Miller, Adam: When River Ran Backward: Adventures in Folksong

Adam Miller: When River Ran Backward: Adventures in Folksong
Title: When River Ran Backward: Adventures in Folksong
Label: CD Baby

When the River Ran Backward - Adventures In Folksong Adam Miller - Lead Vocal, Autoharps, and Guitars Richard Burkett - Mandolin Joe Eding - Viola and Musical Saw Lisa Burns, Given Harrison, and Hugo Wainzinger - Bass Sharon Allen, Ray Bierl, Lee Bouterse Davis, and Given Harrison - Harmony Vocals 1. The New Madrid Earthquake 3:48 Lyrics & Music: Bob Dyer / Pekitanoui Publications Adam Miller - Vocal and Circa 1900 Harwood Parlor Guitar, Lee Bouterse Davis - Harmony Vocal, Richard Burkett - Mandolin "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." So said Mark Twain. Some tales are so tall that if they weren't true, nobody would believe them. The New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes of 1811-1812 were some of the most powerful to ever shake the North American continent - ten times larger than the San Francisco quake of 1906. The quakes awakened people sleeping in far away Washington, D.C. and New York City, and made the Mississippi River flow backwards. 2. Polka Dots and Moonbeams 2:29 Lyrics: Johnny Burke, Music: Jimmy Van Heusen / Spirit Two Music Adam Miller - 2011 Walnut Orthey Model A Chromatic Autoharp In 1939, the songwriting team of lyricist Johnny Burke (1904-1964) and composer Jimmy Van Heusen (1913-1990) wrote "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" for bandleader Tommy Dorsey. The following year, after Frank Sinatra joined Dorsey's band, it became their first hit record together. Today, this "standard" is among the 100 most-frequently recorded jazz ballads. I learned it as a child, listening to Frankie and Tommy, an RCA Victor LP in my father's record collection. 3. Buffalo Boy 1:44 Traditional Adam Miller - Vocal and Circa 1900 Harwood Parlor Guitar By the time a folksong has been passed down for several generations, the name of the person who wrote it is usually forgotten. And so, the song is said to be "traditional." A traditional folksong not only outlives it's composer, it often outlives generations of "folks" who have kept the song alive by singing it and passing it on. The English marriage ballad "Nicol O'Cod" has perpetuated in the oral tradition for four centuries. Martin Parker listed 'Nichole-a-Cod' among the ballads of which he knew not the author in _The Legend of Leonard Lackwit_ (1633). American versions of the song include "The Mountaineer's Courtship," "When You Comin' to Court Me?" and "Buffalo Boy." I learned this East Texas version from my favorite folksinger, Sam Hinton (1917-2009). In the 1930's, The Texas Trio (Sam and his younger sisters Nell and Ann) sang it on radio's Original Major Bowes Amateur Hour, and in nightclubs around Washington D.C. Sam said that his father, Allan F. Hinton (1888-1957), wrote the lyric, "Maybe six if the weather is good." 4. Amelia Earhart's Last Flight 3:30 Lyrics & Music: David D. McEnery / Bug Music Adam Miller - Vocal and 1985 Oscar Schmidt Wildwood Flower Model B Autoharp, Lee Bouterse Davis - Harmony Vocal, Lisa Burns - Bass Born in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhardt (1897-1937) was the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She and her navigator, Captain Frederick J. Noonan (1893-1937), disappeared into history in July of 1937 while attempting a 29,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe in a 37-and-a-half-foot long twin-engine aircraft. Though it wasn't published until 1939, Texas singer and songwriter "Red River" Dave McEnery (1914-2002) claimed that he wrote this song, hours after learning of Earhart's disappearance. McEnery sang this song during a pioneer television broadcast from RCA's tent at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He appeared as a singing cowboy in several films, including Swing in the Saddle (1944), Echo Ranch (1948), and Hidden Valley Days (1948). 5. California Is Her Name 3:08 Lyrics & Music: Lisa Atkinson / Scooptunes Adam Miller - Vocal and Circa 1900 Harwood Parlor Guitar, Lee Bouterse Davis - Harmony Vocal, Joe Eding - Viola California singer and songwriter Lisa Atkinson (1957-2009) composed this song in 1990 while working on a show about California State history at her local community center theater. I learned it from California singer and songwriter, Freesia Raine, when the song was new. I never suspected how this innocent song of hope would grow on me. 6. Shuha D-Maryam :38 Traditional Adam Miller - 1964 Basswood Oscar Schmidt Model A Diatonic Autoharp This hymn for the Virgin Mary came to the United States from the Chaldean Catholic Church of Iraq. Chaldean, a modern dialect of Jesus Christ's native language Aramaic, is spoken in the northern hills of Iraq and in Chaldean communities throughout the world. 