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Jimmie Driftwood Story


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Dale Rose 13 Jul 98 - 02:57 AM
Mountain Dog 14 Jul 98 - 01:53 PM
harpgirl 14 Jul 98 - 07:45 PM
Mountain Dog 15 Jul 98 - 01:32 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 00 - 05:09 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 00 - 05:18 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 00 - 05:21 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Jul 00 - 08:19 PM
Dale Rose 06 Jul 00 - 08:40 PM
Sourdough 07 Jul 00 - 04:37 AM
Kim C 07 Jul 00 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Arkie 07 Jul 00 - 10:38 AM
Willie-O 07 Jul 00 - 10:46 AM
SINSULL 07 Jul 00 - 08:47 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 08 Aug 00 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 08 Aug 00 - 02:49 PM
Kim C 08 Aug 00 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 08 Aug 00 - 03:03 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 03 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Dale 26 May 03 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,oldtimemusic1 26 May 03 - 05:48 PM
dick greenhaus 26 May 03 - 11:09 PM
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Subject: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Dale Rose
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 02:57 AM

This story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette will only be on line today, though you can still read it in the Acrobat PDF files later.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 01:53 PM


Thanks for sharing the news about Jimmy Driftwood, sad though it was. I'd listened to him for years, and really appreciated the fine tribute and bio the Democrat Gazette did.

I sing two of his tunes with some regularity, "Down in the Arkansas" and "The Very Unfortunate Man". These never fail to delight my niece and nephews, who like to join in on the choruses.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 07:45 PM

Mountain dog and Dale, I too, was sad to hear of Jimmy's death. As a member in good standing of the Rackensack Society, I enjoyed dropping by to play and sing at the barn and was always welcomed even though I was an outsider...when I lived in Arkansas. I know Cleda will miss him and I hope she is okay.

I also enjoyed singing "Run Johnny Run" as well as "Down in the Arkansas and recall such tunes as "The Mixed Up Family", "What is the color of the the Soul of Man" "Straighten out my Laig"and "My Get up and Go just got Up and Went." He gave us all so much...harpgirl

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 01:32 PM

Dear Harpgirl,

Thanks for reminding me of "Run, Johnny, Run" ('the Federals'll get you...'). I'd heard it done by other Ozark songsters, but never realized it was one of Jimmy's tunes.

"My Get Up and Go..." is another old favorite, one I first heard done by Pete Seeger.

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Subject: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 05:09 PM

I scanned this to e-mail to Gene, and then I decided many more people might be interested.
-Joe Offer-
by Rik Palieri, Sing Out! Magazine, Vol 41, #4 (Feb-April, 1997)

Jimmy Driftwood "The Balladeer of the Ozarks," folklorist, historian, teacher, performer, songwriter and three-time Grammy winner: You'd be hard-pressed to find a country music aficionado who's never heard his "Battle Of New Orleans" or "Tennessee Stud." At 89, Jimmy is still singing at the Jimmy Driftwood Barn every Sunday night, carrying on his proud Ozark tradition.
James "Driftwood" Morris was born in a saddlebag log cabin in the Ozark Mountains on June 20, 1907. His family had moved from Tennessee to Mountain View, Arkansas, after the Civil War. There was always music around.
Both his father, Neil, and grandfather, Elijah, played the guitar, his grandmother sang old ballads, and neighbors played fiddle and banjo at country dances. It was no surprise that Jimmy took an interest in music, too. As a young boy, he taught himself to play the guitar, fiddle and banjo. He also learned to read and write music, and sing shape-note songs with his father. Each day he would merrily hike to and from his one-room schoolhouse, a 14mile round trip, singing and making up songs along the way.
Although music was his first love, Jimmy realized early on it was not going to put bread on the table. He began thinking of how to combine his interest in music with his love of learning. At age 16, immediately upon graduating from high school, Jimmy started teaching in a one-room country schoolhouse. Between terms, he earned college credit at John Brown University, Arkansas College and The Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway, where he ultimately received a bachelor's degree in education.
In 1926, Jimmy married one of his former students, Cleda Azalea Johnson, a pretty lady of Cherokee ancestry. Cleda shared Jimmy's interest in music and loved working with children. She, too, became a schoolteacher and together they continued teaching and collecting old songs and ballads while farming and raising four sons.
Jimmy wrote songs based on American history, and used these songs to teach his students. His reputation as "The Singing Ozark School Teacher" grew throughout Arkansas, and he soon became a favorite at folk festivals, as well as school and university lectures, where he would demonstrate his unique teaching method.
As the news of Jimmy's singing and songwriting spread, friends like Hugh Ashley and folklorist Dr. John Quincy Wolf urged him to take his songs to Nashville. His songs had already reached the ears of some of the well-known Grand Ole Opry stars, and they were eager to hear more.

