Discussion:
The Number Ones: Johnny Horton’s “The Battle Of New Orleans”
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Bob Roman
2018-11-13 22:25:36 UTC
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A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

Johnny Horton – “The Battle Of New Orleans”
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks

Johnny Horton spent some time as a rockabilly singer before finding a home in country music, but the biggest single of 1959 — like the biggest single of 1958 before it — had nothing to do with rock ‘n’ roll. Instead, it was a novelty march, one that did its best to transform the horrors of war into a fun, silly romp.

Jimmy Driftwood, the man who wrote “The Battle Of New Orleans,” was an Arkansas high school principal who sometimes wrote songs to help get his students excited to learn about history. Driftwood eventually wrote thousands of songs, and a number of different singers recorded their own versions of “The Battle Of New Orleans,” a song about an 1814 encounter between General Andrew Jackson’s American troops and a much larger British naval force. That might’ve been a great American victory, but I’m willing to guess that it wasn’t the good time that Driftwood depicted. You can totally tell it’s the work of a high school educator, right down to the moment when the lyrics fake out on saying the word “hell.”

The version of the song that hit was from Johnny Horton, a Los Angeles native who’d been a collegiate basketball player and a gold prospector in Alaska before falling into a musical career. Horton eventually married Billie Jean Jones, Hank Williams’ widow. And a year after he hit #1 with “The Battle Of New Orleans,” Horton died in a car accident after playing a show at Austin’s Skyline Club — the same venue that Williams had played before he died.

Given Horton’s young and tragic death, I suppose it’s nice to hear that he clearly had a good time singing on his biggest hit. But “The Battle Of New Orleans” really isn’t much of a song. It’s a pure novelty, with its snare drums and its hut-two-three-four chanting. A banjo plays “Dixie,” and the lyrics laud Andrew Jackson, two decisions that haven’t aged especially well. But nothing about “The Battle Of New Orleans” was built to last. It’s a big joke, one that displays a distinctly pre-Vietnam sense of American military swagger: “We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down / Then we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.” As a country, we’d spend the next decade learning lessons that a high school principal isn’t equipped to teach.

GRADE: 2/10
Dennis C
2018-11-14 00:00:45 UTC
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NOT a Roger Ford favorite, baby!
Roger Ford
2018-11-14 08:48:18 UTC
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Post by Dennis C
NOT a Roger Ford favorite, baby!
On the contrary Dennis I always liked the proper Horton version.

What I disliked was the blatant distorting and rewriting of history to
accomodate the "revised" Horton version that was released over here in
UK and which was done purely to placate an irate BBC and thus get
airplay to compete with Lonnie Donegan's more Brit-friendly UK version

