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Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)

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Steve Latimer 28 Mar 02 - 12:20 PM
Giac 28 Mar 02 - 06:18 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 02 - 08:12 PM
Steve Latimer 28 Mar 02 - 10:50 PM
Steve Latimer 29 Mar 02 - 07:48 PM
irishajo 29 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 02 - 08:30 PM
Giac 29 Mar 02 - 08:58 PM
Giac 29 Mar 02 - 09:04 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 02 - 09:20 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 02 - 09:30 PM
Steve Latimer 29 Mar 02 - 09:41 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 02 - 10:42 PM
Steve Latimer 30 Mar 02 - 12:31 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Mar 02 - 12:44 AM
Giac 30 Mar 02 - 08:59 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM
Steve Latimer 31 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM
Giac 31 Mar 02 - 05:28 PM
Giac 31 Mar 02 - 05:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 02 - 06:12 PM
Steve Latimer 31 Mar 02 - 09:35 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 02 - 11:16 PM
Steve Latimer 31 Mar 02 - 11:24 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 02 - 11:50 PM
Giac 03 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM
Steve Latimer 03 Apr 02 - 11:28 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 03 Apr 02 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,David Buchanan 01 Sep 02 - 03:20 AM
Steve Latimer 01 Sep 02 - 01:14 PM
Bobert 01 Sep 02 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,David Buchanan 02 Sep 02 - 12:51 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 02 - 01:23 AM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 02 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Kkevinfields@aol.com 05 Sep 03 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Ashley O'Quinn at smash_2@hotmail.com 15 Oct 03 - 08:08 PM
GUEST 20 Jul 11 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Guest 28 Oct 11 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Jules 29 Mar 12 - 09:14 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 12 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Leshia Compton 28 Aug 12 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Gary Granade 22 Jun 14 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Robin 13 Aug 14 - 04:21 AM
GUEST 14 Mar 16 - 10:16 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 16 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Cc 14 Mar 16 - 10:35 PM
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Subject: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 12:20 PM

I've been listening to this one a lot lately, there are some words that I can't make out. Can anyone help. If anyone has the chords they would be appreciated too. I tried the DT and couldn't find the lyrics.

Thanks in advance.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 06:18 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 08:12 PM

You might post what you have and some of us may be able to fill in. Ralph Stanley singing "Old Richmond Prison" is on this website: Richmond


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 10:50 PM

Dicho,

I'll do that tomorrow. Thanks.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 07:48 PM

I've figured out most of them, but not being familiar with Virginia geography I'm not sure of the county that he's singing about. Is it Bookenham County?

Also, is the line "while driving for pleasure I had a feud there"? I first thought it was a few beers, but Feud there seems to fit the song better.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: irishajo
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM

There's a Buckingham county in Virginia. I thought he might be singing Dickinson county, which is where the Clinch Mountains are but it sounds more like Buckingham.

Sounds like 'feud' to me too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 08:30 PM

The County is Buckingham. I do believe the words are a few beers. Also mentioned is the Dickerson Mine?? I thought he was singing Dickenson Line at first- and he might be. Buckingham Co. is in the Appomatox Park area. Dickenson Co. is in the far west, in the Clinch Mt. area.
If this is all that you missed, you are far ahead of me!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 08:58 PM

I think he's saying, "While driving one day, just ridin' for pleasure, just ridin' for pleasure, I had a few beers ...

"... to Buckingham County, near the Dickenson line."

They tried me in Buckingham County, for a crime that was done on the Dickenson side."

But what's he saying here:

"..18 years in Old Richmond Prison, 13 years in (?) 49."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:04 PM

I thought he was saying 18 years, then 13 years, but he's repeating 18 years. Still can't get what he's saying after that, though.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:20 PM

My ear has "gone." I just listened to Ralph Stanley explain the song. It is a true story, and the song was written by the prisoner, according to Stanley. The man shot the High Sheriff of Buchanan County (pronounced Buck'-anan). He was from Dickenson County.
The sound is a little clearer on this superb program, which explains Stanley's background and that of the Old Regular Baptist Church. The small Baptist church to which Stanley belonged sang much the same way as the Old Regulars, who preserve an 18th C. style. Stanley
Buchanan Co. is in the little triangle of VA that sticks up between Kentucky and West Virginia. Dickenson Co. is just to the southwest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:30 PM