In 1958, at age 51, Jimmy packed up his rusty truck with his old guitar and more than 100 original songs. He and Cleda crossed the Tennessee state line and met with Nashville song publisher Don Warden, who later introduced Jimmy to Chet Atkins of RCA Records. Jimmy eventually signed with RCA and recorded "Newly Discovered Early American Folk Songs." Initially, the recording got little airplay, but then fate stepped in. Country singer Johnny Horton was on his way to the Louisiana Hayride show and at 2 AM heard Jimmy singing "The Battle Of New Orleans" on WSM. Horton fell in love with the song and recorded it for Columbia. That version, released April 26, 1959, became a million seller. It flew up the charts and remained there for 21 weeks — six of which it reigned as Number 1.
Soon other country artists such as Eddy Arnold, Hankshaw Hawking and Homer and Jethro followed Horton's lead by recording Jimmy's songs. By September, no fewer than six of Jimmy Driftwood's songs were on the Top 40. He won three Grammys that year, including "Top Country and Western Recording" and "Song of the Year."
With all that attention being paid to his songs, offers came pouring in from austere (albeit disparate) venues like the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. He performed at colleges,
folk festivals, and even for President Kennedy, after which he was asked to tour the world for the United States information Agency as "The First Goodwill Ambassador of Arkansas." He later toured throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Jimmy realized that, while he was traveling around the world to spread Ozark music, it was almost dying out back home. So he began, with Cleda, a campaign to revitalize the old music. They "beat the bushes" for all the old musicians they could find, and formed a club for the preservation of Ozark heritage called "The Rackensack Society." The Rackensackers first gathered in homes, storefronts and the Mountain View Stone County Courthouse. As the numbers of Rackensackers grew, Jimmy thought about getting a better place to showcase the music. In 1963, town merchants asked Jimmy to help run a local craft show, and Jimmy came up with the idea of expanding the craft fair into a folk festival. He called on local performers for the entertainment, and was soon promoting the show at his college lectures, inviting everyone to come to Mountain View. That spring, more than 20,000 people took him up on the offer and came to the first Arkansas Folk Festival.
With the success of the folk festival, Jimmy's dream of getting a proper building for his Ozark folk music and culture came into focus. Jimmy became so involved with the creation of an Ozark Heritage Center that he realized he would have to stop touring to get the job done right. He retired from touring with the Grand Ole Opry, and then rolled up his sleeves and went to work.
With some Rackensackers in tow, Jimmy flew to Washington to serenade Congress. Their effort paid off— to the tune of $2.1 million for the proposed center, plus another $1.9 million for town water and sewage improvements Jimmy was soon appointed the unpaid musical director for the center. The small town of Mountain View, with its courthouse square, post office, school and one filling station, was now the home of The Ozark Heritage Center, "The Folk Capital Of The World" - a huge complex containing a large amphitheater and a little village of log cabins, featuring crafts, regional folk arts, gift shops and a restaurant.
In 1979, not far from the Heritage Center, Jimmy and Cleda built a cozier venue to showcase the Rackensack Society. Here in "The Jimmy Driftwood Barn," Jimmy and his friends welcome everyone to free concerts of down-home music. The shows feature old folk songs in a setting so intimate, you can sit in the far corner of the room and still see the whites of the singers' eyes.
People come from to Mountain View from all over the country to retire and spend the rest of their lives making music. The downtown area has become famous for its parking-lot pickers on the courthouse square - the only courthouse in the nation with a permanent dance stage on the front lawn! Almost any time of the day or night, as long as the weather is good, you can see a group of singers and pickers sitting around the old wood stove playing away.
Each spring, Mountain View continues the tradition of the Arkansas Folk Festival, and each autumn the town hosts the world-famous Bean Festival and Outhouse Race. During these festivals the town swells from its 2,500 inhabitants to more than 100,000, with pickers filling every inch of the courthouse square.

