Today marks the 112th birthday of our legendary folk artist, Jimmy Driftwood. He may not be with us physically, but he left footprints in our hearts that we will forever treasure and those are his works. Now, as we celebrate his birthday, let us look back on his artistry and how he started his career.
Jimmy Driftwood was born on June 20, 1907, and raised in Timbo, Arkansas. During his tenure in the music industry, he became one of the most successful artists in folk music. He then wrote and sang folk songs like “The Battle of New Orleans.” It was said that this song is the most popular song he made.
However, his father Neil Morris loved folk songs first before him. Moreover, Driftwood learned how to play the guitar at an early age. It was then said that his technique of playing guitars throughout his career was inspired by his grandfather’s homemade instrument which produces a harmonious and pleasant sound to the ears.
In addition, Driftwood majored in education and got a degree from Arkansas State Teacher’s College. He pursued writing songs while teaching. He taught his students in a more entertaining way so that his students will be more attentive to their subject history.
However, his career stopped when he died due to a heart attack in July 1998 at the age of 91.
“The Battle of New Orleans”
This song was recorded and written by Driftwood. An American record producer Don Law produced this song under the Columbia Records. It was then released in April 1959.
“The Battle of New Orleans” has been recorded by various artists like Johnny Harton. Harton’s version made it the most popular version compared to other versions released. The song topped on the Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1959.
As you look into the lyrics of the song, it narrates the struggles faced by our American soldiers and the actual battle they have encountered. A soldier’s life is not that easy, it takes a brave man to enter a military world.