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Arkansas Traveler
Composer: John W. Bratton / Jimmy Kennedy

Arkansas Traveler was performed and recorded by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the 1990's.

Words and music are 'traditionally' credited to Colonel Sandford C. Faulkner who died in 1875 but there are a number of theories concerning the origin of the song. Possible histories of the song are outlined in Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs (1982), Tall Tales Of Arkansas by James R Masterson (1943) and other publications.

The first publication of the song was possibly in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1847 as "The Arkansas Traveller and Rackinsac Waltz," arranged by William Cumming. A printed version of the song was published in Buffalo in around 1850 and later reprinted in Read's Arkansas Traveler Songster in 1864.

The figure of the traveller appears in well known paintings 'The Arkansas Traveler' and 'The Turn Of The Tune' which were painted in 1858 by Edward Payson Washburn.

Many recordings of Arkansas Traveler are instrumental. Others, as with the Garcia/Grisman version, focus on the humorous dialogue.

The June 30, 1922 Eck Robertson recording of Arkansas Traveller is commonly identified as the first recording made by a country musician and was one of the first 50 recordings named on the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

The song was recorded by the Stanley Brothers as How Far To Little Rock.



Jerry Garcia recordings

info Not For Kids Only, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, 1993

Other recordings

no info George Reneau, 1924
no info Dave Macon and Sid Hardreaker, 1925
no info Decca Presents An Album Of American Folk Songs, Frank Luther, Zora Layman and Leonard Stokes, 1938?
no info Single (Soldier's Joy / Arkansas Traveler), Tommy Jackson, 1952
info Shivaree!, Jean Ritchie, Oscar Brand, Tom Paley, Harry & Jeanie West, 1955
no info Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions, Chet Atkins, 1955
no info Single, Buddy Durham, 1955
info Banjo Songs of the Southern Mountain, Various Artists (George Pegram), 1955
info Old-Time Tunes of the South, The Stoneman Family (Sutphin, Foreacre, and Dickens), 1957
no info Wilderness Road, Jimmy Driftwood, 1959
no info Mother Maybelle Carter, Maybelle Carter, 195?
no info Old Style Texas and Oklahoma Fiddling, Tony Thomas, 195?
info The Music of Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward, Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward , 1962
info Banjos In Percussion, Ted Bailey & His Riverboat Band, 1962
no info Hoedown!, Felix Slatkin, 1962
info Hootenanny N' Blue Grass, Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, 1963
no info 28th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, Various Artists (Fall Creek Ramblers), 1963
no info Bluegrass Banjos On Fire, Homer & the Barnstormers, 1963
no info Progressive Ragtime Bluegrass 2 and Other Instrumentals, Roger Sprung & his Bluegrass All-Stars, 1964
info Newport Folk Festival 1963: The Evening Concerts, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Sam Hinton), 1964
no info Single (Arkansas Traveler / Flint Hill Special), Don Parmley, 1964
no info National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest & Folk Music Festival, Various Artists (Cleo Persinger), 1964
no info Hoedown, Vol. 5, Fiddlin' Mutt Poston & the Hired Hands, 1966
no info Traditional Music for Banjo, Fiddle and Bagpipes, Franklin George, 1967
info Fiddle Jam Sessions, Various Artists (Byron Berline), 1967
no info Country Gold, Floyd Cramer, 1969
no info Fiddlin' Around, Harold Allen, 1969
no info Don Parmley and Billy Strange, Don Parmley and Billy Strange, 196?
no info Best of the Country Fiddlers, Various Artists (King Ganam), 196?
no info Bill and Betty Price, Bill and Betty Price, 196?
no info Down Home, The Nashville String Band, 1970
no info Music of the Ozarks, Buddy Lancaster, 1972
no info My Little Home in West Virginia, Curly Ray Cline, 1972
no info Frank Wakefield with Country Cooking, Frank Wakefield, 1972
no info Magnum Banjos, Brown, Sullivan & Co., 1972
no info Mountain Fiddler, Herbert Smoke, 1973
no info My Little Home In West Virginia, Curly Ray Cline, 1973
no info Uncle Wade. A Memorial to Wade Ward, Old Time Virginia Banjo, Wade Ward, 1973
no info Skillet Lickers, Vol. 2, Skillet Lickers, 1973
no info National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest & Festival, 1974, Various Artists (Jana Greif and Francis Anderson), 1974
no info Gentle Sound of the Dulcimer, Roger Nicholson, 1974
no info Let's Go Riding: Country Blues And Old Time Music, John Miller, 1974
no info Art of the Mountain Banjo, Art Rosenbaum, 1975
