Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy

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Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy
UncleCharlieNittyGritty.jpg
Studio album by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Released February 1970
Recorded 1969
Genre Country, country rock, folk rock, bluegrass
Length 45:16
Label Liberty
Producer William McEuen
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band chronology
Alive
(1969)
Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy
(1970)
All the Good Times
(1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[2]

Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy is the 1970 album from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that contains the hit song "Mr. Bojangles". The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (a.k.a. The Dirt Band) is notable for having many charting albums and singles. The album reached #66 on US charts. Three singles charted: "Mr. Bojangles" reached #9, "House On Pooh Corner" reached #53, and "Some Of Shelly's Blues" reached #64.

The 1994 CD version has the title Uncle Charlie And His Dog on the spine.

Track listing[edit]

Side 1
  1. "Some of Shelly's Blues" (Michael Nesmith) – 2:51
  2. "Prodigal's Return" (Kenny Loggins, Dann Lottermoser) – 3:11
  3. "The Cure" (Jeff Hanna) – 2:11
  4. "Travelin' Mood" (James Waynes) – 2:39
  5. "Chicken Reel" (Traditional) – 0:55
  6. "Yukon Railroad" (Kenny Loggins, Dann Lottermoser) – 2:16
  7. "Livin' Without You" (Randy Newman) – 2:00
  8. "Clinch Mountain Backstep" (Ruby Rakes) – 2:31
  9. "Rave On" (Norman Petty, Bill Tilghman, Sonny West) – 2:56
  10. "Billy in the Low Ground" (Les Thompson) – 1:13
Side 2
  1. "Jesse James" (Traditional) – 0:50
  2. "Uncle Charlie Interview" (Uncle Charlie) – 1:38
  3. "Mr. Bojangles" (Jerry Jeff Walker) – 3:37
  4. "Opus 36, Clementi" (Muzio Clementi) – 1:42
  5. "Santa Rosa" (Kenny Loggins) – 2:24
  6. "Propinquity" (Michael Nesmith) – 2:20
  7. "Uncle Charlie" (Jimmie Fadden) – 1:49
  8. "Randy Lynn Rag" (Earl Scruggs) – 1:46
  9. "House at Pooh Corner" (Kenny Loggins) – 2:39
  10. "Swanee River" (Stephen Foster) – 0:36
  11. "Uncle Charlie Interview #2 / Spanish Fandango" (Traditional) – 2:36

Extra tracks on the 2003 CD reissue:

  1. "Mississippi Rain" (Lottermoser) – 3:06
  2. "What Goes On" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Richard Starkey) – 2:12

Personnel[edit]

The Band

  • Les Thompson - electric bass, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals
  • Jimmie Fadden - lead acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica, washtub bass, vocals (drums not credited on LP)
  • Jeff Hanna - rhythm acoustic and electric guitar, drums, washboard, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Ibbotson - rhythm acoustic guitar, lead electric guitar, electric piano, drums, conga, accordion, vocals (keyboards not credited on LP)
  • John McEuen - banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, accordion (vocals, guitar, steel guitar not credited on LP)

Contributing Musicians (credited on original LP)

  • Bill Cunningham
  • Maurice Manceau - guitar, keyboards, vocals (instrument not credited on LP)
  • Jim Gordon - horns, keyboards (instrument not credited on LP)
  • Mike Rubine
  • John London - bass (instrument not credited on LP)
  • Byron Berline - violin (instrument not credited on LP)
  • Russ Kunkel - drums (instrument not credited on LP)

Not credited on LP or CD

According to a blog specializing in country music discographies, the "Uncle Charlie Interview" was recorded in November 1968. In actuality, this recording was done in November 1963 (per the liner notes of the Dirt, Silver and Gold LP). The error comes from a typo found on a CD reissue of the Dirt, Silver and Gold album. Despite the fact that this is simply an interview that pre-dates the band's formation and features no other musicians besides the titular Uncle Charlie, it has been blindly assumed on the (incorrect) date alone that Chris Darrow and Ralph Barr play on this track and therefore on this album.

