Family on Houseboat

Shanty Boat Blues [Audio]

Shanty Boat Blues by Jimmy Murphy

I wants to stand on the levee, feel that muddy water in my shoes
I wants to stand on the levee, feel that muddy water in my shoes
I wants to let this old river wash away my blues

I got a shanty on the river, and the door is open wide
I got a shanty on the river, and the door is open wide
I got a long tall mama, livin’ on the other side

She’s got no money, no diamonds on her hand
She’s got no money, no diamonds on her hand
She’s just a shanty-boatin’ mama, but she loves her shanty-boatin’ man

Feelin’ kind of lonesome with this muddy water in my shoes
Feelin’ kind of lonesome with this muddy water in my shoes
That steamboat whistle makes a good man want to move’

Jimmy Murphy

Jimmy Murphy (born October 11, 1925, Birmingham, Alabama – d. June 1, 1981) was an American country and rockabilly guitarist and singer-songwriter. Murphy’s father, a bricklayer, was a blues enthusiast, and so the young Murphy grew up listening to musicians such as Lead Belly and Blind Boy Fuller. Murphy had already made it to radio by the middle of the 1940s, appearing on local station WBRC’s Happy Hal Burns Show. In 1949 he relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee and auditioned for Dinner Bell, a show on WROL hosted by Archie Campbell. Campbell had Murphy meet Chet Atkins, whom Murphy eventually gave a demo; RCA Victor subsequently signed him to a publishing deal and recorded him in January 1951 with just himself on guitar and vocals and Anita Carter playing bass.

Murphy had a handful of contracts with various record labels in his life, but none of his singles made the charts and the contracts were subsequently not renewed. He continued recording at Knoxville stations until the mid 1950s when he followed his father into the bricklaying business, playing music on the side.

He was rediscovered by fans in the late 1970s when the Library of Congress re-released his first single on a compilation. However, Murphy died in 1981 just as a tour was being arranged. He remains a cult figure among rockabilly enthusiasts. [adapted from Wikipedia]

 

Thanks to our friend John Sullivan for passing this on to us.

 

 

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