Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton’s “Columbus Stockade Blues”

Columbus Stockade Blues Tom Darby Jimmie Tarlton Early Georgia Roots Musicians Real Photo Postcard Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014Tom Darby (l) & Jimmie Tarlton. Real Photo Promotional Postcard, 1927. Collection of Brian Brown.

This postcard came into my possession through the estate of a cousin, who was a great niece of Tom Darby. Largely forgotten today, Thomas P. (Tom) Darby [1892-1971] and James J. (Jimmie) Tarlton [1892-1979] were considered not only legendary bluesmen but pioneers of country music as well. They’ve been called the first country musicians to employ the steel guitar. Their most famous work, “Columbus Stockade Blues”, has been covered by artists ranging from Doc Watson and Willie Nelson to Bill Monroe, Jimmie Davis, and Bob Dylan. When they made the recording for Columbia in Atlanta in November 1927 Tom Darby pressed for a flat payment of $150 but Jimmie Tarlton wanted royalties. The song took off and sold over 200,000 copies in a short time and though the duo recorded 63 more songs dating to 1933, hostilities over lost royalties finally drove them apart. They reunited in 1965 for a symphony appearance in Columbus but no further collaborative recordings were made. Tarlton, always considered the standout of the duo, did make solo recordings in the 1960s. Search Amazon for compilations, which are available and provide valuable insight into the birth of American popular music.

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1 Comment

Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

One response to “Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton’s “Columbus Stockade Blues”

  1. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Brian, Thanks for sharing this wonderful postcard. Back in the 1920s and 30s Georgia had quite a few standout performers. Columbus Stockade Blues is one of my favorite songs, and as you indicated has been covered by many performers over the year. Blind Willie McTell from Bullock County was another famous blues singer and is known for his song, Statesboro Blues— along with several more.
    Jesse Bookhardt

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