A song written by Leroy Van Dycke & Buddy Black, was recorded by Leroy in September 1956 for the Dot label, reaching number 9 on the country charts and 19 on the pop charts,the song was again recorded in single for the label Mercury in 1961, and was included in several albums, Movin ‘Van Dyke (Mercury 1961), At The Trade Winds
The story behind the song:
Leroy was inspired by his personal experiences, as an auctioneer and those of his cousin Ray Slims.
He wrote it while stationed in Korea during the Korean War, and first performed it to troops on the same bill as Marilyn Monroe.
When he finished military service, he went to a talent show in Chicago, he managed to win a recording contract with Dot Records, where he recorded, The Auctioneer, managing to sell more than two and a half million copies.
About the song:
The song tells of a young boy from Arkansas who would miss school and visit a local auction barn. Being fascinated by the singing of the auction, he decides he wants to be an auctioneer, practicing regularly singing behind the family barn.
Although their parents are initially not happy with their career choice, they eventually regret it, but (not wanting their last name ruined by a poor auctioneer skill) they send it to the auction school to learn the trade correctly.
He returns home a full-fledged auctioneer. With time, he becomes “the best of the whole earth”, he has so much business that he ends up buying “an airplane to move.
Some versions :
Chuck Miller 1959 ( Mercury )
Reg Lindsay 1959 ( Columbia )
Brenda Byers 1968 ( MTA Records )
Anita Lockman & The Chaperones 1968( IGL Records )
Earl Morin 1968 ( Arc Records )
Roger Quick 1975 ( RQ Music )
Pat Dailey 1978 ( Olympia Records )
Gordon Lightfoot 1980 ( Warner )
Phil Delta & The river delta band 1982 ( Delta River Records )
……and many more .
Leroy Van Dyke – The Auctioneer Lyrics
There was a boy in Arkansas who wouldn’t listen to his ma
When she told him that he should go to school
He’d sneak away in the afternoon, take a little walk and pretty soon
You’d find him at the local auction barn
Well he’d stand and listen carefully then pretty soon he began to see
How the auctioneer could talk so rapidly
He said, “Oh my it’s do or die I’ve got to learn that auction cry
Gotta make my mark and be an auctioneer”
25 dollar 30 now 30 dollar 30 dollar
30 dollar 30 dollar give me a hollar 30 dollar
Who will bid it at a 35 dollar bid?
35 dollar 35 35 make it 35 and a 35 make it 35 and a 35
Who will bid it at a 35 dollar bid?
As time went on he did his best and all could see he didn’t jest
He practied on and then some night and day
His pappy’d find him behind the barn just a workin up an awful storm
As he tried to imitate the auctioneer
Said his pappy, “Son we just can’t stand a havin’ a mediocre man
You gotta take that auction usin’ our good name
I’ll send you off to auction school and then you’ll be nobody’s fool
You can take your place among the best”
35 dollar 40 now 40 dollar 40 dollar
40 dollar 40 dollar give me a hollar 40 dollar
Who will bid it at at a 40 dollar bid?
40 dollar 45 45 will you make it 45 give me 45 and a 45
Who will bid it at a 45 dollar bid?
So from that morning he went to school there grew a man who played it cool
He came back home a full fledged auctioneer
And people came from miles around just to hear him make that rhythmic sound
That filled their hearts with such a happy cheer
His fame reached out from shore to shore he had all he could do and more
He had to buy a plane to get around
Now he’s the tops in all the land so let’s all give that man a hand
He’s the best of all the auctioneers
45 dollar 50 now 50 dollar 50 dollar
50 dollar 50 dollar give me a hollar 50 dollar
Who will bid it at a 50 dollar bill?
50 dollar 55 55 make it 55 and a 55 make it 55 and
Sold that horse for a 50 dollar bill