Everyone knows that the National Anthem for the United States of America is "The Star Spangled Banner", right? It was written by Frances Scott Key during the War of 1812. There is another song that is about one of the battles of that war. It is "The Battle of New Orleans" sung by Johnny Horton and was a huge hit in 1959. (It won the Grammy for Best Song for 1960). The song had been around for years. It was written by a schoolteacher, James Corbitt Morris in 1936 to help his high school students learn about the War of 1812 in a more memorable way. He left teaching to concentrate on his musical career. Mr. Morris wrote over 6000 folk songs under the name of Jimmy Driftwood. (If you click on the link at the end of this post, you will chuckle when you read how he got that nickname!)
(Also, if you want to know more about the War of 1812, Debra at her blog, She Who Seeks, has written some great posts about it. Her latest one was about this same song and it reminded me that I needed to finish this draft post for you! You may find her blog just here! Thanks, Debra! And don't miss her post before that one, it is about Australia...you all know I want to go there one day, right?)
Jimmy Driftwood was born in Timbo, Arkansas on June 20, 1907. Learning music from his father and grandfather, he learned to play guitar on his grandfather's homemade guitar, which he used throughout his long career. The neck of the guitar was made from a fence rail, the sides from an old ox yoke and the head and bottom from the headboard of a bed!
(JOY! I have found a great video for you with Jimmy Driftwood speaking of this guitar and then, you get to hear him play it! I love this sound from the homemade guitar, it is very pleasing to me!)
Jimmy Driftwood was not only a songwriter and entertainer but he also cared about nature. He worked to stop the plans to dam the Buffalo River in Arkansas. He was successful in this and due to his involvement, it became the Buffalo National River. (Being deemed a National River, this was the first of its kind!) He also was one of those responsible in preserving Blanchard Springs Cavern which later came under the management of the U.S. Forest Service. His recorded song is the one still heard in the film in the visitor center.
I love that they kept his voice on that film, don't you? It might just be a small thing but I hope they still have that and keep it for visitors.
Jimmy Driftwood died in 1998 at the age of 91. If you click on his name, you can read more details of his life. I think that his life story is an interesting one and one that more people should know.
|Rocks That I Placed Together With Some Blue Jay Feathers at Arabia Mountain