Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Transcription Mystery Disc #215

This week I ripped the other side of the one from last week since it was so damn interesting. The B-side is unexpected to say the least. It's an old gospel song "What A Friend We Have In Mother."  What's odd is that it's the same tune (more or less) as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus,"  which is the version we're all more familiar with. the lyrics are very different obviously but the melody is unmistakable.

But  "What A Friend We Have In Mother." has been covered by many artists: Wilf Carter, the Louvin Brothers, The Peerless Quartet, the Virginia Mountain Boys. The covers of a the Jesus-version are to numerous to mention. The lyrics to the song were written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855.  the music was written more than a decade later by Charles Crozat Converse.

What a Friend We Have In Mother

The Mother version dates to at last 1924. Interestingly it's credited on the Victor website to Charles E. Rote. [Source] Now while the Mihalia Jackson version is a totally different song than the Louvin brothers take... it's quite clear that Mr. Rote ripped off Converse and Scriven. While that might have flown in 1924... I know some record labels that would have eaten him alive today. 

Trying a new audio player today.. not working so well.

what a friend we have in mother