First recorded by Hugh Cross (1929).
Also recorded by The Carter Family (1929, released 1932).
Hit version by Roy Acuff & His Crazy Tennesseeans (1936).
Also performed by Woody Guthrie (1944).
Also recorded by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1947), Bill Haley (as “Jukebox Cannonball” 1952), Lonnie Donegan (as “Grand Coulee Dam” UK #6 1956).
From the wiki: “J.A. Roff’s 19th-century train song ‘The Great Rock Island Route’ was rewritten in 1904 by William Kindt as ‘Wabash Cannon Ball’, and though the famed Carter Family is sometimes cited as the first to record it (with A.B. Carter credited as composer), an arrangement by Hugh Cross & his guitar was put to wax more than seven months before theirs … and which was released three years prior to the release of the Carter Family recording.
“The artist most commonly associated with the song is Roy Acuff & His Crazy Tennesseeans whose first recording of ‘Wabash Cannonball’ was made in 1936 and released in December 1938. Crazy Tennesseean member Sam ‘Dynamite’ Hatcher was the actual vocalist on the recording, but it was Acuff’s imitation of a train whistle, something he said he learned while working for the L & N Railroad, that made the recording so iconic. Acuff would himself record a vocal version of ‘Wabash Cannonball’ in 1947.
Inspired by “Thrills That I Can’t Forget” by ‘John Ferguson’ (1925).
Inspired by “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” by The Carter Family (1929).
Inspired by “Great Speckled Bird” by Roy Acuff (1936).
First recorded (as “Wild Side of Life”) by Jimmie Heap & The Melody Masters (1951).
Hit versions by Hank Thompson (C&W #1 1952), Burl Ives & Grady Martin & His Slew Foot Five (US #30/C&W #6 1952), Tommy Quickly & The Remo 4 (UK #33 1964), Freddy Fender (C&W #13 1976), Status Quo (UK #9 1976).
From the wiki: “‘The Wild Side of Life’ carries one of the most distinctive melodies of early country music, used in ‘Thrills That I Can’t Forget’ (recorded by Welby Toomey, using the pseudonym ‘John Ferguson’ in 1925), ‘I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes’ (by the Carter Family in 1929), and ‘Great Speckled Bird’ (by Roy Acuff in 1936). That, along with the song’s story of a woman shedding her role as domestic provider to follow the night life, combined to become one of the most famous country songs of the early 1950s when recorded as ‘Wild Side of Life’, first by Jimmie Heap & the Melodie Masters and, then, a #1 hit by Hank Thompson.
“According to Country music historian Bill Malone, ‘Wild Side’ co-writer William Warren was inspired to create the song after his experiences with a young woman he met when he was younger — a honky-tonk angel, as it were — who ‘found the glitter of the gay night life too hard to resist.’
First recorded by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1947).
Also recorded by Hank Williams (1951), Elvis Presley (1976), Eva Cassidy (2008).
Hit versions by Willie Nelson (US #21/C&W #1 1975), UB40 (ARU #1 2013).
From the wiki: “‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ is a song written by songwriter Fred Rose, and first recorded by Roy Acuff in 1947. The song was also recorded in 1951 by Hank Williams for the Mother’s Best Flour Hour radio program.
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