Saturday, July 17, 2010
1960s: Leadbelly, Creedence Clearwater - Cotton Fields
"Cotton Fields" was written by a blues musician who was given the name Huddie (Hudy) Ledbetter when he was born. He became better known as Leadbelly or Lead Belly. The Highwaymen recorded the song in 1961, 12 years after Lead Belly's death, and it reached #13 on the pop charts.
The Beach Boys picked it up in 1968 but it never became the hit in the U.S. that it did in other countries. Other musicians who recorded "Cotton Fields" over the years were Johnny Cash, Harry Belafonte, Elton John and Creedence Clearwater Revival -- my favorite.