10-27-08 Jimmie Driftwood
1991 82 TRKS large booklet
LP BATTLE OF
1958 11 TRKS mono
LP BEST OF MONUMENT
1965? 12 TRK Collection, stereo
LP DRIFTWOOD AT SEA RCA
1962 12 TRKS stereo
LP SONGS OF BILLY YANK AND JOHNNY REB mono RCA US LPM 2316
1961 12 TRKS mono
LP TALL TALES IN SONG mono RCA US LPM 2228
1960 12 TRKS mono
LP VOICE OF THE PEOPLE mono MONUMENT US MLP 8006
1964? 12 TRKS mono
LP WESTWARD MOVEMENT, THE RCA
1960 12 TRKS stereo
1959 12 TRKS mono
I recently ‘special ordered’ the Jimmie Driftwood 3CD boxed set, from Down Home Music in
A few years back, I took a real interest in ‘American roots music’ of the 50’s / 60’s – a lot of country & western music, too. Driftwood seems to straddle this invisible line. It’s a neat trick that he seems to have writing credits for a lot of songs that I thought were ‘public domain’ (i.e. traditional) songs. But – he’s not in the slightest bit disingenuous.
Credited with being the author of “The Ballad of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton had the hit with it) – Mr. Driftwood started making LP’s in 1957. The booklet of the boxed set told me a lot I didn’t know about Mr. Driftwood – his real name was James Morris. He lived in the Ozarks most of his life, and was a keen philanthropist. He lived to be 91 years old (1907 – 1998). It is said he got the nickname ‘Jimmie Driftwood’ because at the time he was born, his grandpa played a prank, handing someone a blanket with a piece of wood in it – “Here’s yer baby!”.
Driftwood’s other famous ‘writing credit” is for the “Tennessee Stud”. Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed have a dynamite version of it.
When I listen to his stuff, I feel like I’ve heard the songs before – indeed, I may have. Did I hear those songs in elementary school? Or in cartoons? I like his ‘cornball’ voice, the Chet Atkins ‘production’, the songs.
The CD boxed set only covers his 6 RCA LP’s – but I have his two later LP’s on Monument – I was never quite sure if the “Best Of” was later re-recordings or what.
So – to go with your Grandpa Jones and Minnie Pearl records, enjoy some Jimmie Driftwood!
Labels: Jimmie Driftwood