The specific origins of “Irene” are unclear. "Goodnight, Irene" or "Irene, Goodnight," is a 20th-century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, first recorded by American blues musician Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter in 1933. It was first released by Lead Belly in 1943. In other recordings he just sings while clappin… read more Thanks to the enthusiasm of bandleader Gordon Jenkins, we'd recorded one of the songs of Leadbelly, who'd died penniless the year before. The first song Lead Belly recorded for them was “Goodnight, Irene”, the waltzing lament of a married man gone astray. Although generally faithful, the Weavers chose to omit some of Lead Belly’s more controversial lyrics, leading Time magazine to label it a “dehydrated” and “prettied up” version of the original. He had learned the song from his Uncle Terrill Ledbetter around 1908 in Texas, but the origins of the song dates back to the 1880s, when an African-American songwriter named Gussie Davis probably wrote it. - RBW. [Image: snippet of “Goodnight, Irene” sheet music as commonly appearing around the Web. They note some melodic similarity to the song sung by Lead Belly. ; Tristan from Philadelphia, Pa The saddest thing about this song, was that the line "I get you in my dreams" was later changed to "I'll see you in my dreams" and became a number one hit by the Weavers after Leadbelly died. Lead Belly was singing a version of the song as early as 1908, which he claimed to have learned from his uncles Terell and Bob. 1934. NOTE: The first recording of this song was by Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly) in 1933.... G CHART AT : … They note some melodic similarity to the song sung by Lead Belly. After Leadbelly's "discovery" and consequent fame from the song in the 1940s, The Weavers picked it up and hit number one with it in 1950, a year after Leadbelly's death. The 1888 song "Irene, Goodnight," sung by the Haverly Minstrels and credited by Spaeth to "Davis" (but dated 1892), is a separate piece. It was first released by Lead Belly in 1943. * As you can see if you follow that link to The Life and Legend of Leadbelly , Wolfe and Lornell also connect the song (per Ledbetter family folklore) to Huddie’s niece Irene Campbell. 20th-century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, first recorded by American blues musician Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter in 1933. John and Alan Lomax were anthropologists and music historians who collected songs to preserve in the Library of Congress. See details. Good Morning Blues (Remastered) 4. Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter – Goodnight, Irene (1933). Leadbelly died Dec. 6, 1949, six months later Irene became a hit & sold 2 million & was translated into every European language". “Goodnight Irene” was Leadbelly’s most famous song, and he often began and ended radio shows with it. Lead Belly “Lead Belly and ‘Goodnight, Irene’” As early as 1908, Huddie Leadbetter (aka Lead Belly, born 1888, Mooringsport, Louisiana) was apparently singing “Goodnight, Irene” and family members suggested that he created the song while singing lullabies to his infant niece, Irene Campbell, in Leigh, Texas. By August 1st, Lead Belly was a free man. In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad "John Hardy", he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. Wikipedia. Eddy Arnold released it on the album Eddy in 1976. Though every one of his recordings is absolutely essential to the development of music, there is perhaps no other song in history that stands as important to the progression of popular music, nor a song that is as perfectly sorrowful as one can find in Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter's iconic recording, "Goodnight Irene." He was known for his distinctive tenor voice and his use of the unusual 12-string acoustic guitar. Lead Belly's version. He told the Lomaxes he’d heard the song sung by his uncles as a child. Kip Lornell, a Leadbelly expert, thinks this is almost certainly footage from March/April 1935, shot in Wilton, CT. --- probably at the home of friends of the Lomaxes. This gave him lots of time to listen to, and learn, the music of older inmates. Goodnight Irene (Remastered) 5. ... Smithsonian Folkways has released several other collections of his recordings: Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs (1989) Lead Belly… John Hardy (Remastered) 6. Yeah, John E. Lomax, co-author: like, Sorry about that, Huddie — you were a great chauffeur! It was probably sung in Shreveport where Lead Belly’s uncle, who was a musical man himself, brought it home. Your email address will not be published. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Goodnight Irene: The Weavers, 1949-1953 - The Weavers on AllMusic - 2000 - There are great records, and then there are… Recordings Used: Bridging Lead Belly. In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad "John Hardy", he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. For this song your guitar should be tuned a half step down. I also believe that this song marched in the folk music revival. 