Artist: Vernon Dalhart
Author: Brewster Higley/Daniel Kelley/Clarence Harlan/Eugene Harlan/Virgie Harlan
Also known as Oh Give Me A Home Where The Buffalo Roam. Since 1947 the Official State Song of Kansas while it also was Franklin D. Roosevelt's favorite song, landing him many votes among Midwestern farmers. On November 8, 1932 a few reporters serenaded freshly elected FDR with their version of A Home On The Range in front of the White House and that's when things really started to roll.
Ken Maynard [the first singing cowboy; released in 1980]
Bing Crosby [top 20 US]
Lawrence Tibbett [baritone star of the Met]
Kay Francis [in film I Loved A Woman]
Sons Of The Pioneers [with Roy Rogers; one of his theme songs along with Happy Trails]
James Richardson [Lomax recording in the Florida State Pen]
Huub Oosterhuis [as Ik Bied U Dit Brood]
Kirsti Sparboe [Norwegian as Hjem]
Neil Young [in film Where The Buffalo Roam]
Following the song's success in the early thirties, couple William & Mary Goodwin claimed authorship, pretending they wrote the words in 1905 (as An Arizona Home), published by Ralph Peer's Southern Music company. Practically all Home On The Range versions circulating were derived from the one John A. Lomax had included in his 1909 songbook Cowboy Songs And Other Frontier Ballads. That's four years later than the Goodwin's copyright, so Ralph Peer asked John A. Lomax what he thought of that Goodwin song. Lomax answered he always presumed the song he collected to be public domain. Whereupon Peer's Southern Music started a half a million $ lawsuit against 29 commercial recordings of A Home On A Range. During that case still older versions kept popping up: first a Colorado Home from the 1880s, finally a poem named Western Home, written in 1876 by Dr. Bruce Higley and published on the front page of The Kirwin Chief, a Kansas newspaper. That same year Dan Kelley, a friend of Higley, added a tune and those are the names A Home On The Range is still credited to. The north Kansas hut where Higley wrote the words can still be visited today. The view on the range remains unspoiled.