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May 28, 2024 - 4:42:47 PM
Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

560 posts since 8/3/2004

Does anyone know of the origins of this song? I know Reno and Smiley did a version on an early radio show, and there is a tape of Flatt and Scruggs doing it in 1958 in concert at Rising Sun Ranch, with an interesting banjo break by Earl. Of course, it has been recorded subsequently by many people, including David Grisman, Alison Krauss, and countless others. Well, okay maybe two or three others. But I have been unable to find any information about who wrote it or first recorded it. Anybody know more?

May 28, 2024 - 6:09:57 PM

cecil36

USA

209 posts since 4/1/2009

Hi just googled the song by name and one of the article's gave the history

May 28, 2024 - 7:56:20 PM

690 posts since 2/21/2005

According to a Reno and Smiley album, the song is credited to I. Compton. Maybe someone can fill in more details. Flatt and Scruggs do an excellent version on one of their radio broadcasts.

May 29, 2024 - 6:00:49 AM

RB3

USA

2025 posts since 4/12/2004

I've wondered the same thing about the song. It has well-crafted lyrics and a great tune. I had not been familiar with it until I heard the recorded version by Ricky Skaggs. I was knocked out when I first heard it.  It appears that the composer was a fellow named Lewis Compton. 

I did a little Google detective work and found a web page with some historical information on the song and the composer.  I also found evidence that Compton may have collaborated with a prolific Country Music composer named Orville Proctor.  The link to the web page with the "Sawing On The Strings" history is below.

History Of "Sawing On The Strings"

May 29, 2024 - 8:57:25 AM

15706 posts since 10/30/2008

Interestingly, Flatt & Scruggs used a slightly different melody than Reno & Smiley. I wonder how that happened.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 05/29/2024 08:58:05

May 29, 2024 - 9:39:03 AM
Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

560 posts since 8/3/2004

quote:
Originally posted by RB3

I've wondered the same thing about the song. It has well-crafted lyrics and a great tune. I had not been familiar with it until I heard the recorded version by Ricky Skaggs. I was knocked out when I first heard it.  It appears that the composer was a fellow named Lewis Compton. 

I did a little Google detective work and found a web page with some historical information on the song and the composer.  I also found evidence that Compton may have collaborated with a prolific Country Music composer named Orville Proctor.  The link to the web page with the "Sawing On The Strings" history is below.

History Of "Sawing On The Strings"


Well, that history article really answers the question. Thanks for this, Wayne. Incidentally, I first heard it on David Grisman's Rounder album, with vocals by Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs.

Edited by - corcoran on 05/29/2024 09:39:50

May 29, 2024 - 11:05:37 AM

chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

Like a lot of tunes it sounds like another, or vice versa,,, Dooley by The Dillards, the first part.
Can someone post a link Jere to the Flatt & Scruggs recording, pls? I’d love to hear it.

May 29, 2024 - 1:54:57 PM

79702 posts since 5/9/2007

My old band has been singing this ever since the Grisman "Rounder" came out.
I bought the album when it was new and introduced it to the guys.
I like singing this one and On and On at jams.
Not too many words to remember.

May 30, 2024 - 8:53:28 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

560 posts since 8/3/2004

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97

Like a lot of tunes it sounds like another, or vice versa,,, Dooley by The Dillards, the first part.
Can someone post a link Jere to the Flatt & Scruggs recording, pls? I’d love to hear it.


Go to the Media section on my BHO page (Corcoran), and you will find the track.

Michael

May 30, 2024 - 9:32:11 AM

chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

Thank you, Michael!

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