The archived program for which the clickie is given is in two parts, each about 6350kb. Unless you have a high-powered system with high-speed cable, each part will take a while to load. "Old Richmond Prison" is about half-way through Part 2.
Ralph Stanley is from Dickenson County. He graduated high school in 1945 which puts him in the 70s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:41 PM

I beleive it 18 years seems (feels?) like 49.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 10:42 PM

....and now I'm 49?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 12:31 AM

Dicho,

I don't think so. He opens the song saying he's 23. I think it's seems like 49.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 12:44 AM

I'm going to have to get my wife on it. She is from Georgia, but I think even she will have problems with the Virginia Appalachian pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 08:59 AM

Oh, yes, think it is "seems like 49" and don't know how I missed Buck-anon County, that's how it is pronounced by many folks here in East Tennessee, too.

Thanks -- Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM

He lived in Dickenson Co. for 23 years. Can we assume that he is 23? No. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He served 13 years of the sentence. My wife reads it "...13 years to my 49," which means that he was 49 when he got out. She says that is a common way of stating age and time in the region. (I would guess that he was 13 when he moved to Dickenson Co.)
Dickerson is common in the southeast for Dickenson, and that is how it is pronounced in the song.
Stanley said that the song was made up by the man who served the time (name not mentioned in the interview- still alive when the song was recorded by Stanley?). The rough edges have not been smoothed and Stanley probably left the grammar alone (unlike Allison Krause who polishes so much that the feeling sometimes is lost).
I have put the song on my desktop until I can get it all. I had a little trouble understanding that the jury came in on "Monday." There is a lowkey complaint in the song- He was tried in Buchanan Co. for a crime done in Dickenson Co. The sheriff was outside of his territory. We never learn why the sheriff was shot.
It would be interesting to find out the date of the crime and look for anewspaper reports. I also wonder if another singer has taken up the song yet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM

Dicho,

That 13 years to my 49 makes sense. I'll give it another listen today.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 05:28 PM

Here's a site about Dickenson County, Virginia, wood used to make Gibson Guitars. Way down in the article, it says one of the men discussed had cousins, "The Barton Brothers," also from Dickenson County, who wrote Old Richmond Prison, which later was recorded by Ralph Stanley. Maybe we're closin' in on it. ~;o)

clicky

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 05:47 PM

The home page of this site, Dickenson County's, will take you to some good stuff, especially about Ralph Stanley, who was born in that county in the 1920s. If you follow the Ralph Stanley link, it has a picture of Stanley and Dylan.

Dickenson County


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 06:12 PM

Found some Barton Brothers who have recorded bluegrass for the Starr Label. More than one recording company has had that name. Couldn't find more, but didn't look long. We need to talk to someone from that neck of the woods.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD RICHMOND PRISON (Barton/Barton)
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 09:35 PM

Some neat links there folks, thanks.

I just listened again, paused a few times. Here is what I believe it to be. I considered all of the input above, but I think this is right.

OLD RICHMOND PRISON
Emmet Barton Jr./James Roy Barton (Jaclyn Music-BMI)

Deep in the hills way down in Virginia
Is where I've lived for twenty-three years.
While driving one day, just riding for pleasure,
Just riding for pleasure, I had a few beers.

I shot the sheriff of Buchanan County.
They threw me in jail without any bail.
They tried me in Buchanan County
For a crime that was done on the Dickenson side.

The jury came in with a verdict on Monday.
They said I was guilty and had to do time,
Eighteen years in old Richmond prison.
Eighteen years seems like forty-nine.