ROGER FORD
-----------------------

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Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-14 01:37:00 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1
in the Billboard Hot 100.
Johnny Horton ­ ³The Battle Of New Orleans²
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks
Johnny Horton spent some time as a rockabilly singer before finding a home in
country music, but the biggest single of 1959 ‹ like the biggest single of
1958 before it ‹ had nothing to do with rock Œn¹ roll. Instead, it was a
novelty march, one that did its best to transform the horrors of war into a
fun, silly romp.
Jimmy Driftwood, the man who wrote ³The Battle Of New Orleans,² was an
Arkansas high school principal who sometimes wrote songs to help get his
students excited to learn about history. Driftwood eventually wrote thousands
of songs, and a number of different singers recorded their own versions of
³The Battle Of New Orleans,² a song about an 1814 encounter between General
Andrew Jackson¹s American troops and a much larger British naval force. That
might¹ve been a great American victory, but I¹m willing to guess that it
wasn¹t the good time that Driftwood depicted. You can totally tell it¹s the
work of a high school educator, right down to the moment when the lyrics fake
out on saying the word ³hell.²
The version of the song that hit was from Johnny Horton, a Los Angeles native
who¹d been a collegiate basketball player and a gold prospector in Alaska
before falling into a musical career. Horton eventually married Billie Jean
Jones, Hank Williams¹ widow. And a year after he hit #1 with ³The Battle Of
New Orleans,² Horton died in a car accident after playing a show at Austin¹s
Skyline Club ‹ the same venue that Williams had played before he died.
Given Horton¹s young and tragic death, I suppose it¹s nice to hear that he
clearly had a good time singing on his biggest hit. But ³The Battle Of New
Orleans² really isn¹t much of a song. It¹s a pure novelty, with its snare
drums and its hut-two-three-four chanting. A banjo plays ³Dixie,² and the
lyrics laud Andrew Jackson, two decisions that haven¹t aged especially well.
But nothing about ³The Battle Of New Orleans² was built to last. It¹s a big
joke, one that displays a distinctly pre-Vietnam sense of American military
swagger: ³We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down / Then we grabbed
an alligator and we fought another round.² As a country, we¹d spend the next
decade learning lessons that a high school principal isn¹t equipped to teach.
GRADE: 2/10
As usual, Breihan is clumsily breaking a butterfly upon the wheel, but
he's almost on to something worth mentioning. The "military swagger" he
talks about had (and still has) a distinct and genuine southern tang to
it, seen best in the part about using an alligator as a weapon after
the cannons melt down. ("We filled his head with cannonballs and
powdered his behind/And when we touched the powder off the gator lost
his mind!" are the best lines in the song, and Breihan, humorless as
always, fails to appreciate them.) At the risk of sounding
professorial, I'll add that Mark Twain blamed the Civil War on the
southerners' love for the Romantic-era novels of Sir Walter Scott,
novels about the chivalric heroism and honor-driven battles of the
middle ages. (Some of us may remember being forced to read "Ivanhoe" in
eighth of ninth grade, or that Elizabeth Taylor was impossibly gorgeous
in the movie.) Twain said that the south believed that Scott's romantic
claptrap was the way life really was, or at least ought to be, and that
led the south to plunge headlong into the Civil War. Some of that idea
survives in the "swagger" of the song, more authentically, of course,
in Jimmy Driftwood's much more interesting version of it.

Anyway, as Roger taught us long ago, Horton's record had enough real
bite to it that the Brits had to produce their own patriotic version
before it could get airplay on the BBC.

--------------

For those still with me, here is Twain's whole fascinating argument:



"Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his enchantments, and by his single
might checks this wave of progress, and even turns it back; sets the
world in love with dreams and phantoms; with decayed and swinish forms
of religion; with decayed and degraded systems of government; with the
sillinesses and emptinesses, sham grandeurs, sham gauds, and sham
chivalries of a brainless and worthless long-vanished society. He did
measureless harm; more real and lasting harm, perhaps, than any other
individual that ever wrote. Most of the world has now outlived good
part of these harms, though by no means all of them; but in our South
they flourish pretty forcefully still. Not so forcefully as half a
generation ago, perhaps, but still forcefully. There, the genuine and
wholesome civilization of the nineteenth century is curiously confused
and commingled with the Walter Scott Middle-Age sham civilization; and
so you have practical, common-sense, progressive ideas, and progressive
works; mixed up with the duel, the inflated speech, and the jejune
romanticism of an absurd past that is dead, and out of charity ought to
be buried. But for the Sir Walter disease, the character of the
Southerner-- or Southron, according to Sir Walter`s starchier way of
phrasing it-- would be wholly modern, in place of modern and medieval
mixed, and the South would be fully a generation further advanced than
it is. It was Sir Walter that made every gentleman in the South a Major
or a Colonel, or a General or a Judge, before the war; and it was he,
also, that made these gentlemen value these bogus decorations. For it
was he that created rank and caste down there, and also reverence for
rank and caste, and pride and pleasure in them. Enough is laid on
slavery, without fathering upon it these creations and contributions of
Sir Walter.
Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it
existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the
war. It seems a little harsh toward a dead man to say that we never
should have had any war but for Sir Walter; and yet something of a
plausible argument might, perhaps, be made in support of that wild
proposition. The Southerner of the American Revolution owned slaves; so
did the Southerner of the Civil War: but the former resembles the
latter as an Englishman resembles a Frenchman. The change of character
can be traced rather more easily to Sir Walter`s influence than to that
of any other thing or person.
One may observe, by one or two signs, how deeply that influence
penetrated, and how strongly it holds. If one take up a Northern or
Southern literary periodical of forty or fifty years ago, he will find
it filled with wordy, windy, flowery `eloquence,` romanticism,
sentimentality-- all imitated from Sir Walter, and sufficiently badly
done, too-- innocent travesties of his style and methods, in fact. This
sort of literature being the fashion in both sections of the country,
there was opportunity for the fairest competition; and as a
consequence, the South was able to show as many well-known literary
names, proportioned to population, as the North could.
But a change has come, and there is no opportunity now for a fair
competition between North and South. For the North has thrown out that
old inflated style, whereas the Southern writer still clings to
it--clings to it and has a restricted market for his wares, as a
consequence. There is as much literary talent in the South, now, as
ever there was, of course; but its work can gain but slight currency
under present conditions; the authors write for the past, not the
present; they use obsolete forms, and a dead language. But when a
Southerner of genius writes modern English, his book goes upon crutches
no longer, but upon wings; and they carry it swiftly all about America
and England, and through the great English reprint publishing houses of
Germany-- as witness the experience of Mr. Cable and Uncle Remus, two
of the very few Southern authors who do not write in the Southern
style. Instead of three or four widely-known literary names, the South
ought to have a dozen or two--and will have them when Sir Walter`s time
is out."

