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What is this song??? [Abilene]

09 Feb 13 - 09:56 AM (#3477514)
Subject: What is this song???
From: Bobert

Aberdeen, (Aberleen?), Aberdeen...
Prettiest little town I've ever seen

From the late 50s???

Who sung it and is it Aberdeen, Aberleen or neither???

B~


09 Feb 13 - 09:59 AM (#3477516)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,rewind

Abilene


09 Feb 13 - 10:03 AM (#3477518)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,rewind

George Hamilton IV

Abilene, Abilene
Prettiest town I ever seen.
Folks down there don't treat you mean
In Abilene, my Abilene.

I sit alone most every night
Watch them trains roll out of sight
Wish that they were carryin' me
To Abilene, my Abilene.

Crowded city, ain't nothin' free
Nothin' in this town for me
Wish to God that I could be
In Abilene, my Abilene.

How I wish that train would come
Take me back where I come from.
Take me where I want to be
In Abilene, my Abilene.

Rotgut whiskey numbs the brain
If I stay here I'll go insane.
Think I need a change of scene
To Abilene, my Abilene.

Outside my window cold rain falls,
Sit here starin' at the walls;
If I was home, I'd be serene
In Abilene, my Abilene


09 Feb 13 - 10:35 AM (#3477526)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Bobert

Yup, that's it... I Googled it up and found that Jimmy Dean wrote it... Actually, I thought that he did...

We were in Aberdeen, NC, just outside of Pinehurst, which started all this... I was kinda singing it using "Aberdeen" and the P-Vine asked me if I had just made it up and said, "No, there was a song that came out in the late 50s that went something like that"...

Thanks for the assist, rewind...

B~


09 Feb 13 - 10:47 AM (#3477528)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Pete Jennings

Lovely song, always liked it. Pretty sure I used to be able to play it, but I'll probably have to work it out again..


09 Feb 13 - 11:25 AM (#3477541)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Bobert

It's an easy song to play, Peter... You won't have any trouble with it...

B~


09 Feb 13 - 11:48 AM (#3477545)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Kit Griffiths

Synchronicity, or what! Yesterday, before this thread started, I had, for no apparent reason, an earworm from a song on a cheapo 1960s album called "Rod McKuen sings Folk" (yeah, I know, but it WAS the 1960s) including the verse:

"Abilene, Abilene,
Prettiest town I've ever seen,
Though I've only seen it in a magazine,
It's Abilene, my Abilene."

and I was wondering where the original came from!


09 Feb 13 - 12:10 PM (#3477556)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Megan L

Aberdeen, Aberdeen
Ritchest town Ive ever seen
that oil money makes them onry and mean
in Aberdeen
thats Aberdeen


09 Feb 13 - 12:15 PM (#3477557)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman

Bobert, I remember that particular version of the song as being written by John D. Loudermilk......although he took from a song that I believe was traditional.   Not sure of it's traditional origin......might be interesting to do some research on it.


09 Feb 13 - 12:22 PM (#3477560)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman

I just googled it and learned that it was first popularized in 1957 in a recording by Bob Gibson....and credited to Gibson and John D. Loudermilk.


09 Feb 13 - 12:23 PM (#3477561)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Cool Beans

I'm pretty sure the song predates Jimmy Dean. BTW, if you happen to call the City of Abilene, Texas, and they put you on hold, that's the song they play.


09 Feb 13 - 12:35 PM (#3477569)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Beer

My favorite version was by Bobby Bare

Adrien


09 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM (#3477571)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: kendall

A while back I came home and there was a bottle of Aberlour scotch at my back door. I knew it was my buddy, Gordon who left it. This song came to mind:
Aberlour, Aberlour, tastiest Scotch I ever saw, my buddy Gordon knows what it's for, this Aberlour...
There was more but I forgot it.


09 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM (#3477573)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,Stim

Bob Gibson wrote it, Bobert.


09 Feb 13 - 01:08 PM (#3477588)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: Bobert

Okay, cool... I remember Bob Gibson...

Kinda weird, Kit Griffiths... I guess if we hadn't gone up to Pinehurst yesterday none of this would much matter today...

B~


09 Feb 13 - 01:35 PM (#3477600)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,Stim

Beside being the super star of the 12-string guitar, he wrote a lot of songs with Shel Silverstein--don't know right off which, if any of their songs were done by dr hook.


09 Feb 13 - 02:09 PM (#3477612)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: GUEST,Tony

The best version of it I've ever heard is by Gail Gilrane on YouTube.


09 Feb 13 - 02:24 PM (#3477616)
Subject: RE: What is this song???
From: kendall

I like Gordon Bok's version


10 Feb 13 - 04:25 AM (#3477772)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth

I first heard a song called "Abilene" on an EP (which I still have) by the late Alan Lomax. Recorded in London in March 1958, with five British musicians. Lomax writes that he collected the song from a prisoner in a Texas prison, a man by the name of Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty. Haggerty recorded the song (under the title "Hattie Green") in Huntsville State Penitentary in July 1933. He served three terms for manslaughter and was "killed in his last shooting scrape in Colorado Springs."
This version of the song could well have been the inspiration for Bob Gibson (and Loudermilk). They changed the lyrics and added those lovely passing seventh chords (Lomax's version sticks to the basic three chords.)