7. Man Walks Among Us 3:17 Lyrics & Music: Marty Robbins / Mariposa Music Adam Miller - Vocal and 1986 Oscar Schmidt Wildwood Flower Model B Diatonic, Given Harrison - Bass Arizona singer and songwriter Marty Robbins (1925-1982) wrote "Man Walks Among Us" as an appreciation for the great desert of the southwestern United States. He recorded it in a 4/4 time signature on his Columbia Records LP, Return of the Gunfighter (1963). But I learned it as a waltz from Faith Petric, a 96-year old Idaho-born folksinger and long time resident of San Francisco, California. 8. One Meatball 2:09 Lyrics: Hy Zaret, Music: Lou Singer / Oliver Music Publishing Company Adam Miller - Vocal and 1995 Mulberry Orthey Model A Chromatic Autoharp, Hugo Wainzinger - Electric Bass Having left his wallet at home before dining in a Boston restaurant, with only pennies in his pocket, George Martin Lane (1823-1897), Professor of Latin at Harvard University, tried to purchase half an order of macaroni from a disbelieving waiter. This incident inspired him to write "The Lay of One Fishball" (1850) - a side order of fishballs being among the least expensive items on the menu at that time. A decade later, Francis James Child (1825-1896), Professor of English at Harvard (and the man who collected the "Child Ballads" and numbered them, sequentially), parodied Lane's song in an Italian-language burlesque opera entitled Il Pesceballo. An English translation of the mock opera was performed for the entertainment of Union soldiers during the Civil War. In 1944, Hy Zaret (1907-2007) and Lou Singer (1912-1966) updated the now-obscure fishball and made a new song called "One Meatball." Josh White's (1914-1969) recording of this song became the first record by a male African-American artist to sell over one million copies. I learned it from White's recording on a Stinson 78-rpm record that I collected as a teenager. 9. Texas 1947 2:39 Lyrics & Music: Guy Clark / Sunbury Music, Inc. Adam Miller - Vocal and Circa 1900 Harwood Parlor Guitar, Lee Bouterse Davis - Harmony Vocal, Richard Burkett - Mandolin By the middle of the 20th century, the diesel-powered, high-speed, lightweight Streamliner had replaced the steam locomotive on many American railroads. Guy Clark, a singer and songwriter who spent his early childhood in Monahans, Texas, remembers the afternoon in 1947 when he first beheld a Streamline train. 10. The Black Fly Song 3:47 Lyrics & Music: Wade Hemsworth / Southern Music Publishing Company Adam Miller - Vocal and 2011 Walnut Orthey Model A Chromatic Autoharp "The Black Fly Song" was written in Labrador in 1949 by Canadian singer and songwriter Wade Hemsworth (1916-2002) of Brantford, Ontario. It commemorates his epic journey into northeastern Ontario as a member of an Ontario Hydro Electric Commission survey party studying the feasibility of constructing a dam on the Little Abitibi River. The song was first recorded on Hemsworth's debut LP, "Folksongs of the Canadian North Woods" (1955) on Folkways Records, and has swiftly entered the oral tradition. Hemsworth remembered, "The flies affected some of the boys so badly that they had to stop work until the swelling of the faces subsided so that they could see." Hemsworth and Tobias Colpitts (who is the "Black Toby" of the song) served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in WW

1.1 The New Madrid Earthquake
1.2 Polka Dots and Moonbeams
1.3 Buffalo Boy
1.4 Amelia Earhart's Last Flight
1.5 California Is Her Name
1.6 Shuha D-Maryam
1.7 Man Walks Among Us
1.8 One Meatball
1.9 Texas 1947
1.10 The Black Fly Song
1.11 Huckleberry Finn
1.12 Riding Round the Cattle
1.13 Waltz for Debby
1.14 The Golden Vanity
1.15 The Hills of Manchuriz
1.16 Ocean Station Bravo
1.17 Blue Mountain
1.18 The Farmer's Curst Wife
1.19 The Galaxy Song
1.20 The Kansas Cyclone
1.21 I Want to Be a Real Cowboy Girl
1.22 When the End Came
1.23 Under the Double Eagle
1.24 Run, Kate Shelley, Run
1.25 The Colorado Trail
1.26 All Through the Night

Miller, Adam: When River Ran Backward: Adventures in Folksong

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