Jimmy and Cleda still live and farm in Timbo, just eight miles from Mountain View, in a little stone cabin next to the schoolyard. When I knocked on the front door, I heard Jimmy's friendly voice calling "The door's open, come on in!" We sat down around the kitchen table and Jimmy put his grandfather's old guitar in my hands while Cleda poured the coffee. We sang a few songs together, and then I asked him how he got his name.

Jimmy [calling to Cleda]: You wanna tell him?

Cleda: Oh, his grandmother gave it to him when he was just a baby. On the day he was born, his grandfather tried to play a little joke and gave Jimmy's grandmother a stick of driftwood wrapped in a blanket. When his grandmother peeked inside of the baby blanket to look at her grandson for the very first time, all she found was a piece of driftwood!
After that they called him "Little Driftwood!"

Jimmy: Well, the thing of it, too… when I was a little boy, I used to do chores making the fire under the kettle and gatherin' wood for the stove, and I just loved to come up the hill to pick up driftwood.

Q: did you ever dream of making music for a living?

Jimmy: I'll tell you, you grow up in a rural place and be as busy as everyone was when I was young, you don't give any big thought to that's what you're gonna do.

Q: Can you tell me a little about your old guitar? Was it your father's or grandfather's?

Jimmy: When my grandfather was just a boy, his people left Tennessee from around Nashville and settled up close to the Buffalo River near Mountain Home. Now when my grandfather made that old guitar, he was just a boy, about 12 or 14 years old. But he wouldn't of done that if he didn't live in Mountain Home. Over in Mountain Home they use to get together and play music most every night, so he decided he'd make him a guitar. He found the wood that he was going to use and he went to work making that guitar. But when he did, he used something of Grandma's, and she got so mad about it.

Cleda: He cut up her bed! He used the headboard to make the body, found a fence post for the neck, and used an old ox yoke for the sides.

Jimmy: Yeah, that's what he made the guitar out of. She was mad as she could be. Then, when his grandfather came home and saw the big hole in the headboard of the bed and that guitar, he almost beat the young boy to death.

Q: Were guitars hard to come by back then?
Jimmy: It was much easier to bring a fiddle from the Appalachians than it was a guitar, 'cause people came in a wagon and they were bringing all the stuff they could pile on that wagon. And the guitar is a little bigger than a fiddle. You could put three fiddles on a wagon as easy as one guitar.

Q: One of the things that I noticed about your right-hand guitar style is that you play with a thumb lead while strumming down with your middle fingers. Do you ever use a pick, too?

Jimmy: I've used a pick some, but I can do better without the pick.

Q: So, you like to get the melody with your thumb?

Jimmy: Some of them, I do [picking up his guitar and starting to play "Old Joe Clark"]. See, I use my thumb for the break.

Q: One of the most interesting instruments that I read that you play is called a "leafola."

Jimmy: It's just a leaf off a tree.

Q: My teacher over in Poland also played the leaf. He would take the leaf and put it under his lip and would hold his nose. And he would get all kinds of different sounds out of it. Is that how you do it?

Jimmy [laughing] Well, I don't hold the nose! I had an uncle who played the leaf, and I think he got to playing from calling turkeys. He would be hunting and make a call, just as a turkey would, but on a leaf! So I got to doing that. Then I found that you could pretty easy play the scales [demonstrating the technique].

Q: How did you learn to play the mouth bow?

Jimmy: I just had to play it! It's not anything to learn. Have you tried it? You play, don't you?

Q: Yeah, you taught me.

Jimmy [laughing] Well, I've forgot about that.

Q: Was that the first instrument you taught yourself?

