Falfurrias 4/39

Ballads and songs performed by Frank Goodwyn (recorded at the the Falfurrias tourist cabin where the Lomaxes were staying), and fiddle tunes by Lake N. Porter (recorded at his home).

“Miss Frances Alexander, professor of English at the College of Arts and Industries at Kingsville, Texas, first told us about Frank Goodwyn. He was at that time a student of the college interested in the study of English literature, in music and how to write English compositions. We were told that Mr. Goodwyn was surprised to learn that music had a notation by which it could be written down. He lost no time in setting down on paper some of the tales that he had heard all his life; for he was brought up on the King Ranch, where his father was once a foreman and where Frank himself had learned the arts of the cowboy. There he had learned the many tales current among the Vaqueros and the English-speaking cowhands, and he had also picked up their traditional and local ballads and dance tunes. He learned to play the fiddle and the guitar with enough skill to give himself, his family and friends some pleasure and amusement. He is a distant cousin of J. Frank Dobie and through his friends of the College faculty and through Mr. Dobie’s written versions of Mexican Border tales came to the attention of the Texas Folk Lore Society, in whose publications Mr. Goodwyn's tales and song texts appear. In 1940 Mr. Goodwyn is instructor in English and graduate student at the C and I College [?]. At the time the Lomaxes met him, Mr. Goodwyn was married and was teaching in the La Gloria School, a rural school in a Mexican community, near Falfurrias, Texas. There we found him and arranged a meeting. Many of his songs Mr. Goodwyn learned from his mother and from Blind Eddie, fiddler, who used to hang around Mr. Goodwyn's uncle's country store. Many tunes he learned from cowboys, but often he had to get full texts later from books, such as the Lomax Cowboy Songs. One night he played for two hours in our tourist camp room, mostly American cowboy songs and "funny" songs that he had learned from his mother. We found that he knew a great many "concert hall" and other popular songs that had been printed for sheet music sale.

Mrs. Edward Lasater of Falfurrias told us about the fiddler, Mr. Lake N. Porter, a champion in his earlier days. He was born in Mississippi, and is (in 1939) 85 years old. He is a charter member of the Texas Old Trail Drivers Association. He went up the trail three or four times, often sawing his fiddle as he rode along. For a long time he discontinued playing the fiddle and singing, but he has taken it up again recently, and now 'he doesn't do anything else all day long,' so his wife reports. The couple celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary last December [1938]. They live in a comfortable cottage with their own garden and chickens. Their daughter lives across the street and a son, who holds a responsible position with a power company in the East, flies down to see them occasionally. This son has recently written to thank Mr. Lomax, for giving his parents so much pleasure by recording the fiddle tunes and to enquire whether he might get copies of the records. Mr. and Mrs. Porter were very much pleased to be 'invited out' to a public restaurant for dinner. Mr. Porter was for fifteen years sheriff in Goliad County, Texas and in the county where he now lives, during some exciting days of that country. He lived in McMullen County when he was a cowboy and trail-driver. Black Jack Grove is his favorite fiddle tune. During their days of work around Falfurrias. Mr. and Mrs. Lomax were guests at the ranch of Mrs. Ed Lasater, of which her son Tom Lasater is manager. Her son Edward, county attorney, was at that time living on the ranch. Mrs. Lasater and Mr. Lomax had been friends on the campus of the University of Texas when Mrs. Lasater (Mary Miller) was student."

The Purple Bull (part 3)

The Kicking Mule

Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie (#1)

The Jolly Irishman

Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie (#2)

The Purple Bull (part 1)

The Purple Bull (part 2)

Zebra Dun

Gol Darn Wheel

Drunkard's Lament

Commentary on Lake N. Porter

Lady In the Center and Three Hands Round

Black Jack Grove

Old Cacklin' Hen

The Lost Girl

Billy In the Lowground

Sally Goodin

Ballad of Don Bonifacio and Don Coy

Unidentified ballad

Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie

The Trail To Mexico

Old Dan Tucker

Old Chisholm Trail

Rye Whiskey

24 Results