-
Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - I Long To See The Old Folks / A Voice From On High

(Mercury 70340) Apr 1954


I Long To See The Old Folks
A Voice From On High I Long To See The Old Folks (78) A Voice From On High (78) Billboard 1st May 1954 Billboard 29th May 1954
I Long To See The Old Folks (Later 78) A Voice From On High (Later 78)

This single was recorded at the Stanley's second session for Mercury in Nov. 1953, with another of Carter's choice originals, I Long To See The Old Folks and a fab rendition of Bill Monroe/Bessie Lee Maudlin's A Voice From On High.

'Billboard' magazine reviewed the release in their 10th April 1954 edition giving A Voice From On High a score of 76, saying:- "A voice from another world urges us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The brothers have some good material here, and they give it a sincere, tastefully harmonized reading. The backing is spirited and has a solid beat. Ought to have good sales in this market"; likewise I Long To See The Old Folks scored 73 and was described as "In a nostalgic mood, the brothers think of their parents down on the farm whom they have not seen in a long time. They present a picture of a clean, peaceful living which will affect rural area customers"

A Voice From On High has a stunning high harmony vocal by Ralph, and the lyrics differ slightly to Bills version. At the time of the Stanley's session, Bill Monroe had yet to recorded the song, which he did 7 weeks later. Bill's version was also released eight months after the Stanley's on 5th Dec. 1954.[1] Although credited on the Stanley's version to Bill Monroe, it was co-credited to Bessie Lee Maudlin on Bill's release, and may have been wholly composed by Bessie Lee.[2]

Mercury also featured the singe in two 'Billboard' adverts, with a small mention on 1st May as one of their 'Best Selling Country & Western' discs, and then a more prominent plug in their 29th May 1954 edition. In both ad's I Long To See The Old Folks was the featured track.

Neither song was re-recorded by either the Stanley's or Ralph, although a version of I Long To See The Old Folks was included on the Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs - Tribute To The Stanley Brothers LP.

Both sides of the release can now be found on The Complete Mercury Recordings 2xCD set.

PS: If anyone's got a copy of either the Black label 78/45 or either the Black or Green label 45 variations, and can provide a scan or label image, please get in touch via the Contact page - Thanks!

 

For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's session, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pges 43-44 and 71.

Track:
Title:
Time:
Date:
Original Release:
Guitar:
Banjo:
Fiddle:
Mandolin:
Bass:
A-1
I Long To See The Old Folks
03:06
25 Nov 1953
Mercury 70340 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Mayo
Jim Williams
John Shuffler

C. Stanley
B-1
A Voice From On High
02:35
25 Nov 1953
Mercury 70340 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Mayo
Jim Williams
John Shuffler

Bill Monroe / Bessie Maudlin

Go To Top Of Page [1] Bill Monroe recorded A Voice From On High on 14th Jan 1954 - Neil V. Rosenberg and Charles K. Wolfe's book 'The Music Of Bill Monroe' (p.109-110, 301)
[2] See Richard D. Smith's book 'Can't You Hear Me Callin' (p. 140)