Jimmy: I don't know. I was always trying to play the fiddle and always trying to play the guitar a little bit, and a bit on the mandolin.

Q: Were there a lot of old-time musicians living right here in this area when you were growing up?

Jimmy: The population hadn't come into this part of the country like it has now. If I wanted to play music with John Taylor, I'd take my guitar and I'd go six miles over to his house. But that was nothing. After all, I walked seven miles to school.

Q: How much of an effect did hearing your family and your neighbors singing have on you as a boy?

Jimmy: I didn't thing of ever doing anything more than what they did. I didn't think of it then, but when I got older, why then I started writing poems. I'd just get them in my head and write them down.

Q: School became an integral part of your life. When did you decide to become a schoolteacher?

Jimmy: I was a great big boy before I decided that I wanted to go to school. A person had to only go up to the eighth grade back then, but 1 wasn't satisfied and I wanted to go some more. So that's what I did. I trotted seven miles down to Mountain View every day and back home that night, but I think it was good for me. If I hadn't of done that all my life, I might not have reached 90.

Q: You found a way of using your music in the classroom.

Cleda: Jimmy wrote his songs for his classes, and they liked that. They paid more attention to a song than a lecture.

Q: One of those songs really changed your life. Can you give me a brief history of the story of "The Battle Of New Orleans"?

Jimmy: Well, I wrote many, many, many songs before I wrote that one. I had written about 100 songs at that time!

Cleda: Don Warden had heard about Jimmy's songs and wanted him to come over there so he could hear him. Jimmy sang him lots of songs that day and just when he was finishing up and Don was reaching for the doorknob about to leave, Jimmy started singing, "The Battle Of New Orleans."

Jimmy: It was just a history lesson that was close to an old fiddle tune [singing]:
Well, in Eighteen and Fourteen we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississipp'.
And we took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we met the bloody British near the town of New Orleans.
Well, Don just stopped in his tracks and said, "That could be a big one! Let's hear the whole song."

Cleda: Later, Don took Jimmy to meet Chet Atkins, who was the A&R man for RCA
Records, and Chet liked him!

Q: Even though Don and Chet liked the song, you left without a contract. Did you think that something was going to happen with that song?

Jimmy: Well things were already happening, with me going to Nashville.

Q: There's a story about Don Warden knocking on your door one Sunday morning, holding a recording contract, only to find Jimmy sitting in a bathtub (in) the middle of the kitchen taking a bath.

Jimmy [laughing]: That happened!

Q: Don handed Jimmy the contract while Jimmy was still in the tub. And with soap dripping down his arm, he signed a contract with RCA.

Jimmy: When people come, they don't have to knock to come in. They don't have keep twisting that knob, standing out there for an hour. They can just open it up come on in!

Q: You once told me a funny anecdote about performing "The Battle Of New Orleans."

Cleda: It was in England, when you sang at the Western Club. Every time he sang, "they fired their guns," they took their guns out and shot them in the air!

Jimmy: When I was done with the song, the whole room was filled with gun smoke!

Q: Another of your well-known songs is "Tennessee Stud." Do you have any stories about that song?

Jimmy: Now that's the horse my grandfather had first brought over here, that stallion. Nobody ever said stallion back then, just stud! They brought it from Tennessee. I would hear him tell me about his stallion, and all that sort of thing. I was always looking for something to write a song about. No telling how many songs I wrote [starting to sing]:
Along about Eighteen Twenty-Five,
I left Tennessee very much alive,
Never would have got through the Arkansas mud,
If I hadn't been a-ridin' on the Tennessee stud.
Well it got muddy in those days. Not like it is now. We've got better roads now. But when it rained a lot, that mud was hard to get through.

Q: How did the idea of an Arkansas Folk Festival come about?

Jimmy: We just decided we would start playing and started attracting a few tourists. Then we got a bunch of the people who played with us, 20 or 30, I don't remember. Do you remember, Cleda?

Cleda: When we first started The Rackensack we had six people, one of them a baby in diapers. Then it kept growing and growing

Q: What did the name "Rackensack" stand for?

Cleda: It's an Indian name for the Arkansas River.