My thoughts go back to my home in the mountain,
To Buchanan county near the Dickenson line,
To Buchanan county near the Dickenson line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:16 PM

You are probably right. That "seems" still sounds like "to my forty-nine," but it makes more sense the way you have it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:24 PM

Dicho,

I listened to that part a few times trying to hear "to my 49". I'm pretty sure it's seems like. However, that's not to say that we're both listening to the same version. The one I have is from his "Man Of Constant Sorrow" CD which was released after O Brother. This version was originally released on his Lonesome and Blue CD. But it appears that Ralph has been doing this one for a long time, perhaps an earlier version said "to my 49".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:50 PM

I think mine is from Rebel 1990 copyright. I saved to desktop but have forgotton the website I got it from. There is one in the long CBC program (see post Mar. 29) that comes from "Man of Constant Sorrow."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Giac
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM

As a long shot, I sent an email to the Dickenson County website address and received the following response:

"Hiya Mary

"Yes, Richmond Prison is a song based on a real event. The Barton Brothers originally recorded it. It is about the life of one of the Barton Brothers, who did shoot the Sheriff of Buchanan County. He has served his time and is out of jail now, but he wrote the song while he was in prison. He still lives here.

"Please visit our chat site. We stream live music there most every night. To find out more on how to join us check out our website at

Dickenson County

Hope to see you soon, Zoe"

In response to my next email, asking permission to post the info to Mudcat, Zoe responded:

"I dont think they would mind you putting the info on (Mudcat) ... after all it is all public knowledge around here. I live two ridges over from Ralph Stanley in Dickenson County. Ralph is my husband's cousin.

Zoe"


I haven't visited the chat site yet, but sounds promising, and maybe more info will be forthcoming.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 11:28 AM

Mary,

Thank you for that follow up. Very interesting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 12:10 PM

Dick Greenhaus (Camsco) reports that the Barton Brothers have the track "Old Richmond Prison" on "Classic Bluegrass," available from countrymusiconly.com. They made 4 lps between 1973-1976, none of which has appeared on cd. One was gospel, the others bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: GUEST,David Buchanan
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 03:20 AM

Howdy, I live in Scott Co. Va. which is right down the road from Dickenson Co. Pretty cool having my last name used in a song :-)

Anyway If you need any help so far as pronunciation and things of that nature just ask and I'll try to help.

BTW James Alan Shelton's uncle married my aunt. I dont know if that makes us anything but its still pretty cool.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 01:14 PM

Hi David, welcome to Mudcat.

I'm just curious, do you pronounce your last name the way it's pronounced in the song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 05:46 PM

Well, the Old Richmond Prison was the State Penitentiary in the state capital, Richmond. It was built in the late 1800's and was where most violent criminals did their time. Locally known as Spring Street because the main doors opened on to Spring Street, it housed Virginia's electric chair and up until it was torn down in the late 1980's all of Virginia's executions were carried out there. The land is now part of Richmond's War Memorial.

Richmond is a better place without it because it was it was a horrid looking structure located within a few blocks of the cities downtown. Good riddance...

And yes, it has not been that long that Virginia was still blowing folks up that electric chair.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: GUEST,David Buchanan
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 12:51 AM

Steve, Yes I pronounce my name as Ralph does in the song. In this area almost everyone says it that way as well. Every time I've been outside this region it seems as though people put more emphasis on the U (BU-chanan) instead of the local standard of emphasizing the "buck" portion (Buck-anan). I've met Ralph quite a few times (going to one of hes concerts Thursday btw) and he pronounced it the same, so I guess you can say he wasn't pronouncing it in that fashion just for the song. Although I'm pretty sure thats the way the Barton Bros. intended it to be pronounced.

Ralph is a great guy. The first time I ever met him was at a concert in Norton Va. There was an elderly woman there who was really interested in a box set of his CDs. She asked Ralph the price and after he replyed she put the CDs down and started to walk away (there was a little more dialouge preceding this but to effect she really didnt have the money to buy them) so Ralph just gave them to her!! It was awesome and I will never forget that.

Bobert, Thanks for giving Old Richmond Prison a definate location for me. I've visited the War Memorial but never knew of its past.

David


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 01:23 AM

Buck-anan has a long, distinguished history in the "old country" as well. Pronouncing it like "yew" seems to have come in from the south of England. Buchan (Buck-an) is another old name. Buck-anan as the pronunciation is still fairly widespread in the south among the older people, but it is giving ground rapidly.
I keep Ralph Stanley's "Old Richmond Prison" handy on my desktop.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 01:51 AM

Hm, natives here proudly call our part of PA "Pennsyltucky." Local people pronounce things quite particularly here, especially about names, and often very unlike my Chicago-trained ears expect.

