"Horses" and Grofé's "On the Trail"

"Horses" and Grofé's "On the Trail"

Joined: March 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm #1

One thing that I hadn't realized until I read about it yesterday in volume two of Don Rayno's Whiteman biography:  Probably the most famous music from Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite--the "donkey" motif from "On the Trail"----was based om Byron Gay and Richard Whiting's "Horses", which I had always thought of as among the most inane of all novelty songs!

"Grofé wanted to develop a musical picture of a donkey ambling down the trail, and remembered “Horses,” a song written by Byron Gay and Richard Whiting. Ferde adapted the major theme from the song, changing the time from 4/4 to 6/8. Gay was an old friend of Grofé, so Ferde felt okay about borrowing the theme.  'In all the years he knew me before he died,' Grofé remarked, 'he never brought that up.'" https://books.google.com/books?id=n-hYmPstZmIC&pg=PA48

Hear the resemblance for yourself.  Here is "Horses" as played by the Georgians:




And here is Whiteman's recording of "On the Trail"--listen to the theme at 1:07... 



(It's just a coincidence I'm writing about "Horses" on Kentucky Derby day...) 
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 5th, 2018, 9:12 pm #2

News to me too. I was aware of both recordings, but never made the connection!!
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Joined: March 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

May 6th, 2018, 12:14 am #3

Incidentally, Sylvester Ahola played trumpet on "Horses."  Rust gives the personnel as Sylvester Ahola, t / Al Philburn, tb / Ernie Warren, cl, bar / Phil Wall, p / Lou Calabrese, bj / Johnny Morris, d, v. New York, April 13, 1926.
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