Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long Black Veil: 101

Here's a song we all know and whether it was sung by David Gray, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen or the hoards of others in the recent actually goes further back than the 90s, 80s and yes, even the 70s.

Even before the song was covered by the likes of Joan Baez (1963), Bill Monroe (1970) and Mick Jagger with the Chieftains (1995), the song has a bit more to it than even they contributed. Most music followers that dig through that song, come to find out that the version made famous by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash in 1965 was actually a spin-off of Cash's earlier version taken from Folsom Prison Blues. I even thought Cash was the original. Recently, I found out that the song was recorded in Nashville back in 1959, six years before Cash's version, by country singer Lefty Frizell who took the song to #6 on the charts.

"Long Black Veil" was written by Danny Dill with Marijohn Wilkin who claim three sources for the inspiration to the song (thanks Wiki):
1. A legend of a mysterious veiled woman who visited the grave of Italian silent film actor, sex symbol and icon of the 1920's, Rudolph Valentino, who died at an abnormally early age.
2. An unsolved murder of a local priest around the time the song was penned.
3. A recording of "God Walks These Hills With Me" by Red Foley

So...three for 3. Here are three versions of "Long Black Veil" as heard through the decades. If any of you have the Frizell version, I'd be much obliged.

Cash & Co.

Jagger & Co.

Dave & Co.

And now you know.


Whitney Levine said...

you wiki-ed it.

Nomi said...

lefty frizzell's version: