Who wrote this tune?

Who wrote this tune?

Twenty-some years ago I learned a tune by the name of Rhode Island Red. I was told it was written by a New England banjo player. Has anybody else ever heard of this tune and who wrote it?

Re: Who wrote this tune?

Oh! A Rhode Island tune, eh? ::Must learn::

Re: Who wrote this tune?

Have never heard of the tune, and don’t know a tremendous amount about banjo players in New England. However, I know there’s a guy named Bill Black who plays banjo, lives in New England, and has done quite a bit for Irish music. I think he has both compiled and written tunes. He might be worth checking into if nobody comes up with a definite answer to your question.

Jason

Re: Who wrote this tune?

Little Jimmy Dempsey
Born Aug 23, 1937 in Atlanta, GA. Little Jimmy Dempsey began his professional singing career at the age of five as a performer on radio stations in his native Atlanta, which led to appearances on national broadcasts with such luminaries as Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and Phil Harris. From 1946 to 1948, Dempsey starred in his own Atlanta radio show. He became the lead guitarist for the Longhorn Ranch Boys, a popular Atlanta bar band, during the 1950s, and in 1958 began leading the Cherokee Country Boys, with whom he made his recording debut. In 1962, Dempsey left the group to found his own trio. Among his best-known singles were "Bop Hop" and "Rhode Island Red," as well as humorous originals such as "Bessie Was a Good Old Cow" and "Betcha Can’t Eat Just One." From the late ’50s through the early ’60s, Dempsey was part of the Ernest Tubb Radio Program; he also appeared on a German show, American Music. In 1968, he hosted his own syndicated television program before vanishing from the music and entertainment scene. -Sandra Brennan

Found at:
http://www.talentondisplay.com/kicprofiles12.html

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Re: Who wrote this tune?

The title "Rhode Island Red" may have little to do with New England directly, but more likely refers to the breed of chicken by the same name - the inspiration for the song or tune may have been a particularly tough fighting cock of this breed. That would be my guess as to how a very non-New Englander would use what sounds like a New England reference as the title of a tune he wrote.

Sam Chetwynd

Re: Who wrote this tune?

Don’t anyone tell George Bush that there are "Reds" on Rhode island! 🙂

Re: Who wrote this tune?

I’m inclines to think this is not the same number that Little Jimmy Dempsey wrote. Yes, Rhode Island Red is a popular breed of layer, for which the tune was named. Three of these were "neighborhood" chickens living on our street a few years ago, laying their eggs under different families’ porches. They used to ride up and down the street on the handlebars of my kids’ bikes.