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I always knew that I was fallible...

Mike Harding | 18:05 UK time, Tuesday, 7 July 2009

but how fallible has been hammered home recently by two immense blunders I waded into with both wellies on and a daft hat on my head.

A few weeks back, before playing Dick Gaughan singing Tom Paine's Bones on the programme I stated quite baldly (though I still have most of my hair) that Paine was Welsh. He was in fact - as many of you pointed out - English and from Norfolk.

 

I put the great philosopher and democrat in the land of Wales because of a wonderful documentary I once saw presented by the great Welsh actor and socialist Kenneth Griffith. One thing led to another in my brain and there you go. That was bad enough, but worse yet was my claim that the Seeger/Springsteen song Hobo's Lullaby was written by Anais Mitchell (it is in fact a different song with the same title).

 

The paucity of sleeve notes is a poor excuse - but damn it I'm going to use it. The song performed by Seeger, Guthrie et al (as many of you have pointed out) was written by Goebel Reeves, an American folk singer born in Sherman, Texas 1899.  His father was a member of the state legislature but his son rejected all the trappings of money and, in the 1920s, he became a hobo, writing and singing songs as he travelled. He made many records under the stage name  of "The Texas Drifter", "George Riley, The Yodelling Rustler," and "The Broadway Wrangler."

 

Like Jimmie Rodgers, he yodelled and sang songs about life on the road - in fact Reeves claimed that he had taught Rodgers how to yodel as they traveled together in the 1920s. I gleaned all the above from Wikipedia - so blame them if I have foisted yet another web of nonsense upon you.

 

Meanwhile I have ordered a CD of Goebel Reeves.

 

I will be playing tracks from it on the prog as soon as the Amazon pigeon arrives at Harding Towers; meanwhile all I can say is mea culpa ignoramus and promise to do better nest time.

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