Stanley Brothers – Mountain Dew

Ok…we are veering WAY OFF the power-pop/rock path today! I was reading a biography of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll and it mentioned he would sing this song occasionally. So reading a bio of an American football coach led to this post…you just never know! To paraphrase Bugs Bunny…we are taking that proverbial left turn at Albuquerque.

I got really curious and looked the song up. It’s great…I’ve always liked these old folk songs and bluegrass music because I respect it so much. I’ve played bluegrass with a professional before and it is some of the hardest music I’ve tried to play. The time signatures are all over the place and if you haven’t played the music a lot… it can be tricky. It made me a better musician.

I like the music because it’s so rootsy and earthy. I don’t listen to it a lot but sometimes I will enjoy an hour or so of it. It reminds me of when my dad would go to work in the morning and sometimes he would have this music on.

Moonshine Still Plans, Build-it-Yourself

Good Ole’Mountain Dew!

This song is an  Appalachian folk song that Bascom Lamar Lunsford first wrote in 1928. Lunsford was an attorney, however, he is very fond of folk songs. He once represented a man in court because he was illegally making whiskey called Moonshine. This experience led him to write the song.  He ended up selling the song to Scotty Wiseman and Wiseman changed a few lyrics but remembered Lunsford…he kept the songwriting credit Wiseman – Lunsford.

These songs are special. They were not trying to write hits…they just wanted to tell stories through songs. Instead of newspapers in the backwoods of the Appalachians, you had these songs.

Many artists have covered the song through the years like Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Mother Maybelle Carter, Grandpa Jones, and more.

Willie Nelson released a version in 1981 that peaked at #23 in the Billboard Country Charts and #39 in Canada.

The lyrics never stay completely the same through the versions but it still works. We will return to our normal programming in the next post!

Mountain Dew

Down the road here from me there’s an old holler tree
Where you lay down a dollar or two
Go on round the bend come back again
There’s a jug full of that good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Now Mr. Roosevelt told ’em just how he felt
When he heard that the dry law ‘d gone through
If your liquors too red it’ll swell up your head
You better stick to that good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

The preacher rode by with his head hasted high
Said his wife had been down with the flu
He thought that I o’rt to sell him a quart
Of my good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Well my uncle Snort he’s sawed off and short
He measures four feet two
But feels like a giant when you give him a pint
Of that good old mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

38 thoughts on “Stanley Brothers – Mountain Dew”

  1. I think I mentioned that I lived next to Basam Lamar Lunsford’s house in South Turkey Creek Rd, NC, and knew his 5 daughters, son’s widow, and some of the grandchildren! It’s the nearest I’ve come to being famous!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL! It sounded like I had a carrot up my… up my… but it was a lovely time in NC and my house was on his farm. I’d live their tomorrow if I had half a chance! Went to quite a few folk music festivals and almost learnt to dance the Appalachian way!

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      2. I would love to visit some of those folk festivals there and see all of the sites. I can’t believe I didn’t remember that as I was typing his name.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I buy all sorts from the ‘bargain bucket.’ I have a double CD, ‘Bluegrass Anthology’ on which The Stanley Brothers have four tracks. Not this one, though. I also have a double CD of Cajun and Zydeco music (bought coz Rory Gallagher recorded a son, ‘The King of Zydeco’ and I was curious to find out more about what that genre was like.)
    Often, on these type purchases, I’ll find a few tracks that i really like … but also a lot of what we’d call here in Glasgow …. mince! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yea it depends on the song for me. I don’t like everything bluegrass lol…sometimes though its nice to change up!

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  3. I like that … it’s pretty catchy, especially the older version. Some real good banjo playing there. Do you think that’s where the soft drink derived its name from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has to be where the soda comes from…it just has to.
      I thought the words were funny and I just had to post it for a change lol.

      Like

  4. It was worth it just to see a Wille Nelson who doesn’t look rail thin and like the last turkey in the shop, smoked, lined and leathery.
    I agree, sometimes a change, finding yourself outside your usual comfort zone opens you up to musical paths not usually on the same tracks as you. A detour can be enjoyable at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to agree with you, Max, which I know is something that’s unheard of! 🙂

    I only listen to bluegrass very rarely but when I do, I tend to enjoy it. As a musician (okay, pretty rusty!), I have to acknowledge the remarkable craftsmanship you often encounter when it comes to bluegrass. Some of this stuff must be very hard to play.

    Do you know Molly Tuttle? She’s a 29-year-old contemporary bluegrass and Americana artist, playing guitar and banjo – super-talented! Yes, I admit I have a little bit of a crush on her. 🙂
    Seriously, she’s really great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I do….either you, Jeff, and/or Graham featured her before…I liked what I heard. She is a cutie I agree! She sounds really good.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I like bluegrass, but I like it in small doses also. There are a couple of new bluegrass artists I have been following some: Billy Strings and Andy Thorn. There is something so energetic about bluegrass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There really is…that is right…I looked up Billy Strings before! Thanks for commenting! More people did than I thought would. I thought this one would be a “like”and pass. It’s fun breaking out the mold sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that setting and it sounds great. The way they play they could have played back in the 50s and 60s which is really cool. He keeps that older sounding backup singing. Really cool Lisa….I’m still watching it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know he was born a raised a few hours from here. Amazing! He used to have long straight hair, which I liked. Someone must have convinced him jazz it up 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He and his band add in what almost sounds like a little jazz fusion. I really like their sound, from the traditional onward. You’re right he does have that old-timey voice that sounds SO good!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He does…it’s that blue grass voice. They do add some…but keep enough of the pure Bluegrass for tradtionalists to like them as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. After 1970, when rock music had soured my soul, I took refuge in learning the 5 string banjo. Flatt and Scruggs, Homer and Jethro, Doc Watson, Roy Clark, and others led me to the altar of bluegrass. Already knowing how to fingerpick an acoustic, it came easy for me. I sweated Flatt and Scruggs for months, then discovered Old In The Way with Vasser Clements, Jerry Garcia, and others that confirmed that the rock boys had shifted to the Smokey Mountains hollars. Having a father and his friends in the legendary Light Crust Doughboys gave me a one-up into country music, although I had never left it since I was a crib baby. The licks of Kentucky ran deep in my veins, Doug Dillard, Ralph Stanley, Del McCorry, Bella Fleck, Roy Clark, and Eric Wiesman. I gained a decent command of the instrument within a few years and began playing with the Light Crust Doughboys at times. I was fortunate to play on their 150 Years of Texas Music album. A duo with my father on fiddle and me on 5-string, Old Joe Clark kicked some country ass. I continued to play for years after but slowly drifted away from live performing. My loss, but a great memory and accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You really must have dived into it at that time. For me it was a different game playing that music live…it was challenging because I didn’t know those bluegrass songs. It’s something so genuine about that music…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It helped knowing the guitar and some mandolin. I did practice a lot, and the traditional Blue Grass songs are hard. Most were played on a tenor banjo until the 5 string came along. I don’t, or caan’t play banjo now because of arthritis.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sucks Phil that you can’t play now because of that. A Mandolin is something I do want to pick up one day.

        Liked by 1 person

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