Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harry McClintock day

Harry McClintock, or "Haywire Mac", was famous for his hit "The Big Rock Candy Mountain", but is mostly forgotten today. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1882, but moved eventually to New Orleans. During this time, he wrote his first songs that later would become hits for him. The subject of his songs were often the lives of the bums and ramblers, good examples are "The Bum Song" or "Hallelujah! I'm a Bum". His biggest seller came with the tale of the "Big Rock Candy Mountain" from 1928, which was covered in the 1980s (or 1990s?) by the Beat Farmers. The tune also came to new popularity when it was used in the great movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" (2000). McClintock himself recorded much more material than this one song for Victor and had also a radio show on KFRC and lead his own group, the Haywire Orchestra. I've got not much info on his later life, he died in 1957. In 1950, there was an album on Cock Records. Folkways reissued many of his recordings in the 1970s. Today, Mac is a forgotten artist that never got the attention he deserved.

Here are three songs of him:
1. Goodbye Old Paint
2. Trail to Mexico
3. Trusty Lariat

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Harry's signature song 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' was also used by Dorsey Burnette on Era in 1960.

Dennis said...

In the late 1970's, I hosted KRABgrass on KRAB-FM in Seattle. It was a Saturday night country, Bluegrass, Old Timey and whatever show. Baby Gramps would arrive and play a set a few times each year. Anyway, a listener called each time I played Harry McClintock, recalling his days on KVI-AM radio in Seattle in the late 30's or early 40's Now, that would have been a radio show. Dennis