Country, Western & Gospel Music

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will be authentic folk songs) everyone concerned with the song is strictly country. It is published by Acuff-Rose of Nashville. Its authors are Grand Ole Opry boys from way back. And the roots of the song, however recently it was written, are deep in the mountains.
Since "Tennessee Waltz," a song must lead the country field as well as pop in order to be a top seller. "On Top of Old Smokey" has done it, but as yet no Tin Pan Alley num­ber has made the grade.
The street's most strenuous effort to date has been a number called "Mr. and Mississippi," which to the untutored ear sounds much like "Tennessee Waltz" and tells the same type of story. It was even recorded by Patti Page, and confidently the publisher took an advance record to Rosalie Allen, a lively girl of 28 who is the only country disk jockey in the New York area.
The attractive Miss Allen listened carefully to "Mr. and Mississippi" and then looked up. "A contrived folk tune," she said coldly. "My audience will never go for it." Ap­parently she was right. Latest news is that "Mr. and Mis­sissippi" has done fine in the pop field, but not in country.
Still, Tin Pan Alley has its fingers crossed, for one of its youngest composers seems to find it possible to write folk tunes. He is Bob Merrill, an agreeable fellow of 29 whose background is far removed from anything folk. At 15, he was a mimic in Philadelphia night clubs. Later he acted on Broadway, wrote radio scripts, and directed B movies.
Though he is without any real musical background, Mer­rill decided a year ago to write songs. He bought a $1.98 xylophone and on it began composing pop tunes like "If I Knew You Were Coming I'd'a Baked a Cake." Very much a hep guy, Merrill soon spotted the growing popularity of folk music, and one afternoon locked himself in his apart­ment with the xylophone. With him he also had several Weaver albums.
After listening to them, he tapped out a number called "My Truly, Truly Fair," which he took to song writing friends at Lindy's. "No good," they assured him. "It's straight Broadway, phony hillbilly."
Merrill went home, listened to more Weaver records, and
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III