Production[edit]

  • Producer: William McEuen
  • Recording Engineer: Woody Woodward
  • Mixing: John McEuen/Jimmy Hoyson
  • Art Direction: Dean Torrence / Kittyhawk Graphics
  • Photography: William McEuen

2003 CD reissue with two additional tracks and new liner notes

  • Interview and Liner Notes : Robyn Flans

About the tracks[edit]

  • "Some of Shelly's Blues" was written by Michael Nesmith, best known as a member of The Monkees. Jimmy Ibbotson and Jeff Hanna share the vocals. It features harmonica break by Jimmie Fadden. It was released as a single twice. Because the title doesn't appear in the lyrics, fans were confused about what song to request on the radio or buy.
  • "Travelin' Mood" was written and first recorded by R&B artist James "We Willie" Waynes in 1955.[3] It is sung on this album by Jimmie Fadden.
  • "Chicken Reel" (Traditional) is an instrumental track.
  • "Yukon Railroad" is about two people falling in love well riding a train on the Yukon Railroad. The White Pass & Yukon Railroad goes from Skagway, Alaska to (currently) Carcross, Yukon. However it used to go to Whitehorse, Yukon. The railroad was built during the Klondike gold rush, in the late 1890's. The song also talks about imagening all the gold on the train about "100 years ago."
  • On "Clinch Mountain Backstep" John plays banjo, Les plays mandolin, Jimmie plays one string washtub bass, and Jeff plays the washboard and cymbals. The is credited to Ruby Rakes. Ruby Rakes Eubanks is the half sister of Ralph and Carter Stanley (The Stanley Brothers). She was assigned the rights to many of their songs for personal financial reasons.[4]
  • "Rave On" is the Buddy Holly song. Jimmy and Jeff share the lead vocal.
  • "Billy in the Low Ground" is a traditional tune played by Les Thompson on mandolin. It is a short song that fades in and then out.
  • "Jesse James" is a 1963 recording of Uncle Charlie, who was a relative of Bill McEuen's wife. It is a folk song that dates back to at least to 1924. Uncle Charlie stops mid-song saying "That's about all I can think of."
  • The "Uncle Charlie Interview" is from the same 1963 recording. He first gives some biographical information. He was born in Kaufman County, Texas on September 11, 1886, and moved to California in 1906 (when he was 20 years old). He did not serve in either world war. He was the youngest in the family and took care of his parents in their old age. He then gets his dog Teddy to sing (howl) along with his harmonica. This leads directly into Mr. Bojangles, associating the real man with the song character.
  • "Mr. Bojangles" was written and recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker. Jeff Hanna heard the song on the radio one night and mentioned it to Jimmy Ibbotson. Ibbotson knew the song and actually had been carrying the single (a gift) around in his trunk for months. They cleaned it off and transcribed the song as best they could. However, they got a few words wrong, even on the final recording. This story is told in more colorful detail on the 2003 CD Reissue.
  • "Opus 36" was written by English composer Muzio Clementi in 1797. Its full title is "Sonatina in C major, op.36, no.1".[5] It was arranged and adapted by Walter McEuen and played on banjo by John McEuen. On the original album cover and label the title appears as "Opus 36, Clementi (John)", but as just "Opus 36 on the inner sleeve. On the 2003 CD reissue it is listed as just "Opus 36".
  • "Uncle Charlie" is a harmonica and guitar instrumental.
  • On "Randy Lynn Rag" producer Bill McEuen brought all the studio personnel into the studio as an audience to inspire to band to cook on the tune. At the end of the track the crowd applauds and cheers. Finally someone says, "Thank you for the clap", then two more claps lead seamlessly into the next song.
  • When "House at Pooh Corner" was played for him by its songwriter, Kenny Loggins, Jimmy Ibbotson wanted to record it. When Ibbotson was in second grade he was struck with polio. While he was at home that year he read a lot of A. A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh stories, so the characters had warm place in his heart.
  • "Swanee River" (Stephen Foster) is an instrumental played by Jimmie Fadden on harmonica.
  • "What Goes On" is a Beatles song, and one of the few songs sung by Les Thompson.

References[edit]

The information in this article comes from the liner notes of the original LP[6] and the 2003 CD reissue,[7] unless otherwise noted.

  1. ^ Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "James "Wee Willie" Wayne". Rockabilly.nl. 1955-05-27. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Travelin the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music", John Wright, University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06478-X (1993)
  5. ^ "Clementi - Sonatina in C major, op.36, no.1". Pianopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  6. ^ Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Liberty LST 7642 (1970) LP
  7. ^ Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Capital 72435-41721-2-0 (2003) CD