Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - I'm Bound To Ride / Don't Step Over An Old Love

(King 5933) Sep 1964

I'm Bound To Ride
Don't Step Over An Old Love

The second in a set of three consecutive Stanley Brother's singles, (King 5932, 5933 and 5934) that appear to have been simultaneously released in Sep 1964.[1]

I'm Bound To Ride was included on the Remarkable Stanley Brothers Play And Sing Bluegrass Songs For You LP, a couple of months after the single. I'm therefore presuming it was considered to be the 'A' side... The song was copyrighted by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith in 1943, and he'd recorded it in 1937 backed by the Delmore Brothers.[2]

The arrangement of Bound To Ride is different to the usual way the Stanley Brothers performed it live, with Ralph singing lead instead of Carter and featuring 3-finger rather than clawhammer banjo. When Ralph later re-cut the song for his John Henry (Jap only) LP and A Man And His Music, he reverted to the clawhammer style.

Don't Step Over An Old Love had previously appeared on the Country Folk Music Spotlight LP, and like many of the songs on that album, was brought to the band by King. It was copyrighted, along with I Just Stood There on 29th Aug 1963, but under it's original title Don't Step Over An Old Friend.[3] In Gary B. Reid's liner notes to The King Years, 1961-1965 Ralph explains:- "one of the governors of Ohio wrote that. He was still governor or had been governor and was running again and he wrote 'Don't Step Over An Old Friend', he used that in his campaign. Syd said 'That 'friend' ain't no good, put 'love' there', so we put 'Don''t Step Over An Old Love'".

BMI Repertoire song credits by Fred Stryker exist for both 'Love' and 'Friend' with adjacent BMI Work #'s. This suggests that both titles were published simultaneously... Does anybody know who the politician was?

Both sides of the single can be found on The King Years, 1961-1965 4xCD box set.


For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 172-173, 184, 203-204 and 213.

Original Release:
Lead guitar:
I'm Bound To Ride
17 Jul 1964
King 5933 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Art Stamper
Earl Taylor
Chick Stripling
George Shuffler

Arthur Leroy Smith
Don't Step Over An Old Love
17 Sep 1963
Country Folk Music Spotlight Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley

George Shuffler
George Shuffler

Fred Stryker

Go To Top Of Page [1] I've been unable to find any direct evidence of release date but 'King 5931' is listed in 'Billboard' magazine 5th Sept 1964, so this would seem logical. The same issue also lists the Stanley's Bully Of The Town / How Bad Do I Feel (King 5920) on the same page.
[2] It can be heard on the 'Fiddlin' Arthur Smith & Dixieliners' CD (County CO-CD-3526) 2002. The original 78 was released as by the Arthur Smith Trio - Nellie's Blue Eyes / I'm Bound To Ride (Bluebird B-7325) - see https://www.discogs.com/Arthur-Smith-Trio-Nellies-Blue-Eyes-Im-Bound-To-Ride/release/10355983
A reference to the 20th Dec 1943 copyright registration can be found on page 966 of the 'Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third Series, Volumme 25, Part 5, Number 1, Section 1 - Music - Current and Renewal Registrations January-June 1971' published by the Copyright Office of The Library Of Congress 1972: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HkMhAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA987&dq=%22bound+to+ride%22+song+origin&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie5oOetNvVAhVHBcAKHTNVCtAQ6AEITzAH#v=onepage&q=bound%20to%20ride&f=false
[3] 'Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third Series Volume 17, Part 5 Number 2 - Music - July-December 1963' publisshed by the Copyright Office of The Library Of Congress 1964 (p. 1307):- https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iy4hAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA1986&dq=don%27t+step+over+an+old+love+friend&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizpo2rn9vVAhUhAsAKHaXtCkwQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=%22Don%27t%20step%20over%22&f=false