Steamboat Bill

DESCRIPTION: The Whippoorwill, steered by Steamboat Bill, is ordered "to try to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee." Provoked by a gambler, Bill drives the boat so hard that the boiler explodes. Bill's wife says that her next husband will be a railroad man.
AUTHOR: Words: Ren Shields / Music: F. A. Mills
EARLIEST DATE: 1910
LONG DESCRIPTION: The Whippoorwill, steered by Steamboat Bill, is ordered "to try to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee." Provoked by a gambler, Bill drives the boat so hard that the boiler explodes, with Bill betting he will fly higher than the gambler. People all along the river mourn. Bill's wife says that her next husband will be a railroad man.
KEYWORDS: ship technology disaster death gambling
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 100-101, "Steamboat Bill" (1 text)
Fife-Cowboy/West 16, "Steamboat Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 206, "Steamboat Bill" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 535-536, "Steamboat Bill"

Roud #11218
RECORDINGS:
Al Bernard, "Steamboat Bill" (Grey Gull 4177/Radiex 4177/Van Dyke 74177, 1928)
Smiley Burnett, "Steamboat Bill" (Decca 5685, 1939; rec. 1938)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Steamboat Bill" (OKeh 40306, 1925; rec. 1924)
Arthur Collins, "Steamboat Bill" (Columbia A-1005, 1911) (Victor 16867, 1911)
Dixon's Clod Hoppers, "Steamboat Bill" (Vocalion 15862, 1931; rec. 1930)
Jack Kaufman, "Steamboat Bill" (Columbia A2809, 1919; Diva 2480-G [as Jack Wilson], 1927)
Beatrice Kay, "Steamboat Bill" (Columbia 36941, 1946; rec. 1945)
Kessinger Brothers, "Steamboat Bill" (Brunswick 563, rec. 1930)
Edward Meeker, "Steamboat Bill" (Edison 50886, 1921)
Riley Puckett, "Steamboat Bill" (Columbia 113-D [as George Riley Puckett], 1924)
Bob Roberts, "Steamboat Bill" (Phono-Cut 5112, c. 1914)
Ernest Rogers, "Steamboat Bill" (Victor 20798, 1927)
Paul Tremaine & his Orch. "Steamboat Bill" (Columbia 2229-D, 1930)
Varsity Eight, "Steamboat Bill" (Cameo 1266/Romeo 500, 1927)
Fred Wilson [probably a pseud. for Jack Kaufman, but I don't know for sure], "Steamboat Bill" (Harmony 5118-H, 1930)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Casey Jones (I)" [Laws G1] (tune)
SAME TUNE:
Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band, "Casey Bill" (Columbia 14371-D, 1928; rec. 1927; on GoodForWhatAilsYou)
Scissor Bill (by Joe Hill) (Gibbs M. Smith, _Joe Hill_, 1969 (I use the 1984 Peregrine Smith Books edition), pp. 246-247)
NOTES: "Steamboat Bill" is usually considered a parody of "Casey Jones." Earl McDonald's "Casey Bill," in turn, is a parody of "Steamboat Bill," in which Steamboat Bill has a race down the Mississippi -- against Casey Jones. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.6
File: FCW016

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