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Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannonball


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01 Jan 99 - 09:20 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Jan 99 - 05:32 PM
Frank 05 Jan 99 - 01:33 AM
Uncle Fred 06 Jan 99 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannon
Date: 01 Jan 99 - 09:20 PM

I have an old John Greenaway recording of Wabash Cannon- ball.(Riverside Records) The liner notes say it was in print long before the more well-known "Hillbilly" version but isn't any more specific than that. Rumor has it that A.P.Carter didn't have a pencil the night he heard the song so he had to "improvise" with the lyrics. Does any- one have any information? Uncle Fred

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Subject: RE: Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannon
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Jan 99 - 05:32 PM

If you check out the Lester Levy collection *we have a link to it), you'll find (complete with a map) :

Title: The Great Rock Island Route!! Song and Chorus. Composer, lyricist, arranger: Words and music by J.A. Roff. Publication: n.p., 1882. Form of composition: strophic with chorus Instrumentation: piano and voice First line: From a rocky bound Atlantic, to a mild Pacific shore First line of chorus: Now listen to the jingle, and the rumble, and the roar

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Subject: RE: Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannon
From: Frank
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 01:33 AM

For any of you who plan to play or sing "Wabash"...listen to Roy Acuff who has re-recorded it many times and take note of the very different chord arangements on each of his recordings. Roys version that I choose to do (and seems more like the recordings that came before him)changes to the seventh on "jingle", and to the second chord on "rumble", allowing for a higher voice. Many people I meet have never heard these versions. I no longer have the Edison cylinder of this song or the first 78rpm Edison made from it but do remember the early chord change from hearing them. I mostly prefer these "parlor" era recordings as they are usually the versions I find more "pure" and "musical". I don't know for sure but I would think somewhere between the Spanish/American war and 1905 the cylinder versions of this song were popular. A.P. didn't need a pencil. And yes the lyric was different before the "Hillbillys" got hold of it. Cheers!

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Subject: RE: Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannon
From: Uncle Fred
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for the info, folks. The reason I'm digging into this is that I think I have a bit of insight that gives a clue about something the song once meant that has been lost along the way. Just for the record; I'm inclined to be a "combiner" of lyrical versions. If there's a song I do- that later on I find a verse I really like, I'll just add it in. But back to the W.C. Here's my concept. If you go back far enough, they didn't have freight OR passenger trains. They just had trains. And, the very most high-class means of land travel was by train in PRIVATE cars built by the Pullman Co. or other companies. So, the passage "Runs a train of doozy lay-offs, well known etc., The "'boes' accomodation" could be a double entendre with "beaux accomodation" so that the Pullman of the rich man becomes the boxcar of the hobo. Either one can be laid off anywhere there are tracks. THUS the ubiquitous nature of the train in any version you hear. Think about it.

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