“Brown's Ferry Blues”


About a "hard-luck papa," etc.; "Hard-luck papa counting his toes... smell his feet wherever he goes"; "Hard-luck papa standing in the rain/If the world was corn, he couldn't buy grain"; "Refrain: "Lord, lord, got those Brown's Ferry blues."


Both the McGee Brothers and the Delmore Brothers claim authorship of this piece. The obvious conclusion is that neither actually wrote it. - RBW

Same tune

  • Shirt Factory Blues (by Cleda Helton and James Pyle) (Greenway-AFP, p. 143)
  • Philyaw Brothers, "Brown's Ferry Blues, No. 4" (Vocalion 04186, 1938) [that's not a misprint, I said Philyaw - PJS]
  • Delmore Brothers, "Brown's Ferry Blues - Part 2" (Bluebird B-5893, 1935; Montgomery Ward M-4553, c. 1935)
  • Callahan Brothers, "Brown's Ferry Blues - No. 2" (Melotone 6-04-59/Perfect 6-04-59/Conqueror 8627, 1936 [as Walter Callahan])
  • Log Cabin Boys, "New Brown's Ferry Blues" (Decca 5103, 1935)

Cross references

  • cf. "Jackhammer John" (tune)
  • cf. "Dog House Blues" (tune)
  • cf. "Rubberneck Blues" (tune)


  • Frank Bode, "Brown's Ferry Blues" (on FBode1)
  • Bill Cox, "Brown's Ferry Blues" (Melotone 13161/Oriole 8380, 1934)
  • Delmore Bros., "Brown's Ferry Blues" (Bluebird B-5403, 1934) (King 592, 1947)
  • McGee Brothers (Sam, Kirk), "Brown's Ferry Blues" (Decca 5348, 1937); (Champion 45033, 1935)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Brown's Ferry Blues" (on NLCR01, NLCRCD1) (NLCR12) (NLCR16)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 224-225, "Brown's Ferry Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 73, "Brown's Ferry Blues" (1 text)
  4. BI, CSW224


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934 (recording, Delmore Brothers)
Found in: US