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Love Song of the Waterfall

(Bob Nolan – Bernard Barnes - Carl Winge)

 

Ev’rything under the sun has a love song

And someone or something to sing that love song to.

I’ve heard each one to some loved one call

But the sweetest of all is the song of the waterfall.

 

I hear through virgin timber tall

The love song of the waterfall

And there it mingles through the trees,

A love song borne upon the breeze.

 

Plunging over rugged rocks

Hear the waters sign,

“Come to me where you are.

“Dear one, here am I.”

 

For this is Heaven’s mating call,

The love song of the waterfall.

 

 

 

 

        Still a favourite with western music aficionados, “The Love Song of the Waterfall” demonstrates Bob Nolan’s ability to see love in all of Nature. Bob told Ken Griffis that Carl Winge, founder of Cross and Winge Publishing Inc., sent him two beautiful lines and asked Bob to finish the song for him.

 

I hear through virgin timber tall

The love song of the waterfall.

 

        From these two lines, Bob penned a song he considered in the Charles Wakefield Cadman tradition. The sheet music was available by 1936, the song was used in “The Old Wyoming Trail” in 1937 and the Sons of the Pioneers recorded it for ARC on October 26, 1937 but it was unissued. Other than that, it was never commercially recorded by the Sons of the Pioneers although it was picked up by Slim Whitman, Eddie Dean and countless others. The Pioneers included it in their Orthacoustic “Symphonies of the Sage” in 1940 and their other NBC Thesaurus radio transcriptions, the 10-2-4 Ranch Shows with Martha Mears (1945), the Teleways Transcriptions (1947-8), and for Smokey the Bear (1955) transcriptions as well as live for their radio programs such as The Lucky U Ranch shows after Bob had left the group.

         It was an immediate favourite of Jimmy Wakefield who recorded it in 1936. 40 years later, Jimmy interviewed Bob Nolan backstage of the Palladium after the Hollywood Walk of Fame show. Part way through the interview, he played his recording of the tune for Bob. Jimmy was backed vocally by Linda and Johnny Wakely with guitarist, Charlie Hodge.

        Slim Whitman's biographer, Loren Knapp, said that while Slim Whitman was with the Louisiana Hayride, he and his steel guitar player, Hoot Rains, created what would become part of the Slim Whitman signature sound, the “singing guitar.” The soaring notes of the steel guitar can be heard in many of Slim’s early songs. It all started by accident in the classic Love Song of the Waterfall. One night while performing the song, Hoot overshot a note and sent it soaring skyward. Slim liked what he heard and worked the unusual sound into his songs. They called this technique “shooting arrows”. Love Song of the Waterfall was released in 1951 and shot up the charts to the number two position. Knapp also stated that this song was used in a Sigmund Romberg operetta.

 

Recordings:

1937 Columbia (unissued) featuring Lloyd Perryman

1937 Old Wyoming Trail soundtrack featuring Don Grayson

1940 Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage" featuring Lloyd Perryman

NBC Thesaurus featuring Lloyd Perryman

1945 02 21 10-2-4 Ranch (Dr. Pepper) featuring Martha Mears

1951-3 Lucky U

Ken Curtis

1951 Slim Whitman

1952 Jimmy Wakely

1955 Smokey the Bear Show featuring Lloyd Perryman

1976 Jimmy Wakely

 

Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli

TRANSCRIPTIONS with "Love Song of the Waterfall"

 

Copyright 1937 by CROSS & WINGE, Inc, Portland, Oregon

 

Featuring Don Grayson

 

“The Old Wyoming Trail” December 31, 1937

 

Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage" (059250)

10-2-4 Time: 1945 02 21 (#485) (21499-04)

Teleways Transcriptions #43-82-134

Lucky U Programs courtesy of Larry Hopper:

    12 November 1951Transcription Disc TR-81, 82
    29 January 1952. Transcription Disc TR-216, 217
    3 April 1952. Transcription Disc TR-310, 311
    26 November 1952. Transcription Disc TR-579, 580

Smokey the Bear

    1955:  Show #9

   1958: Show #1