[Dixielandjazz] More about "Lily of the Valley" than you everwanted to read

Ingemar Wågerman gota_river at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 3 23:23:32 PST 2006


Many thanks for your interesting comments!

Prince´s band made the first recording of a song called Lily of the Valley 
in July 1917, Columbia A2327 "Lily Of The Valley Jazz One-Step". This is the 
Friedland / Gilbert song, and probably the Jimmy Dorsey recording from 1950 
is the same, according to Bill Haesler´s reply (thanks, Bill!)

There is a spiritual "He's the lily of the valley, Oh! my Lord . . . King 
Jesus in the chariot rides..." which was published in "Jubilee Songs" 1872. 
It was recorded by Texas Jubilee Singers (with Arizona Dranes!) in 1928.

The very first Salvation Army band master Charles Fry wrote another song 
with the lyrics  "I have found a friend in Jesus, He's everything to me, 
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul...  He's the Lily of the Valley, 
the Bright and Morning Star, He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul."  
The tune is "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" by William Shakespeare Hays 
(sic!).  The first (?) recording was made by John McGhee and Frank Welling 
in 1928 on Vocalion 5251. (I have not been able to trace the Superior-2700 
by E. Hanks, mentioned in your reply!)

The Barbarin tune from 1951 probaly originates from a song with the verse 
"Everybody Ought to  Know ( 3x) Who Jesus Is". The chorus is almost the same 
as the Fry song:  "He's the Lily of the Valley, He´s the Bright and Morning 
Star, He's the fairest of ten thousand, Everybody Ought to Know". The origin 
of the first strain is not known, but the melody of the chorus is the same 
as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"... Rev. F.W. McGee recorded "Everybody 
Don´t Know Who Jesus Is" in 1930, only one chorus of the first strain. I 
guess that Barbarin had heard this version. The verse is slightly different 
from Everybody Ought To Know" - in fact it´s almost the same as "O Happy 
Day". The chorus is also a little different from "What a Friend..." (The 
reverends McGee, Rice et al often changed / simplified the melodies!)

Barbarin´s version seems to be the only one played by traditional jazz 
bands. The remaining question is: Who wrote "Everybody Ought To Know Who 
Jesus Is"??

Ingemar Wagerman
Gota River Jazzmen
Gothenburg, Sweden

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