1 song of 1950. Cotton Fields. GOODNIGHT IRENE CHORDS (ver 5) by Leadbelly @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com I think this tab is the same as Lead Belly's version, it may sound slightly different because his guitar is out of tune. It was covered by Jimmy LaFave and the Ribbon of Highway Cast, The Fureys & Davey Arthur, Eddy Drake, Eduard Jimmy Matešić and other artists. The lyrics tell of the singer's troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. The first song Lead Belly recorded for them was “Goodnight, Irene”, the waltzing lament of a married man gone astray. It was first released by Lead Belly in 1943. Comments: 8. Total Plays 547 times by 132 Artists; From the release Goodnight Irene (Album) One of the first recordings of 13 year-old Jimmy Page in 1957 and the rise of Skiffle. He was known for his distinctive tenor voice and his use of the unusual 12-string acoustic guitar. It was covered by Jimmy LaFave and the Ribbon of Highway Cast, The Fureys & Davey Arthur, Eddy Drake, Eduard Jimmy Matešić and other artists. Due to the recording’s popularity, however, The Weavers’ lyrics are the ones generally used today. While made widely known by Lead Belly, this song was also a major hit for a group called The Weavers, featuring a young Pete Seeger. This information is shared with social media, sponsorship, analytics, and other vendors or service providers. Leadbelly tabs, chords, guitar, bass, ukulele chords, power tabs and guitar pro tabs including goodnight irene, midnight special, alabama bound, cotton fields, good morning blues This recording is a testament to two men, the Louisiana African-American musician and composer, Lead Belly (born Huddie Ledbetter, 1885-1949), and New York recording engineer and Folkways record company owner Moses Asch. Seeger says Lead Belly must have made a few changes to the original tune. Lyrics to Goodnight Irene by Lead Belly from the Leadbelly: Important Recordings 1934-1949, Pt. Leadbelly - Country Roots - 125 Original Recordings (Remastered) Album Lyrics; 1. Over the course of nearly 25 years, he served four different sentences: two for assault, one for attempted homicide and one for murder. John Lomax recorded a version of Huddie Ledbetter's song "Irene" in 1933, on a prison visit to Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary). Songs similar to or like Goodnight, Irene. If you don't get a response via email or need to reach us quickly feel free to call us at 413-256-8596. I’ve seen in a book the words with a completely different tune printed way back in the 19th century, but not the exact same words, just the chorus and maybe the first verse. Goodnight, Irene by Eddy Arnold was written by Leadbelly and John Lomax and was first recorded by Leadbelly in 1933. Sir, There were one or two errors in David Cheal’s otherwise fine report on Lead Belly’s signature song “Goodnight, Irene” (“ The Life of a Song, Life & Arts, October 10). If you click “Agree and Continue” below, you acknowledge that your cookie choices in those tools will be respected and that you otherwise agree to the use of cookies on NPR’s sites. Lifted from A. Lomax's Folk Songs Of North America. Although Lead Belly most commonly played the twelve-string, he could also play the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and accordion. Automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – NutRocker (1971), Tiny Bradshaw – Train Kept A-Rollin’ (1951). The Weavers’ version of Goodnight, Irene, derived from Lead Belly.Lead Belly was a Louisiana-born African-American blues and folk artist. ... Smithsonian Folkways has released several other collections of his recordings: Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs (1989) Lead Belly… recording by the Weavers. Irene (Goodnight Irene), a song by Lead Belly on Spotify We and our partners use cookies to personalize your experience, to show you ads based on your interests, and for measurement and analytics purposes. The "Davis" cited by Spaeth is Gussie L. Davis, and according to Guy Logsdon & Jeff Place the date is 1887, not 1888. It was on the other side of a recording of his signature song, "Goodnight Irene". This is a great album to understand why so many rock/folk musicians look back in time for their direction, so many good songs. This single first reached the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart on June 30, 1950 and lasted 25 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1 for 13 weeks. Changing old songs into new ones was something Lead Belly may have picked up during the many years he spent in prison. The song Goodnight Irene was written by Leadbelly and John Lomax and was first recorded by Leadbelly in 1933. Often cited as a major influence on the history of Folk, Country, and even the Blues, the song has been covered by other artists such as Mississippi John Hurt, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Ry Cooder, Ernest Tubb and Red Foley, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Dr. John, and Tom Waits, and many others. 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