- "Life on the Mississippi"
--
--md
_________
Remove xx's from address to reply
Bob Roman
2018-11-14 04:59:37 UTC
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Post by Mark Dintenfass
As usual, Breihan is clumsily breaking a butterfly upon the wheel, but
he's almost on to something worth mentioning. The "military swagger" he
talks about had (and still has) a distinct and genuine southern tang to
it, seen best in the part about using an alligator as a weapon after
the cannons melt down. ("We filled his head with cannonballs and
powdered his behind/And when we touched the powder off the gator lost
his mind!" are the best lines in the song, and Breihan, humorless as
always, fails to appreciate them.)
I gotta give you this one. You're spot on.

--
BR
Roger Ford
2018-11-14 10:43:02 UTC
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:37:00 -0600, Mark Dintenfass
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1
in the Billboard Hot 100.
Johnny Horton ­ ³The Battle Of New Orleans²
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks
Johnny Horton spent some time as a rockabilly singer before finding a home in
country music, but the biggest single of 1959 ‹ like the biggest single of
1958 before it ‹ had nothing to do with rock Œn¹ roll. Instead, it was a
novelty march, one that did its best to transform the horrors of war into a
fun, silly romp.
Anyway, as Roger taught us long ago, Horton's record had enough real
bite to it that the Brits had to produce their own patriotic version
before it could get airplay on the BBC.
The Driftwood original had even more bite :)



The BBC's main gripe on the slightly later #1 hit Johnny Horton
version was Driftwood's phrase "bloody British" and they also bristled
at the (historically correct) notion that the British could come off
second-best



Lonnie Donegan's best selling UK version (#2 on NME chart) got by the
BBC by altering the words---and the personnel where the leading US
combatant (Colonel Jackson) becomes the British commander (Colonel
Pakenham) and the most offending phrase is toned down to "the bloomin'
British". Donegan also takes a comedic approach to the song with a
dose of old fashioned music hall humour. None of which made me like it
one bit



None of this was lost on US Columbia who handled the Horton #1
hit.They knew the then-unknown (in UK) Horton would never beat the
established Donegan on his home turf with the song but they also knew
that---with a few tweaks--the big US hit could be made to fit the UK
market and at least gain at least a slice of the UK money pie.So the
decision was made to drag Horton BACK into the studio to cut a much
more Brit-friendly ("bloomin' rebels" and "Colonel Pakenham" version
that managed to turn history on its head. And that also managed to
generate a #16 UK hit :)



ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
Roger Ford
2018-11-15 18:42:09 UTC
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Forgot to mention the 1959 Vaughn Monroe version of "The Battle Of New
Orleans". Yes THAT Vaughn Monroe!

