Saturday, March 14, 2020

Fiddlin John Carson - The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane

Ever wonder what was the first Country hit song?  It was written way back in 1871, and spread from performer to performer across the south.  This was really sort of a Prehistoric period in country music - something was certainly happening, but nobody wrote anything about it.

Then the gramophone became popular, and on June 19, 1923 "Fiddlin'" John Carson recorded this.  His producer didn't much like it, but the public did:
When he listened to Carson’s material back in New York, Peer remembered, “it was so horrible I couldn’t possibly put a number on it [list it in Okeh’s catalog], so we just made the thousand records, put a label without a number on them, and sent them off to Brockman,” who’d ordered one thousand copies to sell in Atlanta. Peer didn’t reckon on a previously invisible market: Fiddlin’ John’s fellow woolhats, transplanted country folk at work in Atlanta’s factories. “A couple of days later,” said Peer, “Brockman got me on the phone and said, ‘This is a riot, I gotta get ten thousand copies down here right now.’ ” After hauling Fiddlin’ John to New York, Peer sat him down to make “another eight or ten selections, and we were off.”
It sounds very old fashioned to modern ears, but country music is nothing if not sentimental, and this brings that in spades.

The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane (Songwriter: Will S. Hays)
Oh I'm gettin' old and feeble and I cannot work no more
The children no more gather 'round my door
And old masters and old mrs they are sleepin' side by side
Near the little old log cabin in the lane 
Oh the chimney's fallen down and the roof's all caved in
Lettin' in the sunshine and the rain
And the only friend I've got now is that good old dog of mine
And the little old log cabin in the lane 
Oh the trees have all growed up that lead around the hill
The fences have all gone to decay
And the creeks have all dried up where we used to go to mill
And things have changed of course in another ways 
Oh I ain't got long to stay here what little time I've got
I want to rest content while I remain
'Til death shall call this dog and me to find a better home
And leave th' little old log cabin in the lane

1 comment:

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Even Alma Gluck (Efrem Zimbalist) recorded it. It came from a time when people craved sentimentality and melodrama. Beautiful Song!