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Oldies/Mule Skinner Blues


As a little boy, when I was first at summer camp (probably in 1960 or so) they used to wake us up with this crazy song called "Mule Skinner Blues." Tell me as much as you can about this song, its origins, who popularized it, what lyrics it ever had (if any), and who had the "big hit" with it, if you can. Thanks so much, Lou!

Hi Rich
"Mule Skinner Blues"was written by the legendary Jimmie Rodgers in the early 1930s as one of his Blue Yodel songs (Blue Yodel #8). In the early 40's, it was made into a hit by Bill  Monroe, the bluegrass legend, and that's when it got the new lyrics and title we know today, Mule Skinner Blues. The version you heard at camp was, likely, the hit version by The Fendermen, two singing guitarists from the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus. They named themselves The Fendermen since they both played Fender guitars. Coincidental trivia: both of them had the exact same and year.
Here is a link to hear their big version from 1960:

Thanks for asking,



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Lou Simon


I can answer questions about pop music from the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. I can help track down hard to find songs based on lyric fragments or other minimal information. I was an expert in this field but due to a family situation, was away from e-mail for a couple of weeks and forgot to put in a vacation listing with AllExperts.


I have been answering questions for this site for a few years. It would be nice to be reinstated. I have no idea how many questions I have answered but many people have written to me to say how I have touched their lives by helping them locate a song that is important to them or a loved one.

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