Abilene, Abilene, best town I ever seen.
Go by West Texas, stop by see Abilene.

Now Hattie Green, yes Hattie Green,
Prettiest gal I ever seen.
Go by West Texas, stop by see Hattie Green.

Cause she will hug you and she will kiss you,
And she will drive you really wild.
Get hard about it, laugh like a baby child.

Yes she will hug and and she will kiss you,
And she will carry on some more.
Get hard about it, put you right out the door.

So lock the doors and shut the windows,
Set the chairs up against the wall.
Turn up that music,
We'e gonna have a ball.


My friends in the band DPN+1 have been doing the song for about fifty years now. We sing the above words to the Gibson/Loudermilk chord sequence.


10 Feb 13 - 04:43 AM (#3477778)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman

Original 1957 recording by Bob Gibson was credited to Lester Brown, Bob Gibson, John D. Loudermilk, Albert Stanton. Stanton was a fictional name commonly used for songwriting credits. Brown was Gibson's manager. And, interestingly enough, John D. Loudermilk claimed he never heard the song until 1963....which is odd considering he was credited on the original 1957 version

ANd Lester Brown claimed he and Gibson heard a part of it sung by a street performer, then Brown told Gibson to write some more lyrics.

So I guess we can call it traditional.   I haven't heard the bob Gibson version so I don't know how it compares to the George Hamilton IV version.   

Bud and Travis did a good job of the song too. I think it may have been before George Hamilton IV....but I'm not sure.


10 Feb 13 - 07:01 AM (#3477819)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

I used to have this on an album by John D Loudermilk and have always believed that he wrote it. However I seem to remember hearing Big Bill Broonzy sing it also.

Hoot


10 Feb 13 - 12:29 PM (#3477921)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: GUEST, Paul Slade

Dave Alvin's got a song called Abilene too. It's pretty good.

(That line "maybe this one won't be so mean" just breaks my heart every time.)


11 Feb 13 - 07:37 AM (#3478231)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"

Here`s a version of the song collected by Alan Lomax in an American penitentiary and recorded in London with a small rock/jazz group (I also still have a copy of the EP).(Once again failed to make "blue clicky)

https://soundcloud.com/john-hills/abilene


06 Jun 20 - 11:41 PM (#4057794)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: Joe Offer

Needs cleanup. Author?


07 Jun 20 - 10:04 PM (#4058041)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: cnd

Bob Gibson, Lester Brown, and John D. Loudermilk - source


09 Jun 20 - 06:44 AM (#4058350)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: PHJim

I found it interesting that the song was written about Abilene, Kansas, not Abilene, Texas.

I first heard it by George Hamilton IV, and when our jug band opened for George, he told us it was by John D. Loudermilk. I have heard since that he cowrote it with Bob Gibson and Lester Brown, but George gave John D. Loudermilk the credit.
George sang the song in possibly the worst movie I've ever seen; "Hootenanny Hoot", but he did a fine rendition. Many other folkies embarrassed themselves.

George Hamilton IV in Hootenanny Hoot The absence of microphones indicated that this is lip-synched.

Here's
Bob Dylan's review of the movie Hootenanny Hoot


09 Jun 20 - 07:19 AM (#4058359)
Subject: RE: What is this song??? [Abilene]
From: Steve Shaw

A different song that mentions Abilene sprang to mind (sorry for going offtrack). It's on Alias Ron Kavana's album Coming Days. I think it's on YouTube.

Thoughts of Abilene (D. Lyons/R. Kavana)

In the silence I succumb to Thoughts of Abilene
A song that ran into my head in Nineteen-Sixteen
As I lay there in the rubble with a rifle in my hands
Old enough to know why, too young to understand
And in the rain that was fallin’ I heard the dyin’ cry
A machine gun was hammerin’, hammerin’ out a life.
It was a worker’s hand that put the bullets in the gun,
It was into a worker’s heart that the bloody bullets spun.

    Guns’n’drums and drums’n’guns, aroo, aroo,
    As cannon fodder for the cause we’ll do, we’ll do,
    As we rally ‘round the flag boys, rally once again
    Shoutin’ the battle cry of Freedom!

As metal rang on metal to explode the firing caps
The flashing of the gunfire lit the metal of his hat
His young face was filled with fear, his eyes shone white with fright
As he sent a dozen bullets into my chest that night
And in the silence I succumbed to Thoughts Of Abilene
As the bullets smashed into my bones in Nineteen-Sixteen.
Now you might wonder who I was, but more importantly than that
In which war did I die, you don’t know and that’s a fact.