Grandpa Jones performs “Mountain Dew” live on Grand Ole Opry 1995.

Grandpa Jones And His Grandchildren, recorded his version for the King label, on March 28, 1947, in Nashville Tennesse, along with the song of Moutain Dew four other songs were recorded, in the recording session Granpa Jones was accompanied by: Marshall Barnes (guitar), Hank Garland (guitar), Homer Haynes (guitar), Jethro Burns (mandolin), Slim Idaho (steel), Ramona Jones (bass) and Red Herron (fiddle).

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

Mountain Dew

Single Bascom Lamar Lunsford ( Brunswick Records 1928 )
Single Bascom Lamar Lunsford ( Brunswick Records 1928 )

 

Good Old Mountain Dew, also called “Mountain Dew” or “Real Old Mountain Dew,” originally written by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928, and recorded by it on the Brunswick Records label, and reverted in 1935 by his friend Scotty Wiseman, is an Appalachian folk song about the sale of and illegal manufacture of whiskey (moonshine), the 1935 version has been widely covered and has entered the popular tradition becoming a standard.

Single Grandpa Jones & His Grandchildren ( King Records 1947 )
Single Grandpa Jones & His Grandchildren ( King Records 1947 )

Grandpa Jones And His Grandchildren, recorded his version for the King label, on March 28, 1947, in Nashville Tennesse, along with the song of Moutain Dew four other songs were recorded, in the recording session Granpa Jones was accompanied by: Marshall Barnes (guitar), Hank Garland (guitar), Homer Haynes (guitar), Jethro Burns (mandolin), Slim Idaho (steel), Ramona Jones (bass) and Red Herron (fiddle).With the Sydney Nathan production, it was released in June 1947. On November 28, 1956, he re-recorded it for the Decca label, in Music City Recordings, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN, and was released in December 1957.

The song was included in album the fourth Grandpa Jones studio album, An Evening With Grandpa Jones (Decca 1963).



Story behund the song:

Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer who practiced in rural North Carolina during the 1920s, an era in which the manufacture of non-medicinal alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States. Despite the ban, residents North Carolina continued with its long tradition of making a form of illegal whiskey called mooshine , due to these illegal businesses, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, had to frequently defend local customers who were accused of mooshine manufacturing practice . From there he came up with the idea of writing this song, “Good Old Mountain Dew,” which recorded the song in 1928 for Brunswick Records. Lunsford likes popular songs a lot, so he quit his job as a lawyer to collect popular songs.

Scotty Wiseman, of the duo Lulu Belle and Scotty, was a friend of Lunsford. When Lulu Belle and Scotty needed one more song to finish a 1935 record for Vocalion Records, Wiseman suggested using the song that his friend had written. To make the piece attract more people, Wiseman added the modern choir and replaced the verses about a man who appeared in court with verses about making moonlight. Two years later, at the National Folk Festival in Chicago, Wiseman showed his version to Lunsford. Lunsford was impressed with that; Later that same night, he sold the song to Wiseman for $25, so he could buy a train ticket back to North Carolina. Wiseman protected the copyrighted song and made sure that 50% of the royalties he earned were given to Lunsford until Lunsford’s death. What a great person Scotty Wiseman.



Relationship with “The Rare Old Mountain Dew”:

There is some controversy over the possible connection between “Good Old Mountain Dew” and the Irish folk song “The Rare Old Mountain Dew”, which dates to 1916 or earlier (at least a decade before “Good Old Mountain Dew” was written). The terms “mountain dew” and “moonshine” are thought to have come to the United States from Ireland. Lunsford wrote several parodies and adaptations of other Irish folk songs; based on this, some folklorists claim that the song “Good Old Mountain Dew” was based on “The Rare Old Mountain Dew”. Other folklorists disagree, pointing out that the only commonality the songs share is the use of the phrase “mountain dew”.

Lp cover Grandpa Jones ( Decca 1963 )
Lp cover Grandpa Jones ( Decca 1963 )

Some versions:

Lulu Belle & Scotty 1939 (Vocalion Records)
Polly Bergen & Bill Bergen 1958 (Columbia)
Stanley Brothers 1960 (King Records)
Justin Tubb 1962 (Starday Records)
Jack Casey 1968 (Rural Rhythm Records)
Willie Nelson 1972 (RCA)
The Kentucky Colonels 1984 (Rounder)

 





Grandpa Jones – Mountain Dew Lyrics

There’s a big holler tree down the road here from me
Where you lay down a dollar or two
Well you go round the bend and when you come back again
There’s a jug full of good ole mountain dew
Oh they call it that ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll shut up my mug if you fill up my jug
With some good ole mountain dew
Now my uncle Nort, he’s sawed off and short
He measures about four foot two
But he thinks he’s a giant when you give him a pint
Of that good ole mountain dew
Well my ole aunt Jill bought some brand new perfume
It had such a sweet smellin’ pew
But to her surprise when she had it analyzed
It was nothin’ but good ole mountain dew
Well the preacher rolled by with his head heisted high
Said his wife had been down with the flu
And he thought that I ought just to sell him a quart
Of that good ole mountain dew
Well my brother Bill’s got a still on the hill
Where he runs of a gallon or two
Now the buzzards in the sky get so drunk, they can’t fly
From smellin’ the good ole mountain dew
Oh they call it that ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll shut up my mug if you fill up my jug
With some good ole mountain dew

Single Grandpa Jones ( Decca 1957 )
Single Grandpa Jones ( Decca 1957 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com