...Sung by a guy who wasn't a hillbilly:
He was a Brit. The late Lonnie Donegan, the King of Skiffle.
Donegan taking on "Rock Island Line" twice -- 1970s style and more traditionally. Either way, it's a long trip from the 1934 John Lomax prison recording.
(How is "Tom Dooley" not Hillbilly music? I suppose it is; skiffle isn't. While there was indeed a real Tom "Dooley" (Dula), who did indeed hang for a murder he either committed or deliberately took a fall for in North Carolina in the 1860s, the various forms of "doule" are Scots terms for a place of hanging, as in "Doule tree." Art, life, hillbillies and Scots/Irish/Gaels: small world.
4 months ago