Jimmy [laughing]: I think when the early settlers came to this
country, all they had was a rack [pointing to his back] and a sack!

Q: When you were traveling around promoting this festival, you told thousands of people at the Newport Folk Festival to come on down to Mountain View, and if you don't have a place to stay, you can sleep in our barn. What did you think when many of them showed up with guitar in hand and sleeping bags on their backs?

Cleda: We had the barn full. We had the fields full. We had people sleeping in our house with sleeping bags all over our floor.

Jimmy: I don't think we thought about ourselves much. We thought how we liked those people to come.

Cleda: See, he was going to the university, and he would tell about this festival, and they came.

Q: After a while you had the idea of creating a bigger area in the Ozarks and the idea of the Folk Center was born.

Jimmy: Well, it happened this way: I was thinking that we might get something big, and I talked to Wilber Mills from the House Ways and Means Committee about it, and Bill Fulbright. Bill was in the Senate, and they said, "Come over and let's talk about it." Then they said, "We're going to try to help you. Well, you know sooner or later you're going to need money. And you know that you're not gonna get it from the local people, because they don't have it." We played all up and down the streets of Mountain View, and lots of times we just played at the courthouse. Finally, they did let us have one of the rooms upstairs. I'm telling you, it got to where it was just chock-full, and I just got worried. Then I really decided we'd better have a building. I contacted Bill and Wilbur again and (a whole plane load of Rackensackers) went to Washington, D.C., and finally got some money and built us a building!
Q: I think a lot of people all over the world really love your music. I hope with your new boxed set of CDs, Jimmy Driftwood's Americana on the Bear Family label, that we'll be getting a chance to hear more of it. Do you have any new plans of recording?

Jimmy: Well, there's a musician fellow way up north, up in Minnesota, Sherwin Linton.

Cleda: He's doing an album honoring Jimmy. He is recording it with Dave Campbell, right here in Timbo. He's singing songs like "Long Chain," and he's got Jimmy's talk on the album. It's gonna be called "Driftwood on The River."

Q: There's a lot of debate today about what folk music is. I was wondering what your personal definition is.

Jimmy: If you go down to the courthouse square over in Mountain View tonight and listen, I think you'll probably know the answer: People playing music who just love to play it!

Q: Speaking of playing, why don't we sing another old song together? [Rik starts playing the banjo]
Will the circle be unbroken
[Jimmy and Cleda join in]
By and by, Lord, by and by.
There's a better world a waiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky!
Singer, songwriter, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist Rik Palieri hails from Vermont. His most recent recording. "The Music In Me," is on Straight Arrow (3 Kent St., Montpelier, VT 05602). Special thanks to Cleda Driftwood, who contributed mountains of background information and photos to this article, and to Wendy Cohen for her guidance.

Vol.41 #4 Sing Out!

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 05:18 PM

Jimmy Driftwood died July 12, 1998. Here is the Associated Press report of his death.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Folk singer-songwriter Jimmy Driftwood, whose penning of the "Battle of New Orleans" vaulted him to fame 40 years ago, died Sunday. He was 91.

Driftwood had a stroke several weeks ago and had been recuperating at a hospital when he suffered a heart attack that proved fatal.

Born James Corbett Morris, he changed his name to Jimmy Driftwood and went on to write some 6,000 folk songs, 300 of which were published or recorded.

He was a schoolteacher before he went on to his music career, and said he wrote the "Battle of New Orleans" as part of a history lesson for his students. Driftwood recorded the song in 1957, but a 1960 version by the late Johnny Horton made the tune a huge hit.

He won Grammy awards for "The Battle of New Orleans," "Wilderness Road," "Songs of Billy Yank and Johnny Reb" and "Tennessee Stud," which was a big hit for Eddy Arnold.

Driftwood performed with the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville, Tenn., and on stages across the United States and Europe, but spent most of his life at the family farm in Timbo, west of Mountain View in north Arkansas' Ozark Mountains.

He came up with the idea for the Ozark Folk Center at Mountain View and helped establish the annual Ozark Folk Festival.