no info How to Play Clawhammer Banjo, Peter Feldmann, 1975
info National Folk Festival: Good Time Music, Various Artists (Sam Hinton), 1975
no info Famous Country Music Makers, Chet Atkins, 1975
no info Authentic Old-Time Fiddle Tunes, Kelly Jones with Bluegrass Association, 1975
no info 2nd Florida Bluegrass and Old Time Music Championships, Various Artists (Country Grass), 1975
no info Whiskey Before Breakfast, Norman Blake, 1976
info Live at McCabe's, Norman Blake, 1976
no info Draggin' the Bow, Buck Ryan, 1976
no info Sudan Village, Seals and Crofts, 1976
no info Live at Union Grove, Clark Kessinger, 1976
no info Red Hot Breakdown, Earl Johnson and his Clodhoppers, 1976
no info Master Fiddler, Eck Robertson, 1976
no info Sampler of Folk Music, Mitzie Collins, 1976
no info 2nd Annual Brandywine Mountain Music Festival, Various Artists (John Morris), 1976
no info Dad's Favorites, Byron Berline, 1977
no info Bluegrass Fiddle Jam, Virgil Shouse, 1977
no info On Banjo, Bill Knopf, 1977
no info Swope's Knobs, Franklin George, 1977
info 20 Years: Concert Performances, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1978
no info Dobbs Brothers and Mary Faith Rhoads, 1978
no info Rockin' Chair, Fred Meyer, 1978
no info Albert Hash and the Whitetop Mountain Band, Albert Hash and the Whitetop Mountain Band, 1979
no info Snow on the Roof, Fire in the Furnace, Guy Blakeman, 1979
no info Farmyard Swing, Kenny Baker, 1979
no info Why Ray? Ralph!, Charlie Cline & the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, 1979
no info Blaine Sprouse, Blaine Sprouse, 1979
no info Fiddlin' Fever, Alice Clemens, 197?
no info More Fiddle Jam Sessions, Bill Long and Bill Mitchell, 197?
no info Plain Old Time Fiddling, Cyril Stinnett, 197?
no info Hell Broke Loose in Georgia, Earl Johnson and his Clodhoppers, 197?
no info Glen Smith and the Mountain State Pickers, Glen Smith and the Mountain State Pickers, 197?
no info Famous Country Fiddling, Various Artists (Lloyd Wanzer), 197?
no info Blue Grass Banjos: Flaming Banjos, Various Artists (Homer and the Barnstormers), 197?
no info Stone County Dulcimer, Simmons Family, 197?
no info Room at the Top, Various Artists (Hank Schwartz), 197?
no info Barnyard Dance, Peter Feldmann, 1980
no info Fiddling Celebration, Fiddle Fever, 1980
info Tracy Schwarz's Fiddler's Companion, Tracy Schwarz, 1981
no info Minstrels and Tunesmiths, Fred Van Eps, 1981
no info Minstrels and Tunesmiths, Len Spencer and Charles D'Almaine, 1981
no info High Strung, High Strung, 1981
no info Home Sweet Home, Elmer Bird, 1982
no info Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Finger Style Guitar, Seth Austen, 1982
no info Another Saturday Night, The Bluegrass Band, 1982
info Down Yonder: Old Time String Band Music from Georgia, Gordon Tanner/John Patterson/Smokey Joe Miller, 1982
no info Paul Cadwell, Shirley Keller, Charlie Wright, 1983
no info Fiddle Classics, Buddy Spicher, 1983
no info Shakin' Down the Acorns, Vol. 2, Tony Elman, 1984
no info Edden Hammons Collection, Edden Hammons, 1984
no info Blue Grass Classics, Harold Morrison & the Maple Hill Boys, 1984
info Our Own, Jeff Winegar & Fred Meyer, 1985
info Texas Music, Various Artists (Junior Daugherty), 1986
info Down Home, Volume 1, Various Artists (Tommy Jarrell), 1986
no info 51st Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, Various Artists (Boyd Derring), 1987
no info Whiskey Before Breakfast, Norman Blake, 1987
no info Dialogs, Beppe Gambetta, 1988
no info 101 Favorite Childrens Songs, Vol. 1 - A-H, Various Artists, 1988
no info I Love America Sing-A-Long, Various Artists, 1988
no info Greatest Stars of Bluegrass, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 1989
no info Otis Burris and Fortune, Otis Burris and Fortune, 1989
info Steve Kilby, Steve Kilby, 198?
no info Authentic Old Time Fiddle Tunes, Kelly Jones, 1990
no info Border Radio, Mainer's Mountaineers, 1990
no info Championship Years, Mark OConnor, 1990
no info Fiddler's Hall of Fame, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 1990
info The Legendary Down Home Recordings, Various Artists (Tommy Jarrell), 1990
no info Arkansas Traveler, Michelle Shocked, 1991
no info Thesaurus Transcriptions, Hank Snow, 1991
no info Flatpicking Guitar Festival, Various Artists (Dan Crary), 1991
no info Grandfather's Greatest Hits, David Holt, 1991
no info Evening Concerts - Newport Folk Festival, Various Artists (Sam Hinton), 1991
no info 2nd Cut, Bluegrass Band, 1991
no info The Legends Of Bluegrass, Vol. 4, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 1992
no info Spring Dance, Folk Like Us, 1992
no info Salty River Reel, Cyril Stinnett, 1992
no info West Virginia Hills, Walter Miller, 1992
no info The Uncollected Stan Kenton and His Orchestra, Vol. 2, Stan Kenton, 1992
