Clinch Mountain Echo

Various Artists - Plum Pitiful, Vol. 1

20 Sad And Tragic Bluegrass Songs

(Wango CD-115) 2000 - reissued (Time Life M-18998) 2004

Plum Pitiful, Vol. 1 (Reissue)
Rear Cover (Reissue) CD Tray

Average Album Rating: 3.89
(Total votes 9)

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I only have the Time Life reissue of this 63:03 min compilation and I'm not sure whether the original Wango release includes any different tracks. I suspect it might, as the same version of The Stanley's Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone, Mother's Not Dead and Man Of Constant Sorrow are also on Wango's Plum Pitiful Vol. 2... and it looks like some of the other artists cuts are the same too.[1]

In total there are five Stanley Brothers / Ralph Stanley tracks: Pretty Polly is also the same version as on Radio Series Vol. 4; Mother's Not Dead is the same as on Radio Series Vol. 7; and Man Of Constant Sorrow is the same version as featured on the On The Air LP.

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone is different to the Dec. 1963 version that can be found on John's Gospel Quartet and John's Country Quartet, but is the same as the one found on Plum Pitiful Vol. 2, whose liner notes say that Carter only recorded one version of the song... The two versions are similiar, but one lasts around 3:03 min and this one around 2:44. The 'Plum Pitiful' version also starts with the "Will you miss me" vocal refrain, whereas the Wango 103/104 version starts with "Perhaps you planted flowers...".

Finally there's Little Glass Of Wine which is from the Reunion - Featuring George Shuffler & James King CD which Ralph recorded 14-15th March 1987.

The 'Time Life' reissue is the most common collection of Ray Davis' basement recordings that he made over the course of 40 or so years. It duplicates several tracks with other Wango compilations, but is a good starting point and if you like the real "sad and tragic" bluegrass songs, it is a real treat.

The CD comes with liner notes by Eddie Dean.


For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's Wango sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 173-176, 180-183, 186-189, 204-212, and 215-216.

Pretty Polly
- Stanley Brothers

Down In The Willow Garden
- Warrior River Boys

Little Glass Of Wine
- Ralph Stanley

C. Stanley
Little Maggie
- Don Reno & Bill Harrell

Old Shep
- Scott Brannon

Red Foley
Darlin' Little Joe
- Don Reno & Bill Harrell

Bill Monroe
The Long Black Veil
- Warrior River Boys

Danny Dill / Marijohn Wilkin
Memories Of Mother And Dad
- James King & David Davis

Bill Monroe (aka Albert Price)
Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine
- David Davis & Scott Brannon

Gene Autry / Jimmy Long
Baggage Coach Ahead
- Bill Harrell

The Evening Train
- Bob & Danny Paisley

Hank Williams / Audrey Williams
Six More Miles
- Basement Band

Hank Williams
Speak To Me Little Darlin'
- Don Reno & Red Smiley

Red Belcher ?
Mother's Not Dead (She's Only Sleeping)
- Stanley Brothers

Maynard Spencer / Lance Spencer
Rebel Soldier
- Charlie Moore

Charles B. Moore
A Hero's Death
- Mac Wiseman

Shackles And Chains
- Charlie Moore

Jimmie Davis
Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone
- Stanley Brothers

A.P. Carter
Orphan Joe
- Ray Davis

Man Of Constant Sorrow
- Stanley Brothers

R.D. Burnett

Go To Top Of Page [1] i.e. Don Reno & Red Smiley - Speak To Me Little Darlin'; Charlie Moore - Rebel Soldier & Shackles And Chains; Mac Wiseman - A Hero's Death.