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Origin: Ben Dewberry's Final Run (Andrew Jenkins)

DigiTrad:
CASEY JONES
CASEY JONES - UNION SCAB
CASY JONES (Pilot)


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floyddennis@mindspring.com 30 Nov 98 - 06:11 PM
Barry Finn 30 Nov 98 - 08:57 PM
Gene 30 Nov 98 - 08:58 PM
Barry Finn 30 Nov 98 - 09:24 PM
Dale Rose 30 Nov 98 - 10:50 PM
Earl 01 Dec 98 - 12:32 AM
Dale Rose 01 Dec 98 - 01:40 AM
Dale Rose 01 Dec 98 - 01:57 AM
Earl 01 Dec 98 - 08:13 AM
Barry Finn 01 Dec 98 - 09:04 AM
Art Thieme 01 Dec 98 - 06:01 PM
Dale Rose 02 Dec 98 - 09:41 PM
Gene 02 Dec 98 - 11:44 PM
TinDor 17 Sep 09 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Bo Stone 30 Nov 09 - 10:55 PM
GUEST 10 Dec 12 - 05:32 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 12 - 06:43 PM
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Subject: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: floyddennis@mindspring.com
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 06:11 PM

I'm told Jimmie Rodgers recorded this 'brave engineer song. "he said before he died ... that he wanted ride... His fireman asked him what could they be . . "

Was there a real Ben Dewberry? Were the lyrics pirated from No. 9 or Casey Jones. What were all the lyrics? What are the recordings?


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 08:57 PM

Casey said boys before died
Just two trains I want to ride
The boys said Casey what can they be
The Southern Pacific & the Santa Fe
The Santa Fe, Lord the Santa Fe
The Southern Pacific & the Santa Fe

Casey was born John Luther Jones in Missouri in 1864 & move across the river to Caycee, (guess where he took his name from) Kentucky. He worked the Illinois Central RR. At 26 he was engineer on the Cannonball Express running between Memphis, Tennesse & Canton, Mississippi. On April 30, 1906, Casey became immortal by dying. Wallace Saunders took the song "Jimmy Jones" & put Casey where Jimmy the porter used to be. The tune & words are different than the later & more common Vaudeville "Casey Jones". See Lomax "American Ballads & Folk Songs" & "Folk Songs Of North America" Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: BEN DEWBERRY'S FINAL RUN (Jimmie Rodgers)
From: Gene
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 08:58 PM

Here's Jimmie Rodgers version.
Hank Snow also recorded it.
As well as several others.
Would have to LOOK UP the history of the song.
How 'bout it, Dale? you got any INFO?

BEN DEWBERRY'S FINAL RUN
Recorded by Jimmie Rodgers
Words and music by Andrew Jenkins

Ben Dewberry was a brave engineer
He told his fireman don't you ever fear
All I want is the water and coal
Put your head out the window, watch the drivers roll
Watch the drivers roll - watch the drivers roll
Put your head out the window; watch the drivers roll.

Ben Dewberry said before he died
Two more roads that he wanted to ride
His fireman asked him what could they be
Said the old Northeastern and the A and B
The A and B - he said the A and B
It's the old Northeastern and the A and B.

On the fatal morning it began to rain
Around the curve come a passenger train
Ben Dewberry was the engineer
With the throttle wide open and without any fear
He didn't have no fear - he didn't have no fear
He had her runnin' wide open without any fear.

Ben looked at his watch - shook his head
We may make Atlanta but we'll all be dead
The train was flyin' by the troublin' switch
Without any warning then she took the ditch
Yea! she went in the ditch - well, she took the ditch
Without any warning - then she took the ditch.

The big locomotive leaped from the rail
Ben never lived to tell that awful tale
His life was ended and his work was done
When Ben Dewberry made his final run
He made his final run - he made his final run
When Ben Dewberry made his final run.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 09:24 PM

Gene, that Jimmie Rodgers version is mighty close to the one I quoted. Got this from Joe Hickerson off of his "Drive Dull Care Away" 1976 LP on Folk-Legacy.

Early in the morning & it look like rain
Round the bend cvome a gravel trai
On that train was Casey Jones
He's a good old rounder but he's dead & gone
We'll he's dead & gone, well he's dead & gone
He's a good old rounder but he's dead & gone
(Repeating last line as above)

Now Casey Jones was a good engineer
Said to his fireman never fear
Oour on the water & shovel more coal
Stick your head out the window see the drivers roll

Now Casey looked ahead & what did he see
Round the bend came the eight eighteen
Said to his fireman you'd better jump
For these two locomotives they are bound to bump

Should've been there to see the sight
Crying, yelling, black & white
Some where crippled & some were lame
But that six wheel driver had to bare the blame