info Sounds of the South, Various Artists (Hobart Smith), 1993
no info First Harvest: Ten Years of Acorn Music, Various Artists (Tony Elman), 1993
no info Prairie Echoes, David Guion, 1993
no info Appalachian Memories: Front Porch Favor, Jim Hendricks, 1993
no info Health and Happiness Shows, Hank Williams, 1993
info Rhythm of the Mountains, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 1994
no info Wretched Refuse String Band, Wretched Refuse String Band, 1994
no info 101 Favorite Children's Songs, Various Artists, 1994
no info Old Time Hammered Dulcimer Favorites, Mick Doherty and Friends, 1994
no info Disney Travel Songs, Various Artists, 1994
no info Americana, Jimmie Driftwood, 1994
no info Leading Off..., Chris Thile, 1994
no info 15 Movin' and Groovin' Tunes, Various Artists, 1994
no info Arkansas Traveler, Steve Kaufman, 1994
no info Stratosphere Boogie: The Flaming Guitars Of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant, Speedy, West and Jimmy Bryant, 1995
no info Mountain Music Collection, Vol. 4: Farm and Home Hour, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 1995
info Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Bela Fleck, 1995
no info Front Porch Favorites, Wayne Erbsen, 1995
no info Strictly by Ear, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, 1995
no info Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys, Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys, 1995
no info Heart of Country, Mountain Orchestra, 1995
no info Oliver's Twist and Easy Walker, Sy Oliver, 1995
no info Broadcast Transcriptions 1941, Stan Kenton, 1995
no info Civil War Collection, Jim Taylor, 1995
no info Bluegrass from the Gold Country, Vern Williams, 1996
no info Blue Sky Boys on Radio, Vol. 2, Blue Sky Boys, 1996
no info Echoes of the Ozarks, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Reaves White County Ramblers), 1996
no info Lost Boy, Bruce Molsky, 1996
no info Bluegrass From Gold Country, Vern Williams Band, 1996
no info Driftwood on the River, Sherwin Linton & Pam Linton, 1996
info Stoney Lonesome, Mo Canada, 1996
no info Road Before Me, Black Rose, 1996
no info Complete Recordings, Vol. 1, 1928-1929), Kessinger Brothers, 1997
no info Flamin' Guitars, Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant, 1997
no info Southern Soldier, 2nd South Carolina String Band, 1997
no info 5 String Banjo with 12 String Guitar, Don Parmley & Billy Strange, 1997
no info Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1, 1923-1924), Fiddlin' John Carson, 1998
info New Visions: The New Acoustics, Various Artists (Bela Fleck), 1998
info North Carolina Banjo Collection, Various Artists (Clay Everhart), 1998
no info Speechless, Albert Lee, 1998
info Old-Time Texas Fiddler, Eck Robertson, 1998
no info Field Recordings, Vol. 3: Mississippi (1936-1942), Various Artists (Sidney Hemphill), 1998
no info Too Late, Too Late Blues, Vol. 10: 1926-1951, Various Artists (Nashville Washboard Band), 1998
no info Grey Eagle, Volume 2, Ed Haley, 1998
no info Mister Guitar/Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions, Chet Atkins, 1998
no info Last of the Great Singing Cowboys, Rex Allen, 1999
no info Chet Atkins, Chet Atkins, 1999
no info Black Appalachia: String Bands, Songsters and Hoedowns, Various Artists (Sidney Hemphill), 1999
no info Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, Vol. 1 (1925-1928), Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, 1999
no info 22 Songs for Little Cowboys, Various Artists, 1999
no info Sing Along with 31 Mother Goose Favorites, Various Artists, 1999
no info 100 Years Farther On, Uncle Charlie, Charlie N Osborne, 199?
no info Square Dance Music and Calls, Various Artists, 19??
no info Soul of Music U.S.A., One Hundred and One Strings, 19??
no info Back Home in the Blue Ridge, Jarrell And Jenkins Cockerham, 19??
info Orange Blossom Special And Other Hoe Down Fiddle Favorites, Harold Hensley & the Virginia Mountaineers, 19??
no info Missouri Old Time Fiddling, Various Artists (Lee Stoneking), 19??
no info Classic Country! The Fantastic Fiddles, Felix Slatkin, 19??
no info Single, White Cockade Primitive Quartet, 19??
no info Tennessee Ramblers, 19??
info Kentucky Home, Tim Lake, 2000
info 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, Clarence White, 2000
no info There's Gonna Be a Party, Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant, 2000
no info American Guitar, Pat Donohue, 2000
no info 31 Fiddle Favorites, Fiddlin' Mutt Poston & Clarence Jackson, 2000
no info The Hard Life Blues: Standard Transcriptions, Roy Lanham & the Whippoorwills, 2000
info 40 Years of Concert Performances, New Lost City Ramblers, 2001
