guess I forgot to turn off the italics. I'm learning, too, and at my age, it's a slow process!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Bill Kemp
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:11 PM

Having lived in Arizona, I always liked the Dutchman's Gold song. Any ideas on how to get a copy of it?


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Joe(the other one)
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:45 PM

Life Gets Tejus was also recorded by Hank Williams Sr


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Subject: Lyr Add: DESIDERATA
From: Benson
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 09:08 PM

Desiderata????? Yes...that was nice

D E S I D E R A T A

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, And remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing future of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Benson
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 09:23 PM

Oh yeah Sir.....forgot.....I think the Everett Dirkson recording was the one on the flipside of Senator Bobby......where impressionists did the voices of Dirkson and Bobby Kennedy doing their version of "Wild Thing".....in '67.......It's a HOOT!!!!


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 09:25 PM

Say Benson, you're right, that was nice. Made a great wall hanging gizmo too......But do you remember the National Lampoon rip-off called "Deteriorata"?????? Anybody out there still have that thing? catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Gene
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 10:34 PM

Tho' reminiscent of Life Gets Teejus
Hank Williams, Sr. recorded
Everything's Okay!


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Mike Billo
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 11:19 PM

Avante Garde electric guitarist Henry Kaiser made a series of tapes with a guy that did an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT Walter Brennan imitation while singing/talking Bob Dylan songs. A truly bizarre listening experience.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Misty in AR
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 10:03 PM

does anyone know the words- at least to the first verse of Ol' Rivers ? And I do know some of the woards to Johnny Ringo...loved that show (The Rebel) and the song as a kid.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: Gene
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 10:24 PM

For Old Rivers and Johnny Ringo - *CLICK HERE*


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:55 PM

Just a refresh to help out another 'Catter.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's Ol' Rivers
From: RangerSteve
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 08:36 PM

The Walter Brennan CD is available from Collectors' Choice Music, They have a mail order catalog and a web site. Sorry, I don't know the web address.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 01:42 AM

Gene, thanks for the great link--any site that has Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Walter Brennan, Lorne Green, and Robert Mitchum (doing "Thunder Road") is OK in my book.

Lin


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: Fiolar
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM

Ktthole - try
www.allmusic.com
Type in Walter Brennan in the artist section. It lists some recordings by Walter including a 21 track CD which you can buy for $14.49.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 09:02 AM

Does anyone remember the spate of recordings circa 1961-62 where a story was told via a compilation of pertinent lines from current pop songs? One of them (can't remember title or plot line) ended with Walter Brennon saying, "That mule, Old Rivers, and me."

Funny as hell, though.

BTW, I could listen all day to Everett Dirkson (or my high school English teacher Elmer Dobberfuhl) read the phone book. What voices!

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 11:06 AM

Bat Goddess, that narration of Walter Brennan's was the topic of this thread, Ol' Rivers.

Also the James Earl Jones voice is awesome. Did you ever see the biography on how he developed his phenomonal voice? Reminds me the story of Lonre Greene. Apparently, before he left the land of the free to work in the land down south, he was a newcaster on Canada's CBC, radio and I'm not sure if he was on TV as well. While there, he kept working to lower his speaking voice, until it got to what we know as "Pa Cartwright"'s voice.

Reminds me, one of these days, I'll have to post on the WORST song ever thread. Go look up the words to the Bonanza theme song! Really bad!


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: GUEST,Marty in Detroit
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 05:12 PM

Yo, Bat Goddess (great handle): Those recordings using lines from pop songs were done by the duo of Buchanan and Goodman, who started out in the 1950s with a number called "Flying Saucer." I remember hearing them on the radio. Trivia note: Walter Brennan, besides singing Old Rivers, was a three-time Oscar winner. And although we may think of him as the quintessential coot from the old west, he was from the old east, born in Massachusetts.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 09:28 AM

George, the recording I'm referring to only used the snippet at the end of Old Rivers. The entire story was made up of snippets from various recordings to dramatize another (humorous) story. The combination was very, very funny. I'd really like to track down the one using the Walter Brennan sample at the end, but I don't even know the title.

Thanks, Marty, maybe if I search for Buchanan and Goodman I can find the recording I'm looking for! (And, now that I think of it, I remember "Flying Saucer" -- it may even BE the recording I'm looking for!)

BTW, my name reflects the fact that we have a nursery colony of Little Brown Bats in our roof. I'm the local bat expert.

My grandfather looked like a cross between Walter Brennan and Lyndon Johnson.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: GUEST,winnett98@comwares.net
Date: 26 May 05 - 12:17 AM

what is the name of the music that walter brennan sings?
it starts with an "R".


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: Warsaw Ed
Date: 26 May 05 - 06:07 PM

"Old Rivers" and "Old River's Trunk" by Walter Brennan are at the Record Lady's All Time Favorites at A-8 and RQ-3.


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Subject: RE: Walter Brennan's 'Ol' Rivers'
From: freightdawg
Date: 26 May 05 - 08:33 PM

I, too, love this song, and since the original post requested some of the background to the song...

