I had always thought that the great bluesmen/folk singers were song writers in their own right. Not that they weren't, but if you take a song like "House of the Rising Sun" made famous by the Animals in the 60's. You suddenly see the history behind a simple song.
I always knew that Eric Burdon hadn't written it, I've got a copy of Leadbelly performing it (Great double album compilation called Blues Anthology UK) awesome song, but nothing like the Animals version (Leadbelly's version if from the view point of a man attending a brothel, not a gambler). But the Animals don't seem to have taken it from Leadbelly. Dylan did a cover just a year or two before the Animals released theirs. Before him, Nina Simone and other artists, then recording history seems to take "House of the Rising Sun" into hazy realm of recording and playing by numerous artists to the point where music historians can't figure out who wrote the song. The melody seems to have come from a traditional English ballad, refined by the American folk, bluegras and blues musicians.
Music history is so cool.


Leadbelly - In New Orleans {buy}

Nina Simone - House of the Rising Sun {buy}

Bob Dylan - House of the Rising Sun {buy}

This is about my speed. Guitar lesson for "House of the Rising Sun" from Guitar Noise .com


Call me Paul said...

Hey Andrew,

How do you host those mp3 files?

AC@45 said...

I use http://pages.google.com/ .. you can host about 10 files at one time