Ten years ago today, I wrote the following on More to Come:
“For all who love great old-time fiddle tunes, here’s a little luncheon treat.
One of my favorites among the old-time tunes is the Eighth of January, which many will remember from the old Johnny Horton country hit The Battle of New Orleans. (The date of the battle was January 8, 1815, and Jimmy Driftwood, an Arkansas school principal who wrote the words to the song to interest children in history, used the fiddle tune for the music.) The Eighth of January is a sweet little melody that’s relatively easy to play but has lots of possibilities for variations.
I found this video by Roland White with a nice short mandolin version. I wrote about Roland and his brother Clarence back in March 2009 when they were featured in the Fretboard Journal.
So, on January 8, 2010, enjoy the Eighth of January in a more timeless mode.”
UPDATE: I was reminded of the post here in 2020 because a friend’s birthday falls on this auspicious day. In wishing her a happy birthday, I told her that it was great to have your birthday align with the anniversary of a historical event. (January 8th is also Elvis’ birthday…but we won’t go there.) For instance, my birthday was, until 1937, inauguration day in the U.S.
For other great examples of this old chestnut, listen to David “Dawg” Grisman and Tony Rice play their version of the Eighth of January or take in Rhonda Vincent and the Rage’s live version.
More to come…