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My mama's gettin' old, hair is turnin' gray, you know it'd break her heart knowin' I'm livin' this-a-way - Charlie Patton, Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues

Author Topic: House of The Rising Sun  (Read 890 times)

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Offline Gary Blue

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House of The Rising Sun
« on: April 26, 2012, 02:13:32 PM »
I'm interested in the origins of the song 'House of the Rising Sun', the truth in the theory that it refers to a women's prison and in the earliest sources for the song.
Writer, Researcher, Producer and Presenter of the weekly radio show STAR BLUES (from Cambridge, UK)

Sundays from 10pm on Star107.9/1FM and streaming live from www.star107.co.uk

Offline Pan

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 02:47:04 PM »
I believe Clarence Ashley did the 1st recorded version:



Here's the Georgia Turner version recorded by Alan Lomax:



Leadbelly recorded the song several times, in 1939 he played it in straight 4/4 time:



and in 1944 as a waltz:



I suspect that we have Josh White to thank for the modern version played in minor key:



He also accompanied Libby Holman and I suspect the arrangement came from him:



Cheers

Pan



« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 03:22:52 PM by Pan »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 08:05:30 PM »
great collection Pan. I first heard this song these Three and  Leadbelly  though in some different versions...then of course there is Eric Burden & The Animals...pretty good too,





« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 11:15:52 AM by Johnm »
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 09:19:59 PM »
Believe it or not there's a entire book on the subject Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song by Ted Anthony (Simon & Schuster 2007), which I think has been a topic of discussion here. Mine's on loan at present.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 09:21:15 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Johnm

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 09:46:02 AM »
Hi all,
Dillard Chandler, a ballad singer form North Carolina that John Cohen recorded and filmed did a version in which he sang "There is a sport in New Orleans they call the Rising Sun".  The notes to the record it was on surmised that "sport" used in this context meant "prostitute".  Chandler's version is well worth seeking out--he was an amazing singer.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2021, 05:44:39 AM »
Hi all,

I just came by a song, "The Rounder's Luck" by The Callahan Brothers, which appears to be a minor key waltz version of The House of the Rising Sun from the year 1935.



Cheers,

Pan

Offline Johnm

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2021, 08:02:52 AM »
Thanks for finding and posting that version, Pan. There seem to be enough versions of "House of The Rising Sun" posted already, along with the prospect of more turning up from time to time, that I moved this thread to the Song of the Month board.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2021, 11:08:23 AM »
I'm sure most of you heard that when Hilton Valentine died last week, The Animals' version, especially his opening riff, got a lot of airplay. Some of the coverage of his passing also mentioned the origins of the song and played clips from some of the singers mentioned above. Of course, it was what he was best known for in the public sphere.

Some purists and traditionalists probably write off The Animals' version, but I think there's more to it than that.


Offline banjochris

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Re: House of The Rising Sun
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2021, 12:03:22 PM »
Thanks for finding and posting that version, Pan. There seem to be enough versions of "House of The Rising Sun" posted already, along with the prospect of more turning up from time to time, that I moved this thread to the Song of the Month board.

I went ahead and added it to our undated list of songs there too.

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