Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Songwriters who taught high school history #1

James Corbitt Morris (20 June 1907 – 12 July 1998) — better known as Jimmy Driftwood or Jimmie Driftwood; was a prolific United States folk songwriter and musician, most famous for his songs "The Battle of New Orleans" and "Tennessee Stud." Driftwood used a homemade guitar throughout his career and noted that its neck was made from a fence rail, its sides from an old ox yoke, and the head and bottom from the headboard of his grandmothers bed. Driftwood attended John Brown College in northwest Arkansas and later received a degree in education from Arkansas Teacher's College. He started writing songs during his teaching career to teach his students history in an entertaining manner.

"Tennessee Stud" performed by Johnny Cash
Words and Music by Jimmie Driftwood

"Battle of New Orleans" performed by Johnny Horton
Words and Music by Jimmie Driftwood

Sherman Edwards (April 4, 1919 - March 30, 1981) was a Jewish-American songwriter. He was born in New York City. Edwards taught history at high school before entering the entertainment industry. Edwards' crowning achievement was the musical 1776 for which he wrote both lyrics and music. It opened at the 46th Street Theatre on March 16, 1969 and ran for 1217 performances. It won a Tony Award for Best Musical.

"See You In September" performed by The Happenings
Words and Music by Sherman Edwards & Sid Wayne

"But, Mr. Adams" from the musical 1776
performed by William Daniels, Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard, Rex Robbins, & John Myhers
Words and Music by Sherman Edwards


At January 30, 2008 at 7:52 AM , Blogger Richard Hall said...

Mr. Feeny played John Adams in a musical!? No wonder he's a history buff.


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