Texas and Southwestern Lore Page: 198
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COWBOY SONGS AGAIN
BY J. Evers HAZY
For a long time I had hoped to meet an authority on folk-
lore who had never read a book upon the subject. In the
Midland country a few years ago, when I was eating sour-
dough biscuits from Tom Grammar's skillets at the back end
of a chuck wagon and sleeping six hours a night on the
grama grass, my vaulting ambition other than being able to
"flank" more calves than any cowpuncher in the outfit was
to become well-versed in cowboy ballads. That desire was
all the more remarkable when I recall that Professor Lack-
ey's attempts to make me carry a tune always ended in dis-
mal failure. But the desire persisted. Hence it was that I
forgot to eat when I met that human anthology of western
ballads--James W. Mullens. All his knowledge of the field
had been gained from oral sources. Although I traveled more
than five thousand miles across the plains and over the hills
of West Texas and New Mexico before I found him, the ex-
perience was worth the travel.
Curiosity to know more of the history of the Southwest
took me to Roswell, N. M. There upon the banks of the Rio
Hondo I listened to the songs of the old frontier, sung by
a man who had learned them in the cow camps of the South-
west and on night herd along the Goodnight-Loving Trail.
Any man who has never found occasion to memorize a song
from a printed collection, but can sing a hundred or more
from memory will always be a wonder to me. "Honey Jim"
Mullens will long have my gratitude for the songs he sang
to me upon that crisp January night.
Even though his tunes were limited, his repertoire of bal-
lads was marvelous. How the blood quickened as he sang in
the night time "The Buffalo Hunters' Song," "Quantrell's
Call," "Adieu to Old El-lum," and "The Lone Star Trail" I
For variety he sang in Spanish "Como Los Rayos del Sol,"
and tried his voice upon a few sailor songs. He knew the
history of many of these ballads for the last fifty years.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texas and Southwestern Lore, book, 1927; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67662/m1/200/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.