Hang down your head, Tom Dooley

G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter [This is the second post this week on “Tom Dooley.” The first post gives the basics of the underlying story.] Hardly a fiddler or a banjo picker in our county… “I’ll tell you all Verlee and I can remember about Tom Dula…. Laura Foster was a cousin … → read more

Cold Rain and Snow – Introduction

I first heard our subject ballad for the week from the same source I’m sure the majority of people who know it today did – the Grateful Dead.  It had been part of their repertoire since their start in 1965, and by the time I was going to Dead shows … → read more

Who writes “The Ballad of Nancy and Henry”?

Harry Smith’s Anthology incorporated his somewhat idiosyncratic, news-brief style summaries for the songs he included.  The brief on “Ommie Wise” reads as follows:   GREEDY GIRL GOES TO ADAMS SPRING WITH LIAR; LIVES JUST LONG ENOUGH TO REGRET IT   A Naomi Wise was drowned by her sweetheart Jonathan Lewis … → read more