Some unkind folk might say it would be better left forgotten and that
Monroe should have instead stayed home concentrating on sending red
roses to blue ladies.

But its interesting that this version (#87 in USA and his last chart
record) which borrows quite a bit from the Driftwood original was
PASSED by the BBC here (tho I don't ever remember hearing it on UK
radio back then)---tho he cuts out the "bloody" reference to the
British which I guess helped.





ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-17 04:09:12 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
Forgot to mention the 1959 Vaughn Monroe version of "The Battle Of New
Orleans". Yes THAT Vaughn Monroe!
Some unkind folk might say it would be better left forgotten and that
Monroe should have instead stayed home concentrating on sending red
roses to blue ladies.
But its interesting that this version (#87 in USA and his last chart
record) which borrows quite a bit from the Driftwood original was
PASSED by the BBC here (tho I don't ever remember hearing it on UK
radio back then)---tho he cuts out the "bloody" reference to the
British which I guess helped.
http://youtu.be/lHcd95n9SWU
Monroe, who always sounds like his day job was with the Metropolitan
Opera, doesn't quite pull of the marvelous stunt he managed with
"Ghost Riders in the Sky," but he manages to bring some energy to the
song. I won't put it in my iTunes folder, but I was happy to hear it.
--
--md
_________
Remove xx's from address to reply
DianeE
2018-11-14 14:11:13 UTC
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Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1
in the Billboard Hot 100.
Johnny Horton ­ ³The Battle Of New Orleans²
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks
Johnny Horton spent some time as a rockabilly singer before finding a home in
country music, but the biggest single of 1959 ‹ like the biggest single of
1958 before it ‹ had nothing to do with rock Œn¹ roll. Instead, it was a
novelty march, one that did its best to transform the horrors of war into a
fun, silly romp.
Jimmy Driftwood, the man who wrote ³The Battle Of New Orleans,² was an
Arkansas high school principal who sometimes wrote songs to help get his
students excited to learn about history. Driftwood eventually wrote thousands
of songs, and a number of different singers recorded their own versions of
³The Battle Of New Orleans,² a song about an 1814 encounter between General
Andrew Jackson¹s American troops and a much larger British naval force. That
might¹ve been a great American victory, but I¹m willing to guess that it
wasn¹t the good time that Driftwood depicted. You can totally tell it¹s the
work of a high school educator, right down to the moment when the lyrics fake
out on saying the word ³hell.²
The version of the song that hit was from Johnny Horton, a Los Angeles native
who¹d been a collegiate basketball player and a gold prospector in Alaska
before falling into a musical career. Horton eventually married Billie Jean
Jones, Hank Williams¹ widow. And a year after he hit #1 with ³The Battle Of
New Orleans,² Horton died in a car accident after playing a show at Austin¹s
Skyline Club ‹ the same venue that Williams had played before he died.
Given Horton¹s young and tragic death, I suppose it¹s nice to hear that he
clearly had a good time singing on his biggest hit. But ³The Battle Of New
Orleans² really isn¹t much of a song. It¹s a pure novelty, with its snare
drums and its hut-two-three-four chanting. A banjo plays ³Dixie,² and the
lyrics laud Andrew Jackson, two decisions that haven¹t aged especially well.
But nothing about ³The Battle Of New Orleans² was built to last. It¹s a big
joke, one that displays a distinctly pre-Vietnam sense of American military
swagger: ³We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down / Then we grabbed
an alligator and we fought another round.² As a country, we¹d spend the next
decade learning lessons that a high school principal isn¹t equipped to teach.
GRADE: 2/10
As usual, Breihan is clumsily breaking a butterfly upon the wheel, but
he's almost on to something worth mentioning. The "military swagger" he
talks about had (and still has) a distinct and genuine southern tang to
it, seen best in the part about using an alligator as a weapon after
the cannons melt down. ("We filled his head with cannonballs and
powdered his behind/And when we touched the powder off the gator lost
his mind!" are the best lines in the song, and Breihan, humorless as
always, fails to appreciate them.) At the risk of sounding
professorial, I'll add that Mark Twain blamed the Civil War on the
southerners' love for the Romantic-era novels of Sir Walter Scott,
novels about the chivalric heroism and honor-driven battles of the
middle ages. (Some of us may remember being forced to read "Ivanhoe" in
eighth of ninth grade, or that Elizabeth Taylor was impossibly gorgeous
in the movie.) Twain said that the south believed that Scott's romantic
claptrap was the way life really was, or at least ought to be, and that
led the south to plunge headlong into the Civil War. Some of that idea
survives in the "swagger" of the song, more authentically, of course,
in Jimmy Driftwood's much more interesting version of it.
Anyway, as Roger taught us long ago, Horton's record had enough real
