COTTON EYED JOE

Latest update on 03/02/2016

Artist: Dykes Magic City Trio
Author: traditional
Label: Brunswick
Year: 1927

The original Cotton Eyed Joe, the character this song was about, was probably someone suffering from the ocular infection trachoma. It became a dance routine (among both blacks and whites) shortly after the American Civil War, which fuels another explanation for that cotton eye: take a "cotton to" (or liking to) another fellows' gal. John Dykes learned it from a fiddler from Arizona (Kenner C. Karchtner) who picked it up in Mississippi at the end of the 19th century from a man named Youngblood.

Covers:

1927:

Fiddlin' John Carson

1927:

Carter Brothers

1928:

Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers

1928:

Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers

1928:

Uncle Dave Macon

1941:

Adolph Hofner & His San Antonians

1946:

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

1956:

Josh White

1959:

Mountain Ramblers [idem]

1959:

Bookmiller Shannon [Alan Lomax recording]

1959:

Nina Simone

1962:

Oscar Brand & The Tarriers

1964:

Terry Callier [released in '68]

1981:

Chieftains

1982:

Kinky Friedman

1984:

Doc & Merle Watson

1992:

Michelle Shocked

1992:

Red Clay Ramblers

1994:

Rednex [n°1 UK, NL & B]

1995:

Smurfen [as De Cowboy Van Smurfenland]

2006:

Crazy Frog

Melody relates with Irish tune The Mountain Top and with Scottish song General Burgoyne's March (circa 1777), sang by the British army in the American colony. Alabama fiddler George Cole sang it as Cotton Eyed Joe since 1900. Published in 1925 in Dorothy Scarbrough's songbook On The Trail Of Negro Songs.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
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info@originals.be

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