Casey said boys before he died
Just two drinks I've never tried
The boys said Casey what can they Be
A glass of water & a cup of tea

Casey said boys before he died
Just two trains I'd like to try
The boys said Casey what can they be
The Southern Pacific & the Santa Fe

The above post on Casey's death should've read the year 1900 according to some, which would make sense. In 1909 the song was reworked & copyrighted (renewed 1936) into the more popular version by the two Vaudeville singers, Ed Newton & Lawrence Seibert. Barry


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Dale Rose
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 10:50 PM

I have never seen anything written about it. I always assumed that it was a fictional piece. I don't even know anything about Andrew Jenkins. I will see what I can do next time I go up to Mountain View.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Earl
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 12:32 AM

I have a book called _Scalded to Death by the Steam_ which is about train wreck songs. It has the song pretty much as Gene posted, written by Rev. Andrew Jenkins. On August 23, 1908 Benjamin Franklin Dewberry was the engineer on a passenger train going northbound from Atlanta GA. Around Buford they hit a bolt and Dewberry applied the emergency brakes. Neither the engineer nor the fireman, Mayson Wadkins tried to jump. The train was saved but the engine jumped the track and both were killed. Interstingly, the train was No. 38, the one denigrated in "The Wreck of the Old 97."

The book, incredibly, includes no versions of "Casey Jones." I think it was new words put on the older tune.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Dale Rose
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 01:40 AM

Thank You, Earl. There's another of those basically useless facts that we just can't seem to get along without. I have been meaning to sit down and read the Vance Randolph books, the Charlie Poole biography, and who knows how many more. The book you mention sounds like a good one to add to my list.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Dale Rose
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 01:57 AM

Levy has three copies of Casey Jones, all dated 1909 and credited as words By T. Lawrence Seibert, music By Eddie Newton. The Duke site has one of them. I could not locate the Jimmy Jones song, not even with the University of Tennessee song search.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Earl
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 08:13 AM

"Jay Gould's Daughter", which is in the database, is also very similar. Since Jay Gould died in 1892 would I be correct to assume that "Jay Gould's Daughter" was written in the 19th century and older than both "Ben Dewberry's Final Run" and "Casey Jones" ?


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 09:04 AM

Songburg has it in his Sandbag collection but doesn't say much aside that it (Casey Jones) may be based in an earlier song. On the other hand I can't find out anything about Andrew Jenkins or Dewberry. Casey's engine was #382, a ten wheeler. A verse given to Lomax by Cornelius Steen, a friend & co-worker of Wallace "Wash" Sanders & who also knew Casey Jones, goes as follows:

On Sunday morning it began to rain
Round the curve spied a passenger train
On the pilot lay poor Jimmie Jones
He's a good old porter but he's dead & gone.

The Mayor of Canton, L. Miller, also wrote of Sanders bringing back from Kansas City & singing Jimmie Jones, then after the wreck changing the song to fit Casey. Sander's version in fragments is documented as far back as 1908 (where, I don't know but that's how it reads). Sanders was Casey's engine wiper. The vaudeville team of Bert & Frank Leighton, whose brother was also an engineer on the same run as Casey, also had out a popular version of Casey Jones. Also see Viking Book of Folk Ballads (8 versions including Joseph Mica). Barry


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Art Thieme
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 06:01 PM

Andrew Jenkins was a fellow who went under the name of Blind Andy or Blind Andrew Jenkins. Harlan Daniel told me a long time ago that he was pretty sure Jenkins had written "The Hanging Of Charlie Birger" which was recorded by Vernon Dalhart. Jenkins would sell his songs to singers for $5.00 sometimes. He almost always had a verse at the end of his songs making a moral value judgment and/or a religious link.

Art


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Dale Rose
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 09:41 PM

Here is a little more information on compositions by Andrew Jenkins, courtesy of Dr. Bill McNeil at the Ozark Folk Center. In addition to those mentioned above, he also wrote The Death of Floyd Collins, The Scopes Trial, and The Wreck of the Royal Palm, all most notably done by Vernon Dalhart, and also the well known gospel song, God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds.

Bill also said that the wreck which killed Ben Dewberry and Wadkins in 1908 was caused by a young boy of 12 or even less who wanted to see a train wreck. Unfortunately, he got his wish.