bite to it that the Brits had to produce their own patriotic version
before it could get airplay on the BBC.
--------------
"Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his enchantments, and by his single
might checks this wave of progress, and even turns it back; sets the
world in love with dreams and phantoms; with decayed and swinish forms
of religion; with decayed and degraded systems of government; with the
sillinesses and emptinesses, sham grandeurs, sham gauds, and sham
chivalries of a brainless and worthless long-vanished society. He did
measureless harm; more real and lasting harm, perhaps, than any other
individual that ever wrote. Most of the world has now outlived good
part of these harms, though by no means all of them; but in our South
they flourish pretty forcefully still. Not so forcefully as half a
generation ago, perhaps, but still forcefully. There, the genuine and
wholesome civilization of the nineteenth century is curiously confused
and commingled with the Walter Scott Middle-Age sham civilization; and
so you have practical, common-sense, progressive ideas, and progressive
works; mixed up with the duel, the inflated speech, and the jejune
romanticism of an absurd past that is dead, and out of charity ought to
be buried. But for the Sir Walter disease, the character of the
Southerner-- or Southron, according to Sir Walter`s starchier way of
phrasing it-- would be wholly modern, in place of modern and medieval
mixed, and the South would be fully a generation further advanced than
it is. It was Sir Walter that made every gentleman in the South a Major
or a Colonel, or a General or a Judge, before the war; and it was he,
also, that made these gentlemen value these bogus decorations. For it
was he that created rank and caste down there, and also reverence for
rank and caste, and pride and pleasure in them. Enough is laid on
slavery, without fathering upon it these creations and contributions of
Sir Walter.
Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it
existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the
war. It seems a little harsh toward a dead man to say that we never
should have had any war but for Sir Walter; and yet something of a
plausible argument might, perhaps, be made in support of that wild
proposition. The Southerner of the American Revolution owned slaves; so
did the Southerner of the Civil War: but the former resembles the
latter as an Englishman resembles a Frenchman. The change of character
can be traced rather more easily to Sir Walter`s influence than to that
of any other thing or person.
One may observe, by one or two signs, how deeply that influence
penetrated, and how strongly it holds. If one take up a Northern or
Southern literary periodical of forty or fifty years ago, he will find
it filled with wordy, windy, flowery `eloquence,` romanticism,
sentimentality-- all imitated from Sir Walter, and sufficiently badly
done, too-- innocent travesties of his style and methods, in fact. This
sort of literature being the fashion in both sections of the country,
there was opportunity for the fairest competition; and as a
consequence, the South was able to show as many well-known literary
names, proportioned to population, as the North could.
But a change has come, and there is no opportunity now for a fair
competition between North and South. For the North has thrown out that
old inflated style, whereas the Southern writer still clings to
it--clings to it and has a restricted market for his wares, as a
consequence. There is as much literary talent in the South, now, as
ever there was, of course; but its work can gain but slight currency
under present conditions; the authors write for the past, not the
present; they use obsolete forms, and a dead language. But when a
Southerner of genius writes modern English, his book goes upon crutches
no longer, but upon wings; and they carry it swiftly all about America
and England, and through the great English reprint publishing houses of
Germany-- as witness the experience of Mr. Cable and Uncle Remus, two
of the very few Southern authors who do not write in the Southern
style. Instead of three or four widely-known literary names, the South
ought to have a dozen or two--and will have them when Sir Walter`s time
is out."
- "Life on the Mississippi"
------------
Wow. Don't hold back, Sam--tell us how you *really* feel. I've never
read anything by Scott but after this I don't feel bad about that at all.
Will Dockery
2018-11-18 17:19:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mark Dintenfass
As usual, Breihan is clumsily breaking a butterfly upon the wheel, but
he's almost on to something worth mentioning. The "military swagger" he
talks about had (and still has) a distinct and genuine southern tang to
it, seen best in the part about using an alligator as a weapon after
the cannons melt down. ("We filled his head with cannonballs and
powdered his behind/And when we touched the powder off the gator lost
his mind!" are the best lines in the song, and Breihan, humorless as
always, fails to appreciate them.) At the risk of sounding
professorial, I'll add that Mark Twain blamed the Civil War on the
southerners' love for the Romantic-era novels of Sir Walter Scott,