info Blue Ridge Legacy: The Alan Lomax Portait Series, Hobart Smith, 2001
no info Guitar That Made America Great: Playing Tribute to Chet Atkins, Jim Coleman, 2001
no info Old Time Texas String Bands, Vol. 1: Texas Farewell, Various Artists (Eck Robertson), 2001
no info The Best of the 40th Annual Topanga Fiddle Contest, Various Artists, 2001
no info Red, White & Bluegrass, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 2001
no info Folk Songs of the Catskills: A Celebration of Camp Woodland, Various Artists (Pete Seeger), 2001
no info Scarlet Banjo, Jeremy Stephens, 2001
no info Rustic Stomp, The Whils, 2001
no info A Week in Eek, Ken Waldman, 2001
info Rhythm of the Mountains: Bluegrass Explores Its Roots, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 2002
info Tribute to Bluegrass, Chet Atkins, 2002
no info I've Got the House to Myself, David Grier, 2002
no info The Essential Bluegrass Collection, Various Artists (Fiddlin' Red Herron), 2002
no info It's What I Do, Bobby Maynard, 2002
info Art In America, David Peters, 2002
no info One Two Buckle My Shoe, Jamboree Kids, 2002
info Live! : The Rhumb Line, Tom Eaton and Pick 3, 2003
info Mo' Joe, Joe Craven, 2003
no info Front Porch Fiddlin' in Alabama, Roy Crawford, 2003
info Further Down the Old Plank Road, The Chieftains, 2003
no info Frettin' Fingers: The Lightning Guitar of Jimmy Bryant, Jimmy Bryant, 2003
no info Mama Don't Allow, Fox and Branch, 2003
no info Fire on the Mountain: 24 Fiddle Classics, Dewayne Wear & The Great Wear Family, 2003
no info Legends of the Fiddle: 20 Bluegrass Favorites, Various Artists (Shorty Lavender), 2003
no info Old Time Banjo, Pine Tree String Band, 2003
no info Lookin' Up, Cross-Eyed Rosie, 2003
info High Lonesome Gypsy, Kelly Lancaster, 2004
info Flatpicking Favorites: Hot & Spicy, Various Artists (Bull Harmon & Cecil Timmon), 2004
info Keep My Skillet Good & Greasy, Uncle Dave Macon, 2004
no info Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps and Blues: Vintage Mandolin Music 1927-1946, Various Artists (Nashville Wasboard Band), 2004
no info Down to the Cider Mill, Tommy Jarrell, Oscar Jenkins and Fred Cockerham, 2004
no info Lost Masters, Scotty Stoneman, 2004
info American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 3 (exp CD), Pete Seeger, 2004
no info Live at Western Star, The Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo, 2004
no info Wildwood Flower, Buddy Spicher and Mike Loudermilk, 2004
no info Raw Fiddle, Various Artists (Fiddlin' John Carson), 2004
no info Down at the Barber Shop, Billy Womack, 2004
no info Folkgrass, Jack Jones, 2004
no info Great Bay Stomp, Ryan Thomson, 2004
no info Pure Pickin': Classic Bluegrass Instrumentals, Various Artists (Byron Berline), 2004
no info Rosewood, Spruce & Ebony, Bull Harman & Bull's Eye, 2004
no info Generations, Crooked Road, 2004
no info Country Gentleman, Chet Atkins, 2005
no info In Three Dimensions, Chet Atkins, 2005
no info Kid at Heart, Victor Johnson, 2005
no info The Purple Critter's Old Favorites, Purple Critter, 2005
no info Clawhammer Banjo, Vol. 3, Various Artists (Wade Ward), 2005
no info The Right Hand Fork of Rush's Creek: Old Time Fiddling by Wilson Douglas, Wilson Douglas, 2005
no info Uncle Hershel Picks the Mandolin, Uncle Hershel, 2005
no info Greatest Hits: 25 Songs, Nashville Fiddles, 2005
no info Charlie Moore Sings Again, Charlie Moore & his Dixie Partners, 2005
no info East Flatbush Blues, Andy Statman, 2006
no info Woody Simmons: Live at WVMR, Woody Simmons, 2006
no info Lone Prairie, Matt Brown, 2006
no info Mississippi Square Dance, Jones, Miller and Nelson, 2006
no info Murders, Drownings and Lost Loves, Danny Knicely and Will Lee, 2006
info Classic Cuts, Vol. 2: 1924-1938, Uncle Dave Macon, 2006
no info Jehile Stands Alone, Jehile Kirkhuff, 2006
no info The Hills of Glencoe, Craig Vance, 2006
no info Sweet American Picks, The Grey Sky Boys, 2006
no info The Arkansas Traveler: Music from Little House on the Prairie, Various Artists (Riders In The Sky), 2006
info Appalachian Stomp Down, Various Artists (Tennesse Ramblers), 2006
no info Square Dance Music, Various Artists, 2006
no info The Early Years 1946-1957, Chet Atkins, 2007
no info Richer Tradition: Country Blues and String Band Music 1923-1942, Various Artists (Nashville Washboard Band), 2007
info Banjo Gathering, Various Artists (Gordi Hinners), 2007
no info Old-Time Fiddle Lesson, Vol.1, Matt Brown, 2007
no info Dance Music of the Oregon Trail, Phil & Vivian Williams, 2007
no info Bluegrass Hoedown, Williams & Bray, 2007
info I'm Going Down to North Carolina, Red Fox Chasers, 2009
info The Shelor-Blackard Family, The Shelor-Blackard Family, 2009
info Gennett Old Time Music: Classic Country Recordings 1927-1934, Various Artists (Red Fox Chasers), 2010

