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Paul Clayton

Born March 3, 1933, in New Bedford, MA, Paul Clayton maintained a lifelong interest in the folk song tradition, particularly sea shanties and whaling songs, and was an avid collector of folk tunes. He first heard the old sea shanties from his grandfather, and by fiften years old he was singing them himself, along with other folk material he collected, on a series of radio shows. After earning a pair of degrees from the University of Virginia (where he studied with folklorist Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr.), he collected extensively in the Appalachians, and was instrumental in the first recordings of such traditional folk artists as Etta Baker and Hobart Smith. Clayton was a fixture in the Greenwich Village scene during the folk revival, and went on to record several albums of traditional material for the Folkways, Tradition, Riverside, Electra, Monument, and Stinson labels. The melody to his song "Who'll Buy You Ribbons When I'm Gone," in turn based on the traditional song "Scarlet Ribbons for Her Hair," provided Bob Dylan with the melody line for "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," and led to a brief legal skirmish between the two singers in the mid-'60s, which was apparently settled amicably. Clayton died on March 30, 1967, reportedly by taking an electric appliance into his bathtub, thus ending a life, although beset by drug use and depression, that was full of the joy of songs and singing. ~ Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Folksongs And Ballads Of Virginia

1. Railroad Bill

2. In The Pines

3. Gambling Man

4. Wild Rover

5. Bill Dooley

6. Talt Hall

7. The Farmer's Curst Wife

8. Harvey Logan

9. Lady Margaret

10. Frankie

11. If I Had A Bottle Of Rum

12. Lord Darnell

13. Poor Old Maids

14. Little Pig

x

Track List: Bay State Ballads

1. Cape Cod Girls

2. Huzza For Commodore Rodgers

3. The Ocean Rover

4. Blow The Man Down

5. Come All Ye Shipmates

6. Whiskey Johnny

7. The Seaman's Grave

8. Springfield Mountain

9. The Bailiff's Daughter Of Islington

10. The Old Soldier

11. Polly Van

12. The Embargo

13. Bachelor's Hall

14. Around The Ingals Blazing

15. Home, Dearie, Home

x

Track List: Cumberland Mountain Folksongs

1. The Hustling Gamblers

2. Lord Bateman (Child No. 53)

3. Floyd Collins

4. Mush Toodin

5. House Carpenter (Child No. 243)

6. Sugar Baby

7. Spotty And Dudie

8. Pretty Polly And False William (Child No. 4)

9. Once I Courted A Bonny Little Girl

10. Kathy Fiscus

11. Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk

12. Cold Winter's Night

13. Texas Rangers

x

Track List: Dulcimer Songs And Solos

1. Flop-Eared Mule

2. Old Joe Clark

3. False Love

4. Soldier's Joy

5. Going To Georgia

6. Shady Grove

7. Bile Them Cabbage Down

8. Mary Hamilton

9. Charley's Rant

10. John Henry

11. Lonesome Road

12. Sad And Lonely

13. Cedar Mountain Breakdown

14. Swannanoa Tunnel

15. Dogwood

16. Storms On The Ocean

17. Mattie Groves (Child No. 81)

18. John Hardy

19. Chinese Breakdown

20. Georgia Buck

21. All The Good Times Are O'er

x

Track List: Folk Ballads Of The English-Speaking World

1. Lilliburlero

2. Bailiff's Daughter Of Islington

3. The Darby Ram

4. The Sea Captain

5. Botany Bay

6. Great Silkie Of Sule Skerry

7. Omie Wise

8. Lass Of Roch Royal

9. The Baffled Knight

10. The Dying Stockman

11. Dupree

12. The Cherry-Tree Carol

13. Katherine Jaffray

14. The Avondale Mine Disaster

15. The Twa Sisters (The Two Sisters)

x

Track List: Unholy Matrimony

1. Stay Away From The Girls

2. The Wooden Legged Parson

3. Will The Weaver

4. Mother-In-Law Song

5. I Wish I Was Single Again

6. The Old Wife Who Wanted Spruncin'

7. The Charleston Merchant

8. Life On The Installment Plan

9. The Dumb Wife

10. Jack The Sailor

11. The Farmer's Nagging Wife

12. Dirty Wife

13. The Farmer's Servant

14. A Quick Way To Be Rid Of A Wife

15. The Butcher And The Tailor's Wife

16. The Husband With No Courage In Him

17. I Can't Change It

18. Home, Sad Home

Comments

Report as inappropriate
He did a nice album of sea shanteys...m y first introduction to them
Report as inappropriate
mjk_berk
"Scarlett Ribbons for her Hair" was actually in the public domain so a financial settlement was highly unlikely.
Report as inappropriate
subject_name _ h e r e
LOL silly pandora biography, paul clayton is not jean ritchie.

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