John Hammond: Crosscut Saw

I’m a crosscut saw
Baby drag me cross your log

Crosscut Saw. John Hammond version, 1968. Originally released in 1941, and first recorded by either Tommy McClennan or Tony Hollins. Credited to neither, in terms of who wrote the song. Could be in the “traditional” category of no specific writer. Later songwriting credit given to R.G. Ford, a Memphis attorney who produced a version of the single in 1964. Debate continues as to who actually wrote the song.

From John Hammond’s 1968 album, Sooner or Later.

Remember seeing John Hammond at the Mariposa Folk Festival, one morning on 1970. Maybe around 10. Had a major stutter, which disappeared when he sang. 27 years old. Said I need a drink. No response from the smaller morning crowd. Then said I NEED A DRINK. Somebody from the audience passed him up a bottle of hard. Couple of swigs and then ready to go.

Some call me Woodchopper Joe

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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2 Responses to John Hammond: Crosscut Saw

  1. On April 6, 2015, Lorne Anderson commented as follows (reproduced with permission):

    I only remember seeing John play once, early 1980s, 1077 Bank Street, at a club the name of which I forget. (It later became known as the Bayou Club, and is know known as Targ.) I was the MC, so had a chance to chat beforehand. Don’t remember much about that conversation, it has vanished in the depths of time. I do remember being impressed that this legend was a really nice guy.

    I don’t remember the stutter, but it may have been there. He was a quiet, unassuming guy.

    I was a volunteer at CKCU radio for years. It was a CKCU presentation and for whatever reason I was asked to host. My musical knowledge is pretty extensive and I did regular programming, as well as a Christian music show, so it didn’t seem strange to anyone when I did stuff at this Bank Street club or at Barrymore’s, with artists who definitely weren’t Christians.

  2. On April 6, 2015, William Hawkins commented as follows (reproduced with permission):

    I am a major John Hammond fan. I have seen him several times, but have none of his recordings. Must get the one used here & his first Vanguard LP.

    Stutter…not really, but then he didn’t talk much. Definitely one of the nice guys. I didn’t really believe whites could sing the blues until I heard John. For example, I would not have started The Heavenly Blue band, had I not heard John Hammond.

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