Category music

The Meaning of the Cannonball Blues

Here’s a 1936 recording of the Carter Family singing “Cannonball Blues.” I’m not a folk music historian, and I’m not here to unriddle the origin of this song, but it’s clearly a variation of the “Buffalo to Washington” model. There are a lot of songs with a similar tune and chorus, and the subject matter […]

In Praise of the Oak Ridge Boys

In 1993, the Simpsons episode “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” aired. You probably remember the basics, that its plot flashes back to 1985 when Homer was part of a hit barbershop quartet/pop group.Casting around to find the most ridiculous title and subject matter for a hypothetical song from 1985, the writer (Jeff Martin) hit upon the regrettable fad […]