Clinch Mountain Echo

Lee Allen & The Dew Mountain Boys - In Memory Of Roy Lee Centers/Bo Weevil

(Old Homestead OHS-5045) c1974/5

In Memory Of Roy Lee Centers

This is another hard to find single. It was mentioned in a 'Bluegrass Unlimited' article on Lee Allen in April 1975, which said that he and Roy Lee had attended the same school together, and added: "Most recently Lee cut an album on Jalyn and a single on Old Homestead, the latter a topical ballad about the death of Roy Lee Centers. This event had a profound effect on Lee as he and Roy were very close".

Of course, the Clinch Mountain Boys had previously provided backing for Lee Allen's debut Songs Of Love And Tragedy LP in 1970, and Lee is also said to have filled in occasionally with the CMB's around the time Roy Lee joined.

Musically In Memory Of Roy Lee Centers features Roy McGinnis of the Sunnysiders and has a similar melody to Snow Covered Mound with prominent fiddle and cross-picked guitar.

At the time this 45 was recorded, future Dry Branch Fire Squad lynch-pin (and former CMB), Ron Thomason was in Lee's Dew Mountain Boys. It sounds very much like Ron is singing lead on the flip-side Bo Weevil. Here the performance is quite sparse with just guitar and vocal. Also known as The Honest Farmer the song was originally recorded by Fiddlin' John Carson in 1925,[1] and tells of the plight of the hard working farmers who lost their cotton crops to the bo weevil infestations that plagued the south in the early 20th century.[2] Lee also helped Ron Thomason record a variant of The Honest Farmer on Ron's LP 'The Mandolin And Other Stuff' (Kanawha Records 324), on 27th July 1975. Ron's liner notes to that mention that: "Lee is always enthusiastic about the tenor on this particular chorus and, I think, sometimes wishes we'd have used it on his record". It's not clear however if Ron is referring to this single or one of the Lee Allen albums he played on.[3]

Incidentally, Bo Weevil / The Honest Farmer has a melody very similiar to Palms Of Victory.

Personnel incl:

Many thanks to Steve Wisner for enabling us to hear this one!

PS: If anyone can provide better scans of the label images - please get in touch via the Contact page - Thanks!


Original Release:
In Memory Of Roy Lee Centers
Old Homestead OHS-5045

Lee Allen
Bo Weevil
Old Homestead OHS-5045


Go To Top Of Page [1] Fiddlin' John Carson - The Honest Farmer / There's A Hard Time Coming (Okeh 40411) 1925 - see:-
He later re-recorded it Fiddlin' John Carson With Moonshine Kate The Honest Farmer / Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Them All (Montgomery Ward M-4849) 1934 and (Bluebird B-5742) See:-
[3] Ron Thomason appears on Lee Allen and the Dew Mountain Boys LP's 'Way Out Yonder, New Mountain Songs And Ballads' (Old Homestead OHS-90025) 1973 and 'I'm Leaving You Darlin'' (Jalyn JLP 153) 1974.