novels about the chivalric heroism and honor-driven battles of the
middle ages. (Some of us may remember being forced to read "Ivanhoe" in
eighth of ninth grade, or that Elizabeth Taylor was impossibly gorgeous
in the movie.) Twain said that the south believed that Scott's romantic
claptrap was the way life really was, or at least ought to be, and that
led the south to plunge headlong into the Civil War. Some of that idea
survives in the "swagger" of the song, more authentically, of course,
in Jimmy Driftwood's much more interesting version of it.
Anyway, as Roger taught us long ago, Horton's record had enough real
bite to it that the Brits had to produce their own patriotic version
before it could get airplay on the BBC.
--------------
"Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his enchantments, and by his single
might checks this wave of progress, and even turns it back; sets the
world in love with dreams and phantoms; with decayed and swinish forms
of religion; with decayed and degraded systems of government; with the
sillinesses and emptinesses, sham grandeurs, sham gauds, and sham
chivalries of a brainless and worthless long-vanished society. He did
measureless harm; more real and lasting harm, perhaps, than any other
individual that ever wrote. Most of the world has now outlived good
part of these harms, though by no means all of them; but in our South
they flourish pretty forcefully still. Not so forcefully as half a
generation ago, perhaps, but still forcefully. There, the genuine and
wholesome civilization of the nineteenth century is curiously confused
and commingled with the Walter Scott Middle-Age sham civilization; and
so you have practical, common-sense, progressive ideas, and progressive
works; mixed up with the duel, the inflated speech, and the jejune
romanticism of an absurd past that is dead, and out of charity ought to
be buried. But for the Sir Walter disease, the character of the
Southerner-- or Southron, according to Sir Walter`s starchier way of
phrasing it-- would be wholly modern, in place of modern and medieval
mixed, and the South would be fully a generation further advanced than
it is. It was Sir Walter that made every gentleman in the South a Major
or a Colonel, or a General or a Judge, before the war; and it was he,
also, that made these gentlemen value these bogus decorations. For it
was he that created rank and caste down there, and also reverence for
rank and caste, and pride and pleasure in them. Enough is laid on
slavery, without fathering upon it these creations and contributions of
Sir Walter.
Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it
existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the
war. It seems a little harsh toward a dead man to say that we never
should have had any war but for Sir Walter; and yet something of a
plausible argument might, perhaps, be made in support of that wild
proposition. The Southerner of the American Revolution owned slaves; so
did the Southerner of the Civil War: but the former resembles the
latter as an Englishman resembles a Frenchman. The change of character
can be traced rather more easily to Sir Walter`s influence than to that
of any other thing or person.
One may observe, by one or two signs, how deeply that influence
penetrated, and how strongly it holds. If one take up a Northern or
Southern literary periodical of forty or fifty years ago, he will find
it filled with wordy, windy, flowery `eloquence,` romanticism,
sentimentality-- all imitated from Sir Walter, and sufficiently badly
done, too-- innocent travesties of his style and methods, in fact. This
sort of literature being the fashion in both sections of the country,
there was opportunity for the fairest competition; and as a
consequence, the South was able to show as many well-known literary
names, proportioned to population, as the North could.
But a change has come, and there is no opportunity now for a fair
competition between North and South. For the North has thrown out that
old inflated style, whereas the Southern writer still clings to
it--clings to it and has a restricted market for his wares, as a
consequence. There is as much literary talent in the South, now, as
ever there was, of course; but its work can gain but slight currency
under present conditions; the authors write for the past, not the
present; they use obsolete forms, and a dead language. But when a
Southerner of genius writes modern English, his book goes upon crutches
no longer, but upon wings; and they carry it swiftly all about America
and England, and through the great English reprint publishing houses of
Germany-- as witness the experience of Mr. Cable and Uncle Remus, two
of the very few Southern authors who do not write in the Southern
style. Instead of three or four widely-known literary names, the South
ought to have a dozen or two--and will have them when Sir Walter`s time
is out."
- "Life on the Mississippi"
--
--md
_________
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Excellent excerpt from Mark Twain, there, being a modern Deep South writer, I find it very illuminating.
Dean F.
2018-11-14 02:43:42 UTC
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On Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 5:25:37 PM UTC-5, Bob Roman wrote:


<< A banjo plays “Dixie,” and the lyrics laud Andrew Jackson, two decisions that haven’t aged especially well. But nothing about “The Battle Of New Orleans” was built to last. It’s a big joke, one that displays a distinctly pre-Vietnam sense of American military swagger: “We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down / Then we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.” As a country, we’d spend the next decade learning lessons that a high school principal isn’t equipped to teach. >>

Another dickweed who judges the past by the standards of the present.
YourGoldenRetriever
2018-11-14 05:37:49 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Johnny Horton – “The Battle Of New Orleans”
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks
Johnny Horton spent some time as a rockabilly singer before finding a home in country music, but the biggest single of 1959 — like the biggest single of 1958 before it — had nothing to do with rock ‘n’ roll. Instead, it was a novelty march, one that did its best to transform the horrors of war into a fun, silly romp.
Jimmy Driftwood, the man who wrote “The Battle Of New Orleans,” was an Arkansas high school principal who sometimes wrote songs to help get his students excited to learn about history. Driftwood eventually wrote thousands of songs, and a number of different singers recorded their own versions of “The Battle Of New Orleans,” a song about an 1814 encounter between General Andrew Jackson’s American troops and a much larger British naval force. That might’ve been a great American victory, but I’m willing to guess that it wasn’t the good time that Driftwood depicted. You can totally tell it’s the work of a high school educator, right down to the moment when the lyrics fake out on saying the word “hell.”
The version of the song that hit was from Johnny Horton, a Los Angeles native who’d been a collegiate basketball player and a gold prospector in Alaska before falling into a musical career. Horton eventually married Billie Jean Jones, Hank Williams’ widow. And a year after he hit #1 with “The Battle Of New Orleans,” Horton died in a car accident after playing a show at Austin’s Skyline Club — the same venue that Williams had played before he died.
Given Horton’s young and tragic death, I suppose it’s nice to hear that he clearly had a good time singing on his biggest hit. But “The Battle Of New Orleans” really isn’t much of a song. It’s a pure novelty, with its snare drums and its hut-two-three-four chanting. A banjo plays “Dixie,”
GRADE: 2/10
Well, it WAS a product of Mitch Miller.

Great song and I have the record.
DianeE
2018-11-14 14:18:45 UTC
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This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions. When he was
running for President some of his opponent's supporters dubbed him
"Andrew Jackass." Instead of being insulted, he turned this around and
used the donkey as an icon to represent courage and tenacity.
Eventually the donkey came to represent the whole party, not just
Jacka...I mean, Jackson.

