Hobos, Bums, & Wobblies: Harry McClintock
It's Monday mornings that I often find myself singing a Harry McClintock song to myself as I drive the backroads to the plant. I was first introduced to the music of Harry McClintock more than twenty-five years ago and several of his songs seem to come to mind often.
Harry McClintock (October 8, 1882 - April 24, 1957), was a songwriter and union organizer. A lifelong Wobblie, as the Industrial Workers of the World were known, Harry is credited as the first person to record fellow Wobblie and folk hero, Joe Hill's "The Preacher and the Slave". McClintock's radio and recording career took off when he moved to The San Fransisco Bay Area where he hosted a daily children's program on KFRC called "Mac and his Gang" calling himself "Haywire Mac". He also had a novelty cowboy band called Mac and his Haywire Orchestry.
Harry McClintock worked all of his life in a variety of occupations. At various times he was a seamen, muleskinner, railroader, cowboy, sheep herder, and union organiser. It's ironic that he is most often remebered for his songs about folks who do not work. Perhaps, like me, he looks upon these folks with a bit of envy. His best known song, "Big Rock Candy Mountain", is often mistaken for a children's folk song but is far from a song for the little tikes.
Let's start this work week off with a couple of tunes dedicated to those who's Monday mornings aren't interupted by an alarm clock.