Driftwood also helped save the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas from damming in the 1950s and 1960s. The river remains free-flowing and is now the Buffalo National River.

Click here for a Web page set up as a memorial to Jimmy Driftwood.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 05:21 PM

The Bear Family, a German Record Company, has compiled a 4-CD Boxed set of Jimmy Driftwood.Nice, thorough job.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 08:19 PM

That Bear Family et (it's three CDs) is available from CAMSCO Music for $57. You could save by buying it from CDNow, for $56.99. doesn't carry it.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Dale Rose
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 08:40 PM

WOW! What a savings! Think I'll whip off that order to CDNow rightNOW! :-)

Joe enquired via Email about the article I mentioned in the first post ~~ it is long gone from the internet~~I will keep looking to see if it is tucked away on my hard drive somewhere. I did find This one from the Conway Log Cabin Democrat with a really nice picture of Jimmy with his home made guitar mentioned above. When you get there, just click on his picture, and the big version will come up.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Sourdough
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 04:37 AM

I certainly don't mean to take anything away from Jimmy Driftwood but "Run, Johnny, Run" ('the Federals'll get you...') sounds a lot like "Run, Nigger Run, The Paterol'll Get You", a Civil War Era style song. The words have been cleaned up making it easier to sing which is good because it is a good melody with a fine rythym.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Kim C
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 09:54 AM

Several songs that are attributed to Jimmie Driftwood are traditional songs which he re-arranged, sometimes re-wrote, and then claimed authorship on. As far as I know this is perfectly legal, although sometimes misleading when people are doing research. We already know that he didn't compose the melody for The Battle of New Orleans.

(I'm not Jimmie-bashing, here, so don't anybody get me wrong.)

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 10:38 AM

The Ozark Heritage Center mentioned in the Sing Out article is actually the Ozark Folk Center and it is located in Mountain View not Mountain Home. Both towns were mentioned in the article. Folks from "off", which could actually mean Little Rock as well as "out of staters" frequently confuse the two towns which are about 50 miles apart. There were a few other discrepencies in the article which I may or may not get around to taking pot shots at, at another time. Jimmy was a product of a culture in which people often amused themselves and toyed with "the people from off" as they say here, by embellishing the truth. They unashamedly arranged facts to suit themselves and enrich a story. Jimmy was a master. He never let facts get in the way of a good story.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 10:46 AM

A tip of the hat to a great American!

I always liked "Damn Yankee Lad".


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 08:47 PM


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:43 PM

In the interview Morris claims that the tune to the "Battle of N.O." was "close to an old fiddle tune". Does anyone know if this is so, and if so, does anyone know the identity of the "old fiddle tune" ?


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:49 PM

I've found an answer (whether true or not, I don't know) to my own question. According to this the old tune is called The 8th of January.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: Kim C
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:01 PM

Yes, it's the 8th of January, also known as Jackson's Victory, and supposedly was composed to commemmorate Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans which was on -- guess what? -- January 8, 1815. January 8 was recognized as Jackson Day for many years..... I have seen newspaper accounts from Nashville in the 1850s which mentioned Jackson Day celebrations.

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:03 PM

Thank's KimC!

I've found further information, and MP3, RealAudio, and .wav files here, which agrees with what KimC has stated.


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Subject: Jimmie Driftwood recordings
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 03 - 04:03 PM

I'm looking for a definitive CD or two of recordings by Jimmie Driftwood. The only thing I could find is the Americana 3-disc set from Bear Family. It's $62 at Amazon, and that's a lot more than I like to pay for three CD's. Maybe I'd be better off getting it instead of scrounging around and coming up with three ten-cut CD's that have a lot of duplications. Here is the list of tracks on the CD collection.
Can anybody suggest something cheaper?
-Joe Offer-

Disc: 1
1. The Battle Of New Orleans
2. Unfortunate Man
3. Fair Rosamond's Bower
4. Soldier's Joy
5. Country Boy
6. I'm Too Young To Marry
7. Pretty Mary
8. Sailor Man
9. Zelma Lee
10. Rattlesnake Song
11. Old Joe Clark
12. Tennessee Stud
13. Razorback Steak
14. First Covered Wagon
15. The Maid Of Argenta
16. Bunker Hill
17. Song Of The Cowboys
18. Peter Francisco
19. Four Little Girls In Boston
20. Slack Your Rope
21. Run Johnny Run
22. Arkansas Traveler
23. Damyankee Lad
24. Chalamette
25. The Battle Of New Orleans