How Far To Little Rock
no info Single (Heaven Seemed So Near / How Far To Little Rock?), Stanley Brothers, 1960
no info Homespun Humor, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1960
no info Country and Western Jamboree, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1961
info The Best of the Stanley Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, 1966
no info How Far to Little Rock?, Stanley Brothers, 1969
no info Single (How Far To Little Rock / Little Maggie), Stanley Brothers, 1973
no info 16 Greatest Hits, Stanley Brothers, 1977
info Stanley Series, Vol. 1 #2, Stanley Brothers, 1982
no info On Radio, Vol. 1, Stanley Brothers, 1984
no info 20 Bluegrass Originals, Stanley Brothers, 1987
info Stanley Series, Vol. 3 #1, Stanley Brothers, 1987
info Stanley Series, Vol. 3 #2, Stanley Brothers, 1989
info On Radio, Stanley Brothers, 1991
info Early Starday-King Years 1958-1961, The Stanley Brothers, 1994
no info Roadrunner, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1994
no info Comedy for the Road, Vol. 2m Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1996
info Ralph Stanley in Japan, Ralph Stanley, 1997
no info Truckin' Onm Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1997
info Riding That Midnight Train: Starday King Recordings 1958-1961, The Stanley Brothers, 1999
no info Folk Festival, Stanley Brothers, 2001
no info The Legends of Road Music, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2002
info The Essential Masters, The Stanley Brothers, 2004
info The Definitive Collection 1947-1966, The Stanley Brothers, 2007

 
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