The Republican elephant didn't come along till the 1870s and was created
by famed cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-14 14:47:22 UTC
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Post by DianeE
This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions. When he was
running for President some of his opponent's supporters dubbed him
"Andrew Jackass." Instead of being insulted, he turned this around and
used the donkey as an icon to represent courage and tenacity.
Eventually the donkey came to represent the whole party, not just
Jacka...I mean, Jackson.
The Republican elephant didn't come along till the 1870s and was created
by famed cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Since Jackson plays a big role in the song, it's not wholly off-topic,
and though I knew about Nast and the elephant, I didn't know that the
warrior (and genocidal) president was the original Jackass. So thanks.
--
--md
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Jim Colegrove
2018-11-14 14:56:00 UTC
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Post by DianeE
This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions. When he was
running for President some of his opponent's supporters dubbed him
"Andrew Jackass." Instead of being insulted, he turned this around and
used the donkey as an icon to represent courage and tenacity.
Eventually the donkey came to represent the whole party, not just
Jacka...I mean, Jackson.
The Republican elephant didn't come along till the 1870s and was created
by famed cartoonist Thomas Nast.
As far as I know, Nast created both symbols for the two parties. The
donkey was first associated with the Democrats during the election of
1828, but it wasn’t until Nast used it in 1870 that people began to
link the Democrats with the donkey.
Before the "jackass" the Democrats symbol was a rooster. "Crowing" was
its significance. It is a most interesting story.

https://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_books_1913_rooster_democratic_party_symbol.htm
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-14 17:47:22 UTC
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Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by DianeE
This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions. When he was
running for President some of his opponent's supporters dubbed him
"Andrew Jackass." Instead of being insulted, he turned this around and
used the donkey as an icon to represent courage and tenacity.
Eventually the donkey came to represent the whole party, not just
Jacka...I mean, Jackson.
The Republican elephant didn't come along till the 1870s and was created
by famed cartoonist Thomas Nast.
As far as I know, Nast created both symbols for the two parties. The
donkey was first associated with the Democrats during the election of
1828, but it wasn’t until Nast used it in 1870 that people began to
link the Democrats with the donkey.
Before the "jackass" the Democrats symbol was a rooster. "Crowing" was
its significance. It is a most interesting story.
https://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_books_1913_rooster_democratic_party_symbol.htm
Glad to have that straight.
--
--md
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DianeE
2018-11-14 21:31:24 UTC
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Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by DianeE
This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions. When he was
running for President some of his opponent's supporters dubbed him
"Andrew Jackass." Instead of being insulted, he turned this around and
used the donkey as an icon to represent courage and tenacity.
Eventually the donkey came to represent the whole party, not just
Jacka...I mean, Jackson.
The Republican elephant didn't come along till the 1870s and was created
by famed cartoonist Thomas Nast.
As far as I know, Nast created both symbols for the two parties. The
donkey was first associated with the Democrats during the election of
1828, but it wasn’t until Nast used it in 1870 that people began to
link the Democrats with the donkey.
-----------
That's what I meant by "eventually." Nast created the elephant wholly
out of his imagination, but the donkey symbol was already there in the
background.
xpenenyx
2018-11-22 14:06:16 UTC
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Post by DianeE
This is totally off topic but I found it so amusing that I'll share it
with you. I was wondering how the donkey became the symbol of the
Democratic Party, and here's the answer. The Democratic Party was
founded by Andrew Jackson, even though the modern Democratic Party is
greatly opposed to many of his policies and positions.
The Jefferson-Jackson Dinner ia a big yearly Democrat event. While
Jackson might not fit in with the party these days neither would
Jefferson who feared a strong central government.
Roger Ford
2018-11-24 17:06:26 UTC
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2018 14:25:36 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Johnny Horton =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CThe Battle Of New Orleans=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: June 1, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 6 weeks
Here's how it did in the 1959 Singles Battle

R1 Paul Evans - Midnite Special 5
Horton 23

2 Horton 19
Little Richard - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On 6

3 Sheppards - Island Of Love 13
Horton 12

ROGER FORD
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