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.
First recorded by Lead Belly (1940).
Also recorded by Woody Guthrie (1944), Lonnie Donegan (1956), The Weavers (1960), John Herald & The Greenbriar Boys (1961).
Hit version by Peter, Paul & Mary (US #35/MOR #17 1963).
From the wiki: “There are two major but different arrangements of the sporting ballad, generally titled either ‘Skewball’ or ‘Stewball’; the latter spelling is more popular in America. Versions date at least as far back as the 18th century. In most versions of ‘Stewball’ the winning horse triumphs due to the stumbling of the lead horse; ‘Skewball’ wins simply by being the faster horse in the end. The oldest broadside identified with the ballad is dated 1784 and is held by the Harding Collection of the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford. The song spread to America by 1829 when it was published in a songbook in Hartford. American versions were sung and adapted by slaves in the Southern United States, and have ‘Stewball’ racing in California, Texas, or Kentucky.
Written and first recorded (as “Hey Lolly Lolly”) by Woody Guthrie (1944, released 1952).
Also recorded by Pete Seeger (as “Hey Li-Lee”, 1954), The Vipers Skiffle Group (sa “Hey Liley Liley Lo”, 1957), The Limeliters (as “Hey Li Lee Li Lee”, 1961).
Hit version by Chubby Checker (US #12/R&B #4 1963).
From the wiki: “Woody Guthrie recorded a version of “Hey Lolly Lolly” in 1944 which was not released until 1952. Pete Seeger recorded ‘Hey Li-Lee’ in 1954 but the song did not first gain wide familiarity until The Limeliters recorded their variation, ‘Hey Li Lee Li Lee’, during the early ’60s Folk music revival. Chubby Checker further adapted the song, recording ‘Hey Lolly Lolly’ in 1963 and going Top 20 with it on the Billboard Hot 100 and Top 5 US R&B charts.”
First recorded (as “Rising Sun Blues”) by Clarence “Tom” Ashley and Gwen Foster (1933).
Also recorded by Woody Guthrie (1941), Lead Belly (1944 |1948), Josh White (1947), Glenn Yarbrough (1957), Pete Seeger (1958), Andy Griffith (1959), Miriam Makeba (1960).
Hit versions by The Animals (US #1/UK #1/CAN #1/AUS #2/GER #10/SWE #4 1964), Frijid Pink (US #7/UK #4 1970).
From the wiki: “Like many classic folk ballads, the authorship of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ is uncertain. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as The Unfortunate Rake of the 18th century and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting. Alan Price of The Animals has even claimed that the song was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel.
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