Disc: 2
1. The Land Where the Blue Grass Grows
2. The Widders Of Bowling Green
3. Get Along Boys
4. Sweet Betsy From Pike
5. Shoot The Buffalo
6. Song Of The Pioneer
7. I'm Leavin' On The Wagon Train
8. Jordan Am A Hard Road To Travel
9. The Marshall Of Silver City
10. The Wilderness Road
11. The Pony Express
12. Mooshatanio
13. The Shanty In The Holler
14. Big River Man
15. Big John Davy
16. On Top Of Pikes Peak
17. Fidi Diddle Um A-Dazey
18. The Song Of Creation
19. The Battle Of San Juan Hill
20. Banjer Pickin' Man
21. Tucumcari
22. St. Brendon's Isle
23. He Had A Long Chain On
24. Big Hoss
25. Sal's Got A Sugarlip
26. Mooshatanio
27. Ox Driving Song
28. General Custer
29. What Was Your Name In The States
30. Billy The Kid
31. Jesse James

Disc: 3
1. Billy Yank And Johnny Reb
2. Won't You Come Along And Go
3. Rock Of Chickamauga
4. How Do You Like The Army
5. Git Along Little Yearlings
6. Oh Florie
7. I'm A Pore Rebel Soldier
8. My Black Bird Has Gone
9. Goodbye Reb, You'All Come
10. On Top Of Shiloh's Hill
11. When I Swim The Golden River
12. The Giant Of The Thunderhead
13. Shanghied
14. Santy Anny-O
15. Row Bullies Row
16. The Land Of The Amazon
17. What Could I Do?
18. Driftwood At Sea
19. In A Cotton Shirt And A Pair Of Dungarees
20. Davy Jones (Song Of A Dead Soldier)
21. Sailor, Sailor, Marry Me
22. The Diver Boy
23. The Ship That Never Returned
24. Sailing Away On The Ocean
25. John Paul Jones
26. The Bear Flew Over The Ocean

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:20 PM

I THINK that is the best you are going to do, Joe, but I can dig you up quite a number of fairly inexpensive cassettes locally. I don't think there are any other CDs.

I just got home from work a few minutes ago, and won't be going back until sometime next week because of travel this weekend ~~ so it will be a while before I can get back to it. Maybe Arkie will stop in and give you the rundown on what is available.

I don't know if you have ever bought anything from Bear Family, but believe me when I say they do things RIGHT. You'll get the extremely well mastered CDs, plus a booklet which will include the discography, life story, etc. Check with Dick ~~ as posted above, he probably has it a bit lower than that.

To be honest, I don't have it myself, but I have several LPs of his. I have a LOT of Bear Family recordings, and have never felt cheated by the extra bucks ~~ you more than get it back with the extra value added.

By the way, that link to the Conway Log Cabin Democrat article that I posted on July 6, 2000 still works.

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,oldtimemusic1
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:48 PM

There is a music tribute to Jimmy Driftwood held every year in Mountain View, AR, at The Ozark Folk Center AND at the Jimmy Driftwood Barn. This year it is being held the 4th of July weekend. There will be a program at the Jimmy Driftwood Barn on July 4. The Ozark Folk Center usually has a matinee show on Saturday afternoon and also a show on Saturday night. This would be on July 5. Make your plans to come that weekend. There'll be "jammin'" on the square also playing many of Jimmy's songs. Every one has a good time honoring a great man.

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 May 03 - 11:09 PM

It's one of those items whose price has dropped (at least from CAMSCO)-I sell it for $50. Call me at 800/548-FOLK (3655)

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 26 May 03 - 11:30 PM

I will look around tomorrow and see what cassettes of Jimmy Driftwood are available.   There were tapes at the Folk Center and several other places in Mountain View at one time. These tapes were commissioned by a nephew and have no J-cards or information. They have the appearance of being homemade but as far as I know the recordings are satisfactory. I bought a quantity for the Folk Center for resale several years back and we had no complaints. Some of them were cassettes made from Jimmy's lps. I do not know if they were made from a studio master or directly from the lp. At any rate the content is Jimmy's songs and there are some gems.