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: Gene
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 11:44 PM

FWIW!!!
Vernon Dalhart left a recorded legacy
of many songs, the likes of which,
will probably never be equaled
by any current or future artist

Dalhart, Vernon-:-Wreck of the old 97
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Wreck of the Shenendoah
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Death of Floyd Collins
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Jim Blake
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The sinking of the Titanic
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The lightning express
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The engineers child
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Casey Jones
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Billy Richardson's last ride
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Little Mary Phagan
Dalhart, Vernon-:-In the baggage coach ahead
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The freight wreck at Altoona
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The farm relief song
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Old Bill Mosers Ford
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The west Plains explosion
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Little Marian Parker
Dalhart, Vernon-:-My mothers old red shawl
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Calamity Jane
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Roll dem cotton bales
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Yukon Steve and Alaska Ann
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The pony express
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Eleven cent cotton
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Molly darling
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The gypsys warning
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The Mississippi flood
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Naomi Wise
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The death of Floyd Collins
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Farm relief song
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The return of Mary Vickery
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Frank Dupree
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The old Kitty Kate
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Wreck of the number nine
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Behind these gray walls
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Johnny Long the engineer
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Crepe on the old cabin door
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The governors pardon
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Little rosewood casket
Dalhart, Vernon-:-Dream of a miners child
Dalhart, Vernon-:-The dying girls message w/Carson Robison


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Subject: RE: Ben Dewberry's Last Ride
From: TinDor
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 12:31 AM

Anyone have any info that the song "Jimmy Jones" that Saunders put "Casey Jones" to?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Ben Dewberry's Final Run (Andrew Jenkins)
From: GUEST,Bo Stone
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 10:55 PM

Jas Mathus (the frontman of SNZ) did a wonderful rendition of this song on his "Old School Hot Wings" CD - http://is.gd/58wpq


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Subject: RE: Origin: Ben Dewberry's Final Run (Andrew Jenkins)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 05:32 PM

Was there a real Railroad Engineer Ben Dewberry ????   Sure was. Was on his usual run in the 1920's.   Made a temporary stop at Buford, Georgia, then continued toward Atlanta. Some kid wedged a loose spike between the two rails which turned the locomotive over and scolding to death Dewberry and his black attendant.   Ironically, the responsible kid was one of many recipients playing ball near the RR tracks and Engineer Dewberry would pick up a basket full of apples on each run and throw them to the kids as he went by. Actually the kids really liked Dewberry and the responsible one simply wanted to give him a playful bump.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Ben Dewberry's Final Run (Andrew Jenkins)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:43 PM

From Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 1880s-1930s, Volume II by Franklin M. Garrett (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969), page 523:

Some two months after the A. B. & A. Railroad began operating into and out of Atlanta, the Southern Railway lost one of its most popular and skillful Charlotte Division locomotive engineers, Benjamin Franklin Dewberry.

Dewberry, a veteran of 27 years' service, alternated with W. J. O'Neal on northbound No. 38, the old New York and New Orleans Limited, predecessor of the Crescent. He left Atlanta at 12:40 P.M., Sunday, August 23, 1908, at the throttle of Pacific No. 1237, with the Southern's finest train trailing behind.

One mile south of Buford the locomotive struck a spike, placed on the track by a 12-year-old boy who "wanted to see what a train wreck looked like." He saw. At the moment of impact Dewberry applied the emergency brake, thereby saving his train. But the locomotive turned over, scalding the engineer and his Negro fireman, Mayson Wadkins, to death. The huge driving wheels continued to spin until the steam in the boiler was exhausted.

Engineer Dewberry was a native Atlantan, born in 1858. Commented the Journal editorially on the 25th:

"Peculiar pathos and regret surround the death of Engineer Ben F. Dewberry, who lost his life in an accident on the Southern railroad on Sunday afternoon. He died, as he lived, faithful to his duty and faced his end with the calm resignation of one who knew no fear.

"When the crucial moment came there was no thought of saving himself, but only of the passengers whose lives were in his keeping, and his latest thoughts were to spare pain and suffering to one who was nearest and dearest to him.

"He was one of the veterans of the road. For more than a quarter of a century he had been in the employ of the Southern, and he counted his friends by the score, in Atlanta and all along the line of his run. He was recognized as one of the most skillful and valuable men in the service of the company. In every walk of life he was known as a worthy citizen.

"That his life should be snuffed out as a result of what appears to have been the malicious mischief of someone not yet apprehended only adds to the sense of grief with which his sorrowing friends are afflicted.

"His name will be held in strong remembrance by a host of those who knew him best and therefore esteemed him most."

One of these friends was the Rev. Pierce Harris, now (1953) minister of Atlanta's First Methodist Church, who wrote on July 8, 1953:

"When I was a little kid and lived by the side of the tracks at Buford, I used to wave at the engineers when they passed. Once in a while, they'd throw me an apple or an orange; and when old 1237 piled up under the oak trees one Sunday noon down below town and Ben Dewberry was caught under the wreckage, my little heart grieved, along with all who loved him."

Sometime after the wreck the heroic death of Ben Dwberry was epitomised in a song by Andy Jenkins. It was made inot a record by the R.C.A. Victor Company and issued as Ben Dewberry's Final Run, sung by Jimmie Rodgers, with guitar accompaniment.


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