I've just heard that Lee Sexton, the great old time banjo player, has passed away. I was just thinking about him yesterday, because after reading the NY Times article about the Ozarks I realuzed that of all the members of the older generation I used to play with, Lee was the only one left. I'm attaching a song we did at Port Townsend with Paul David Smith on fiddle. In addition to being a powerful banjo player, Lee was also a fine old time fiddler, although he didn't play much in later years. Here's a YouTube clip of "Old Joe Clark" with his late son Phil on banjo and me trying to keep up on guitar: youtu.be/dowbTQAz2LU
Thought you all might enjoy this video, which actually appeared on CMT about 30 years ago. In addition to Lee, it also features Marion Sumner, "The Fiddle King of the South." He and Lee played together for many years, and both are featured in John Cohen's recording "Mounrain Music of Kentucky." youtu.be/pwJbfL7VTfY
Thanks Doug. Really enjoyed that. Didn't know Woah Mule was written by Roy Acuff. I just wanna know, is this like an old time compliment?; Your face is like a coffee pot, Your nose is like a spout, Your mouth is like a fireplace, With all the ashes out.
Indianajones - I don't think Roy Acuff wrote "Whoa Mule." It was recorded in 1924 by Riley Puckett youtu.be/SCV_CeoI1RQ as well as by Roba Stanley. There were other early recordings by the Hillbillies, Bill Chitwood, and Chubby Parker, all of which are on YouTube. I think this song is related to the "Liza Jane" family, and probably has minstrel show origins. The verse you mentioned is a humorous "floater," but I don't think I've ever heard it in this song.
farmerjones - Glad you enjoyed the video. Herbie did a good job getting the pieces to fit together. I especially like the part where the mule is "dancing" (although slowly) to the tune! One verse people sometimes have trouble with is: "Jaybird died of the whooping cough, bluebird died of the colic. 'Long come a toad frog, fiddle on his back Goin' to the frolic."
I hope I'm not violating some etiquette here and derailing the thread - Lee Sexton, may he rest in peace - but I had to search for the word 'muley' which is an archaic word meaning missing something, most likely horns, as is the probably case of this cow the Dillards are referencing. Now, if a cow was missing the horns it would take a long time to fly between them. More likely to get the whooping cough I'd say.