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 07:41 PM

These Jimmy Driftwood songs can be downloaded at the Record Lady.

The Pony Express 30
My Mammy's Miss America and ... 4J
Tewnnessee Stud A-11
You Got to Stop Kickin' My Dog Around A-13
The Ship That Never Returned 14
The Mixed Up Family 22
The Bear Flew Over the Ocean V-2
Straighten Out My Leg RQ-6

Record Lady

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 08:01 PM

Jimmy Driftwood Legacy Project- see thread 28607 for discussion:

Legacy Site:
Driftwood Legacy

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 09:02 PM

Anyone have the words to Tucumcari?

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 01:14 AM


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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Jim Marshall
Date: 19 May 19 - 10:40 AM

There was a time when I and Mike Storey were producing the tape magazine Folk Voice in the UK. We were in regular touch with Jimmie Driftwood and were set to meet up with him on a proposed visit by him to the UK, but at the very last minute his trip was cancelled due a family tragedy - something to do with one or two of his sons. Does anyone have details of this?

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
Date: 19 May 19 - 11:41 AM

Jim Marshall: Fifth paragraph from the bottom of the article.

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 19 May 19 - 12:58 PM

To Jim Marshall:    Fifth paragraph from the bottom of the article.

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 May 19 - 01:25 PM

Sixteen years after Joe Offer's post,
I looked around (by which I mean Amazon)
for available CD's of Jimmie Driftwood,
and the problem is obvious.
It is easier to find Jimmie Driftwood on vinyl LP
than on CD. However, there are some CDs, as follows.

Tall Tales in Song, issued on CD by Kipepeo Publishing; unfortunately,
this CD is issued "on demand"
and I think you know what THAT means …
(the vinyl LP was RCA Victor)

Tennessee Stud: The Best of Jimmie Driftwood
could not find out which company issued the vinyl.
The CD is from Goldenlane Records which also
has the MP3 copyright.

Import/re-issue of The Wilderness Road(1959) AND Newly Discovered American Folk Songs(1958),
Omni Recording Co., released 2013.
(Omni appears to be in Australia?)

Down in the Arkansas: a 12-song LP on Monument Records.
Jimmie Driftwood's own comments cover the back of the sleeve.
Amazon issues the CD "on demand" (ouch, amongst other things)

Monument Records also published
Voice of the People.
Also "on demand."   

Last and far from least, is a box
with four compact discs.
This re-issue has tracks from these original albums:
Newly Discovered early American Folk Songs (1958)
Jimmie Driftwood/The Wilderness Road (1959)
The Westward Movement (1960)
Tall Tales in Song (1960)
Songs of Billy Yank and Johnny Reb (1961)
Driftwood at Sea (1962)
singles and alternate takes, as early as 1953 (!)
The label is "Real Gone." Date of issue: 2015.
Customer reviews exclaim:
"what a bargain! can't beat the price!"
and I was beyond surprised when I saw the price myself …
I won't repeat it … it gives me a queasy uneasy feeling.

Finally there was a concern called the
Jimmie Driftwood Legacy Project,
and for their benefit,
Richard Kent Streeter wrote a biographical work.
It exists in more than one edition
and all of these are "print on demand."

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Subject: RE: Jimmie Driftwood Story
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 May 19 - 06:35 PM

Regarding Joe Offer's post, one more note.

Joe mentioned the Bear Family re-issue,
an expensive collection
(as is typical of Bear Family).

Those Bear Family issues
are thin on the ground.
You can look them up at second-hand shopping websites:
some individuals have theirs for sale.

But the stores that sell in bulk,
whether it's Amazon dot com
or the Bear Family online store itself,
have posted messages saying
that this edition is no longer available.

Sounds like it sold out
and Bear Family stopped printing them.

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