MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME (GOOD NIGHT)

Latest update on 29/05/2018

Artist: Standard Quartette
Author: Stephen Foster
Label: Berliner
Year: 1894

What's been known as doowop half a century ago and as hip-hop nowadays, was called Barbershop in the early 1900's. Every label had its own barbershop quartet in the charts: Edison had The Edison Male Quartet, Victor the Haydn Quartet (with Harry McDonough), Columbia the Peerless Quartet (with Henry Burr) and the Standard Quartette (who also cut the oldest Swing Low Sweet Chariot - see there).

Covers:

1897:

Edward M. Favor

1898:

Edison Male Quartet

1898:

Mina Hickman

1900:

George McNeice [cornet solo]

1901:

Harry MacDonough [was part of the Standard Quartette]

1901:

Zon-O-Phone Orchestra

1903:

Haydn Quartet [later name for the Edison Male Quartet, when they stopped recording for Edison]

1903:

Samuel Siegel

1903:

Arthur Pryor [trombone solo]

1916:

Alma Gluck

1930:

Gene Autry

1930:

Paul Robeson

1930:

Al Jolson

1940:

Bing Crosby

1947:

Nelson Eddy

1962:

Spotnicks

1965:

Country Gentlemen

1967:

Alan Price

1967:

Kate Smith

1970:

Randy Newman [see note]

1971:

Ry Cooder

1975:

Johnny Cash

1996:

Osborne Brothers

2004:

John Prine [on Stephen Foster tribute Beautiful Dreamer]

Official state song of Kentucky since 1928, written in 1853 by the legendary Stephen Foster, also known for Oh Susanna and The Old Folks At Home (see there). Foster wrote it after a short stay at his cousins home in Kentucky. He obviously wrote it from the viewpoint of a slave separated from his family after being sold to a sugar cane planter down south. The original title, Poor Uncle Tom, Goodnight reminds Harriet Beecher Stowe's abolitionist classic novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) where the action also takes place in Kentucky. Along with Virginia and Maryland, Kentucky was a so-called slave breeding state, providing sufficient livestock for slave consuming crops down south (cotton, sugar cane). The song title was changed by the publisher to avoid any comparison with the novel, while most versions skipped the song-part most obviously reveiling the slave point of view ("The head must bow and the back will have to bend, Wherever the darkey may go; A few more days and the trouble all will end, In the field where the sugar-canes grow"). In many cases the slaves had to travel the whole journey south by foot and in shackles. Randy Newman's Old Kentucky Home (see there) is not exactly the same song but is visibly inspired by this Foster classic. For more links between Foster and Newman, see Oh Susanna.

Contact


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

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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