The liner notes to the copy I have states that both Johnny Cash and Eddy Arnold turned down the opportunity to record the song. How they came up with Walter Brennan is a good guess. The somewhat a-tempo sound of the song comes about quite naturally. Apparently Brennan had no sense of timing, and had to constantly be coached to stay with the music. The result is the classic sing-song kind of chant that, far more than a polished singer could provide, really adds to the "down-home" feel of the song.

Sometimes its better to be yourself and come off as genuine than to be polished and to appear fake.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan)
From: GUEST,rebelwithkidz
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 08:17 PM

Just wanted to say that Old Rivers was written by my grandfather with Johnny Cash in mind. However with John being on the road enough they never hooked up andafter a few months of trying he said yes when asked if he'd like Walter to record it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDYsw4t2rAI


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 08:49 PM

The Harry Fox agency attributes "Old Rivers" to CLIFF CROFFORD. Another source says 1962 was the publication date, which sounds about right. The song was also recorded by Jimmy Dean and Red Sovine.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 08:57 PM

I very recently (last week) performed Ol' Rivers at an open mic. My Dad loved the recitation and asked me to learn it in 1962. I have never forgotten it.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM

This reminds me of "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine" by Tom T. Hall. Phil Harris also did a lot of story songs or spoken word numbers of this sort; i.e., "That's What I Like About the South" and "The Persian Kitty."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: GUEST,Gues RQ in Me
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:23 PM

Anyone know where to get Old Rivers sheet music?


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD RIVERS (from Walter Brennan)
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:37 PM

I have never seen the dots for this but here are the words. I'd play the melody line to Life Gets Teedjus Don't it? Which seems close enough.

Don

How old was I when I first seen old Rivers?
I can't remember when he weren't around
Well, that old fellow did a heap of work
Spent his whole life walking plowed ground.

He had a one-room shack not far from us
And well, we was about as poor as him
He had one old mule he called Midnight
And I'd trailed along after them.

He used to plow them rows straight and deep
And I'd come along near behind
A-bustin' up clods with my own bare feet
Old Rivers was a friend of mine.

That sun'd get high and that mule would work
Till old Rivers'd say, "Whoa!"
He'd wipe his brow, lean back on the reins
And talk about a place he was gonna go.

Chorus:
He'd say, one of these days
I'm gonna climb that mountain
Walk up there amoung the clouds
Where the cotton's high
And the corn's a-growin'
And there ain't no fields to plow.

I got a letter today from the folks back home and
They're all fine and crops is dry
Down at the end my mama said,

"Son, You know old Rivers died."

Just sittin' here now on this new-plowed earth
Trying to find me a little shade
With the sun beating down 'cross the field I see
That mule, old Rivers and me.

Chorus:
Now, one of these days
I'm gonna climb that mountain
Walk up there amoung the clouds
Where the cotton's high
And the corn's a-growin'
And there ain't no fields to plow.

With the sun beating down 'cross the field I see
That mule, old Rivers and me...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:50 PM

I've always loved Walter Brennan, I first saw him in "To Have and Have Not", as the lovable old rummy who used to ask everybody he met "say , was you ever bit by a dead bee ? They can sting just as bad as live ones ..."

For over forty years I had assumed that the backing on "Old Rivers" was by Floyd Cramer, but reading through the YouTube comments, it transpires that it was a young Leon Russell who played piano on the record.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: GUEST,mr stone
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 05:17 PM

I had the lp as of 2005 I bought it when it first came out
I gave it away with all of elvis, and glen campbel, roger miller,
AND ALSO JOHNNY CASH ON SUN RECORDS HIS FIRST LP BOUGHT WHEN I WAS A KID


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: clueless don
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM

Following up on a couple of minor points on this thread:

Someone mentioned Desiderata, and someone mentioned Lorne Greene (sp?). I am pretty sure I remember a recording of Lorne reading a parody of Desiderata. It kept repeating the line "You are a freak of the universe - you have no right to be here."

I also remember the Dickie Goodman novelty records which used snippets from popular songs to tell the story. I own two of them - "Berlin Top Ten" and "Batman and his Grandmother".

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: clueless don
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 02:41 PM

Sorry, the line is apparently "You are a fluke of the universe".

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: GUEST,12vman
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 09:57 AM

"Deteriorata" is a famous parody of San Francisco radio and television personality Les Crane's spoken word recording of Desiderata. It was written by Tony Hendra and recorded by National Lampoon as part of their National Lampoon Radio Dinner album of 1972.

The parody earned a great deal of cultural significance and popularity as a frequent presentation on the Dr. Demento radio show. Les Crane himself admitted to preferring this version over his Grammy-winning recording of the original poem.

Voiceover talent Norman Rose read the "poem" and then-little known Melissa Manchester was a background singer on the chorus section of the song. Christopher Guest wrote the music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Rivers (Walter Brennan recording)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 10:22 AM

That would be Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap, I assume? Brilliant!


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