Long Black Veil (song)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2008)|
|"Long Black Veil"|
|Single by Lefty Frizzell|
|B-side||"When It Rains The Blues"|
|Released||April 20, 1959 (U.S.)|
|Recorded||March 3, 1959|
|Label||Columbia Records 4-41384|
|Writer(s)||Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill|
|Lefty Frizzell singles chronology|
A saga song, "Long Black Veil" is told from the point of view of an executed man falsely accused of murder. He refuses to provide an alibi, since on the night of the murder he was having an affair with his best friend's wife, and would rather die and take their secret to his grave than admit the truth. The chorus describes the woman's mourning visits to his gravesite, wearing a long black veil and enduring a wailing wind.
The writers later stated that they drew on three sources for their inspiration: Red Foley's recording of "God Walks These Hills With Me", a contemporary newspaper report about the unsolved murder of a priest, and the legend of a mysterious veiled woman who regularly visited Rudolph Valentino's grave. Dill himself called it an "instant folksong."
Wilkin played piano on the original recording by Frizzell. The song was a departure from Frizzell's previous honky tonk style and was a deliberate move toward the current popularity of folk-styled material and the burgeoning Nashville sound.
Recorded in Nashville in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell and produced by Don Law, the single reached No. 6 on Billboard Hot C&W Sides chart. In the process, the song became Frizzell's best-performing single in five years.
Cover versions 
Johnny Cash performed the song on the first episode of The Johnny Cash Show (TV series) in 1969, duetting with Joni Mitchell. The song has also appeared on landmark albums by Johnny Cash and The Band in 1968 (see list below), and charted again in 1999 with the Dave Matthews Band, who performed the song live with Emmylou Harris at a Johnny Cash tribute concert. Early in her career, Joan Baez incorporated the song into her live repertoire, and recorded it twice (see list below). The song appeared on Marianne Faithfull's Rich Kid Blues, recorded in 1971, but shelved until 1985.
The song was performed by Bruce Springsteen on his 2006 Seeger Sessions Band Tour. The chorus is frequently sung by Bruce Hornsby during live performances of his song "White Wheeled Limousine". It was covered in September 2009 by Harry Manx on his album "Bread and Buddha" and more recently, in October 2009, by Rosanne Cash on her album The List. A version by Scottish rock band Nazareth was never released on an album, but is played at live concerts.
Mick Jagger also recorded a version of "Long Black Veil" with The Chieftains for that group's album of the same name. The ending of the Kings of Leon song "Cold Desert" is also influenced by "Long Black Veil"..
Recently Jamey Johnson has been covering the song on tour as well.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club occasionally perform the song during their live shows.
Hit singles 
Tracks on hit albums 
- 1962 The Kingston Trio, New Frontier - U.S. Pop album #16
- 1962 Burl Ives, The Versatile Burl Ives! - U.S. Pop album #35
- 1963 Joan Baez, Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 - U.S. Pop album #7, U.K. album #15
- 1965 Johnny Cash, Orange Blossom Special - U.S. Pop album #49
- 1968 Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison - U.S. Pop album #13, U.S. Country album #1, U.K. album #8
- 1968 The Band, Music from Big Pink - U.S. Pop album #30
- 1970 Joan Baez, One Day at a Time - U.S. Pop album #80
- 1972 New Riders of the Purple Sage, Gypsy Cowboy - U.S. Pop album #85
- 1983 John Anderson, Wild & Blue - U.S. Pop album #58
- 1995 The Chieftains with Mick Jagger (vocal), The Long Black Veil - U.S. Pop album #22, U.K. album #17
- 1999 Mike Ness, Cheating at Solitaire - U.S. Pop album #80
- 1999 Dave Matthews Band, Listener Supported - U.S. Pop album #15
Other Versions 
||This article may contain excessive, poor, or irrelevant examples. (June 2011)|
- 1960 The Country Gentlemen, Country Songs, Old and New
- 1960 Carl Mann
- 1963 Jerry & Sarah, Top of the Tangent, Palo Alto 02-02-1963 Jerry Garcia and his first wife Sarah.
- 1964 Johnny Williams and The Jokers (Went to #1 in Houston)
- 1966 Johnny Cash, Orange Blossom Special
- 1968 The Move, BBC Recording
- 1968 Wolfe Tones, Rights Of Man
- 1969 The Byrds, Boston Tea Party, live recording - citation
- 1969 Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash
- 1969 The Small Faces, Wein, live bootleg recording.
- 1970 Bill Monroe, Kentucky Bluegrass
- 1971 Looking Glass
- 1971 Hank Williams, Jr., Sweet Dreams
- 1980 Jimmy Ellis aka Orion
- 1981 Taco
- 1982 Berlin
- 1984 Marianne Faithfull, Rich Kid Blues - originally recorded 1971
- 1984 Baby Opaque featuring Ian Mackaye.
- 1986 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kicking Against the Pricks
- 1988 Cameo
- 1988 The Proclaimers
- 1992 Michael Nesmith
- 1995 Don Walser, The Archive Series Volume 2
- 1995 Don Williams, Borrowed Tales
- 1997 Sally Timms, Cowboy Sally
- 2000 Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice, The Pizza Tapes - originally recorded in 1993
- 2000 Daryle Singletary That's Why I Sing This Way
- 2011 Carter Hulsey Cover
- 2000 John Duffey, Always In Style: A Collection
- 2002 Jason & the Scorchers, Wildfires + Misfires
- 2002 Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Distance Between.
- 2003 Johnny Cash, Unearthed
- 2003 Deadstring Brothers, Deadstring Brothers.
- 2003 The Pine Valley Cosmonauts (vocals by Sally Timms & Edith Frost), The Executioner's Last Songs: Volumes 2 & 3
- 2003 Rob Coffinshaker "Fairytales from the Dungeon" single.
- 2003 Harry Manx, Johnny's Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash
- 2004 Ani Difranco, Gillian Welch and Greg Brown, Live in Madison, WI
- 2004 Dave Matthews Band, The Gorge (6-Disc Special Edition).
- 2005 Tim O'Brien, Fiddler's Green
- 2005 Bruce Hornsby, Intersections:1985-2005 (Cameoed in the middle of "White-Wheeled Limousine")
- 2006 Mike Connolly
- 2006 Crooked Fingers, Like a Version 2 (Australia)
- 2006 Richard Hawley, (B Side for "Just Like The Rain")
- 2007 Justin Mack, 'Long Road Home'
- 2007 Uncle Douglas "Joe" St. Pierre
- 2007 Stoney LaRue, Live at Billy Bob's Texas
- 2007 David Gray,"A Thousand Miles Behind" live USA
- 2007 Professor Louis and the Crowmatix (The Spirit of Woodstock)
- 2007 Matt Andersen, 'Life at Liberty House'
- 2008 Diamanda Galás, Guilty Guilty Guilty
- 2009 Aunt Martha, Candymaker Tour NYC
- 2009 Razzy Bailey, Damned Good Time, (with Johnny Cash)
- 2009 Rosanne Cash (Feat. Jeff Tweedy)
- 2009 Caroline Herring, Golden Apples of the Sun
- 2012 Iron & Wine
- The Stanley Brothers
- The Proclaimers
- Bobby Bare
- Chris Ledoux
- Banks & Shane
- Bob Dylan
- Jimmy Kelly[disambiguation needed]