Stapleton Brothers – Call of the Whip-Poor-Will

January 28, 2008

stapleton.jpgTwo posts today.

I received an e-mail request asking to post some early American country music. Since early country music was what originally led me to collecting traditional music from outside the U.S., I thought: great idea! However, like the rest of the material on Excavated Shellac, I wanted to stick to music that had not already been collected on CD. This was a difficult task. Sure, all my 78s by essential artists like Uncle Dave Macon and the Carter Family were on CD. But, so were slightly more obscure and harder-to-find country records. The three records by the Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers? On CD. “Texas Quickstep” by The Red Headed fiddlers? On CD. Cousin Emmy? On CD.

Then I started combing through the records that I simply had an attachment to…”Methodist Pie” by Bradley Kincaid? On CD, too. “Gonna Swing on the Golden Gate” by Fiddlin’ John Carson? On CD. On and on…

Then I remembered this record – the quaint yet lovely “Call of the Whip-Poor-Will” by the Stapleton brothers, recorded by Mitchell and Mason Stapleton in Atlanta, Georgia on April 19, 1928. Not on CD, at least as far as I can tell. It’s always been a favorite of mine for those inexplicable reasons one has for liking a particular song.

Stapleton Brothers – Call of the Whip-Poor-Will

Technical Notes
Label: Columbia
Issue Number: 15284-D
Matrix Number: 146140 (1B-2)

9 Responses to “Stapleton Brothers – Call of the Whip-Poor-Will”

  1. Dax Diaz said

    Thanks! Musically and lyrically it reminds me of Luiz Gonzaga’s “Asa Branca”, which is also about a bird and longing for a home that’s miles away! The same muses that hang out in Georgia must also go to Pernambuco. I heard the other side of this (“In A Cool Shady Nook”) somewhere and now slightly prefer it to Sam McGee’s version. Maybe it’s the girl in the chorus (or is that one of the brothers?).

  2. JW said

    Yes indeed, that must be one of the brothers.

  3. sroden said

    darn good monday morning song, got the feet jigglin… the strange little slow down on the end of the melody is beeeautiful… not to mention the appearance of bird whistles in the middle….!

  4. mrowster said

    A real stomper, this one. That lead Stapleton has sure got a powerful voice.

  5. ming said

    Niiiiiiiice!!! 🙂

  6. Ginger said

    That was my great uncles and my grandfather. Amazing to hear this.

  7. Mas Frank said

    Great stuff, and very moving because the lead singer waits for his bro to catch up towards the end. Could the Stapletons be descendants of these four fiddlers, I wonder?
    In the newspaper, Southern Democrat, published at Cahawba, Alabama, Dec. 2, 1837:

    LOOK OUT FOR MURREL MEN: Whereas, Nathan BUTTS, a notorious rascal formerly of Houston Co., Ga., and lately of Dale Co., Alabama, did in some time in May last, until October, harbor a negro man belonging to the undersigned…It is supposed he will go to Lee Co., Ga. as he has a brother living near Starkville in that county. He was assisted in harboring the boy by JOHN STAPLETON, SEABORN STAPLETON, ZENOTHAN STAPLETON, and ZENO STAPLETON, four brothers, all living in Dale Co., Ala., who have escaped from justice.
    DESCRIPTION:
    The Stapletons, are all fiddlers
    JOHN: is about 5′ 7”, dark complexion
    SEABORN: 5′ 10″, dark complexion
    ZENO: 5′ 6″ fair complexion
    ZENOTHAN: 5′ 9″ dark complexion
    Nathan BATTS, about 5′ 7″, dark complexion, very talkative, laughs very loud and has a very bad countenance.
    SIGNED: Samuel M. HILL.

  8. Robin said

    Mason Stapleton was my greatgrandad and Mitchell was my great uncle.

  9. John said

    Did Mitchell and Mason Stapleton live in or close to Union, SC?

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