Jordan Rivers and the Soggy Bottom Boys are the fictitious Depression-era “old-timey music” quartet and accompaniment from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? The name Soggy Bottom Boys is possibly a reference to the famous Foggy Mountain Boys, a West Virginia bluegrass band of the 1940s with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, but also a humorous name given the two backup singers who were wet from being baptized earlier in the film. The Soggy Bottom Boys’ hit single is Dick Burnett’s “Man of Constant Sorrow,” a song that had already enjoyed much success in real life.
After the film’s release, the fictional band became so popular that the actual talents behind the music (who were dubbed into the movie) Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Dan Tyminski, Chris Sharp, and others, performed music from O Brother, Where Art Thou? in a Down from the Mountain concert tour and film. However, “I’ll Fly Away” in the original soundtrack is performed not by Krauss and Welch (as it is on the CD release and was on the concert tour) but by the inimitable Kossoy Sisters with Erik Darling (of The Weavers, Tarriers and Rooftop Singers) accompanying on long-neck 5-string banjo.
The voices behind the Soggy Bottom Boys are well-known bluegrass musicians: Union Station’s Dan Tyminski (lead on “Man of Constant Sorrow”), Nashville songwriter Harley Allen, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band’s Pat Enright. The three won a CMA Award for Single of the Year and a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, both for the song “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Tim Blake Nelson, playing Delmar O’Donnell in the movie (one of the Soggy Bottom Boys), sang the lead vocal himself for the song “In the Jailhouse Now” which was originally recorded (in real life) by Jimmie Rogers.
“Man of Constant Sorrow” has five variations: two are used in the movie, one in the music video, and two in the soundtrack. Two of the variations feature the verses being sung back-to-back, and the other three variations feature additional music between each verse. Despite its subsequent success, “Man of Constant Sorrow” received little significant radio airplay and only charted at #35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts in 2002.
Edited by BuddyDawg1 on 9 Sep 2011, 04:08
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