Tuesday, September 04, 2007

On The Bum


If you are having a hard time getting back into the daily grind after the long holiday weekend you’re not alone. All day long my mind wandered to that relaxing island on the river.

I have always admired the freedom represented by the hobo. The songs of Harry McClintock have been a regular part of my repertoire for many a year. 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 Francisco 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 organizer. It's ironic that he is most often remembered for his songs about folks who do not work. Perhaps, like me, he looks upon these folks with a bit of envy.

Let’s dedicate this post-Labor Day week to those whose mornings aren't interrupted by an alarm clock.

Harry McClintock – Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.mp3

Almoth Hodges – The Hobo From The T&P Line – Part 2.mp3
Not one of Harry McClintock’s songs. I just like it and it fits today’s theme.

Fred Holstein – Hobo Songs.mp3
Harry McClintock recorded several versions of the Hobo Song. Chicago songster and co-owner of the legendary Earl of Old Towne, the late Fred Holstein combined the verses of several of Harry’s recordings and called it Hobo Songs.

5 Comments:

Blogger kjk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 04, 2007 10:38 PM  
Anonymous john said...

Thanks for the song by Fred!
My wife will love it.
Back in 69-70, while I was a GI in Panama saving the country from an over-abundance of weed, she and her friends from NIU would drive down to the Earl on weekends. They loved hearing Fred and Ed, and those "new guys", Steve Goodman and John Prine.

September 05, 2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even newer, were the Smiths who offered a great line in keeping with the freedom of the bum-ists.

"I needed a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now."

As a bit of a vagabond, I can listen to these musical offerings and transport myself there. But then, isn't that the purpose of all music?

September 05, 2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

John,
The Earl was a fertile field in those days.

September 05, 2007 8:04 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

To our anonymous vagabond,
There is a lot of truth in that line from the Smiths, and in yours.

September 05, 2007 8:07 PM  

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