Nina is not Neenah, it's Nye-nah. Covington is not Cuh-vington, it's Cah-vington. But Lycoming County is not LYE-cumming, it's Ly-COE-ming. Bodine is not Buh-deen, but usually Boe-DYNE and sometimes BOE-dyne. The Youmans family are sometimes YOE-muns, and sometimes YEW-mans. Us, we're Hin-t'ns to farm folk and Hinn-tun to town folk.

~Miz Hint'n (or if you prefer, Mrs. Hinton)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: GUEST,Kkevinfields@aol.com
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:16 AM

I have about 100 releases of Dr. Ralph Stanley and / or The Stanley Brothers and I can translate almost anything done by them. My Uncle once played lead guitar for Ralph.So as to reply to "Old Richmond Prison" I translated that they were driving for pleasure and had a few beers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: GUEST,Ashley O'Quinn at smash_2@hotmail.com
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 08:08 PM

I live about 2 miles from where this event happened. The sheriff that is mentioned in the song is the great-grandfather of one of my classmates. The song is true and yes it is near the Dickenson County line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison, Ralph Stanley
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:15 PM

the lyrics are buchanan county (we pronounce it buckanan) and it's few beers not fued -)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 28 Oct 11 - 02:34 AM

The sheriff was Eulis Breeding -- my great, great uncle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Jules
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 09:14 AM

I am curious to know who posted last because the sheriff was Eulis Breeding which is also MY great, great uncle!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 12 - 06:11 AM

It is really Buchanan County, Dickenson County. I know the place that it took place. The lyrics are on internet, but they have Buckingham county, not Buchanan County. No where on the map can you find Dickenson County touching Buckingham.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Leshia Compton
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:12 PM

I am Eulis Breeding's granddaughter. The song is written about him as he is a fallen officer of Buchanan County, VA. On Sept.9th it will mark 48 years since his last date of service. When papa was shot and they informed his mother-in-law she had a severe heart and died. Both funeral services were held in my grandmother's house in Davenport, VA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Gary Granade
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 07:34 AM

Buchanan County has a web page devoted to fallen officers. The perp's name was Dewey Barton and he shot officer Breeding from inside his home when Breeding and his partner, Donald Shaw, came to serve Barton with a warrant. Officer Shaw went on to serve many years as the police chief in Lebanon. There were some comments about the Barton brothers making a recording in the 70s. That is doubtful since an 18 year sentence would have him in jail until 1982. I guess the part about driving for pleasure and having a few beers was poetic license. Concerning the lyrics, I have listened closely to the way Sammy Adkins and Ralph sing it in the late 80s. I am sure that it is: "18 years and I'm 49". If Dewey Barton was born in 1915 that would confirm it, but I can't find that info.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Robin
Date: 13 Aug 14 - 04:21 AM

This is strange. Every account I have seen has Dewey Barton serving 18 years in prison, but this website mentions a Barton Brothers recording, with Dewey Barton, from 1973, with the song Richmond Prison on it: http://www.discogs.com/Barton-BrothersAnd-The-Big-A-Mountain-Boys-Virginia-Bluegrass/release/2669792


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 10:16 PM

Buchanan county near Dickenson line


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 10:19 PM

18 years feels like 49


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Richmond Prison (Ralph Stanley)
From: GUEST,Cc
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 10:35 PM

STANLEY BROTHERS ? OLD RICHMOND PRISON LYRICS
1 meaning
Deep in the hills, way down in Virginia,
Was where I lived for 23 years.
While driving one day, just ridin' for pleasure,
Just ridin' for pleasure, I'd had a few beers.
I shot the sheriff of Buchanan county,
They threw me in jail Without any bail.
They tried me, in Buchanan county,
For a crime that was done on the Dickenson side,

The jury came in, with a verdict on Monday,
They said I was guilty and had to do time,
Eighteen years, in Old Richmond Prison,
Eighteen years, seems like 49.

My thoughts go back, to my home in the mountains,
To Buchanan County, near the Dickenson line,
To Buchanan County, near the Dickenson line


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