James Corbitt Morris — better known as Jimmy Driftwood or Jimmie Driftwood; was a prolific United States folk songwriter and musician, most famous for his songs The Battle of New Orleans and Tennessee Stud.

Driftwood was born in Mountain View, Arkansas on 20 June 1907. Driftwood’s father was folk singer Neil Morris. Driftwood learned to play guitar at a young age on his grandfather’s homemade instrument. Driftwood used the unique guitar throughout his career and noted that its neck was made from a fence rail, its sides from an old ox yoke, and the head and bottom from the headboard of his grandmothers bed. This homemade instrument produced a pleasant distinctive resonant sound. Driftwood attended John Brown College in northwest Arkansas and later received a degree in education from Arkansas Teacher’s College. He started writing songs during his teaching career to teach his students history in an entertaining manner.

During his career Driftwood wrote over 6,000 folksongs, of which over 300 were recorded by various musicians. In later life Driftwood enjoyed performing free concerts for high school and college students.

Edited by callmeherman on 4 Nov 2007, 20:03

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