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Arcade Blues Them Two Gals of Mine Diamond in the Rough Tossing the Baby So High Sho' Fly, Don't Bother Me Uncle Ned Braying Mule Bake That Chicken Pie Rock About My Sara Jane Tell Her to Come Back Home Hold That Wood-Pile Down Carve That Possum Sail Away Ladies I'm a-Goin' Away in the Morn Sleepy Lou The Gray Cat on the Tennessee Farm Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk I's Gwine Back to Dixie Take Me Home, Poor Julia Go Along Mule Tom and Jerry Rabbit in the Pea Patch Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel Pickaninny Lullaby Song Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb The Maple on the Hill Poor Old Dad Walking in the Sunlight The Mockingbird Song Medley Shall We Gather at the River In the Sweet Bye and Bye In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree Molly Married a Travelling Man When Reubin Comes to Town Heartaching Blues Roe Rire Poor Gal You've Been a Friend to Me Backwater Blues Jesus, Lover of My Soul From Earth to Heaven The Coon That Had the Razor Worthy of Estimation I'm the Child to Fight Over the Road I'm Bound to Go The New Ford Car Comin' Round the Mountain Governor Al Smith Darling Zelma Lee Put Me in My Little Bed Life and Death of Jesse James Tennessee Jubilee New Coon in Town Susie Lee Mister Johnson Farm Relief Since Baby's Learned to Talk Over the Mountain Uncle Dave's Travels, Part 2 Around Tennessee Red Fox Chase The Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train She's Got the Money Too Oh Lovin' Babe Mysteries of the World Go On, Nora Lee Thank God For Everything When the Train Comes Along Tennessee Tornado Don't Get Weary Children He's up With the Angels Now When the Harvest Days Are Over One More River to Cross Just One Way to the Pearly Gates I'll Tickle Nancy All in Down and Out Blues Fame Apart From God's Approval The Bum Hotel Two-in-One Chewing Gum Travelin' Down the Road Country Ham and Red Gravy Summertime on the Beeno Line He Won the Heart of Sarah Jane Peek-a-Boo Working For My Lord Wait till the Clouds Roll By Things I Don't Like to See They're After Me My Daughter Wished to Marry Beautiful Love Railroadin' and Gamblin' Cumberland Mountain Deer Race Johnny Grey Nobody's Darling But Mine Don't Look For Trouble I'm Free, I've Broken the Chains Laugh Your Blues Away Travellin' on My Mind I'm Drifting Farther From You Eleven Cent Cotton How Beautiful Heaven Must Be She Was Always Chewin' Gum Bully of the Town Mountain Dew Old Maid's Love Song Rock of Ages Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy That's Where My Money Goes Long John Green Lady in the Car Cotton-Eyed Joe Macon's lyrics here are despicable by our lights today - but he is not a man of our time.

How much understanding ought we extend to him? I don't know, but I ran across this article on a similar song - article written by an African American writer whom I respect - and there is a good deal to ponder here.

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To start with , I had always thought that this song was just plain weird, and at two minutes, really just album filler on New Frontier. Allan Shaw and others had suggested that Dogies' Lament on the same Kingston Trio album was just a space-filler, though as you can see from the link, I disagree - the KT performance may be a bit perfunctory but the song is a good one and the arrangement was interesting.

Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy

But "Honey"? It seemed to me for decades just a bit of misfired strangeness, not unlike "Coo Coo U. Then about four years ago I was reading a review of The Essential Kingston Trio CD by Billy Faier, a seminal force in the folk revival, acknowledged master banjo player, and an active performer still at age Faier was trying to be even-handed in explaining his dislike for most of what the Kingston Trio did, and I've quoted parts of his review extensively both in these posts and in my Wikipedia article about the Trio.

Leroy Troy - Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy

Faier suggested that the KT had at many points subverted the original meanings of traditional songs, and "Honey" was his most specific and developed example. What Faier did not mention was that the "old folk song" was quite possibly composed solely by the legendary Uncle Dave Macon , the banjo-playing granddad of country and roots music in the U. And what Faier also couldn't have known was how much this song provides us with an example of the connective tissue that links 19th century mountain music with 21st century pop.

You can read a solid if simple bio of Macon on Wikipedia HERE ; note the emphasis on his connection to vaudeville and his emphasis on humor and banter as part of his shows. Macon understood that his later-in-life age 51 career switch made him an entertainer, not the high priest of at that time a non-existent but soon to become sacrosanct tradition. The music was part of the show, as was the humor. Here is Uncle Dave's premier recording of "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy" - Uncle Dave follows Stringbean and precedes Woody Guthrie in this extended video: Most subsequent versions of the song include Macon's seventh-chord based accompaniment and that little hammer-on and wrinkle he is doing on "time, time, time" and elsewhere.

Here for example is a clearer recording of the song by Woody Guthrie: It appears that the legendary Sonny Terry and Cisco Houston are with Woody here, Terry on harmonica and Houston on for him, a baritone an unusual tenor harmony and fine guitar work. Guthrie is on mandolin. The Kingston Trio, as Faier notes, added a chorus but preserve much of the original feeling of the song - with a unique banjo part by Stewart and that punchy, syncopated guitar strum by Shane: What makes this recording significant and part of what I term above the connective tissue of popular music is this.

So he told Stewart simply to crank the knobs on the mixing board until he liked what he heard - which Buckingham averred should be like "Seasons In The Sun" and "Honey" - simple, repetitive, and hypnotic, as Stewart said. Anyone who has listened to any significant amount of Fleetwood Mac recordings from the 70s and early 80s will recognize that formula for instrumentation immediately - take songs like "Rhiannon" or "Tusk".

The Crooked Road - Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy | mySWVA

And like them or not, Fleetwood Mac gave much of 80s, 90s, and even s rock a kind of template for instrumental accompaniment - derived from something Lindsey Buckingham heard in the Kingston Trio recordings, including "Honey. Three of the best, I think, are - 1 Lew Dite, a solo roots singer who has over 2 million views of his many roots recordings, most done like this one with great fidelity to the original: 2 The Mars Hillbillies, from Flagstaff AZ, just up the pike from Scottsdale - a really fun version of the song: 3 The Roe Family Singers from Minnesota, who have a clean traditional sound that sounds amazingly like Macon and Guthrie: And a wonderful late addition in March - the fabulous Carolina Chocolate Drops: I have the feeling that Uncle Dave would have liked all of these versions - they all make the song just weirdly fun - and repetitive and hypnotic to boot.


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About This Site Comparative Video is a resource for performance videos of some of the classic popular folk songs of the last several decades with personal commentary on them by Jim Moran, a teacher of literature for nearly forty years and a folk musician and writer for a decade longer. Some of these posts appeared originally on the Kingston Crossroads message board, and many of the profiled songs were performed by the classic pop folk group the Kingston Trio.

The page will be updated once or more per month.

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Your comments are welcome. About Me Jim Moran View my complete profile. Important: Patience, Please As of this writing in March of , the Blogspot site that hosts CV has "deprecated" or made obsolete the old video code that I have been using since to make videos visible in these articles.