In the late twenties Country duo Darby and Tarlton had some succes with their slide guitar ballads. “Birmingham Jail” is part of their Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton: Atlanta 1927-1929 recordings and tells the story of a man longing for a letter from his love. It approaches the poetic essence of Country ballads perfectly.
Darby and Tarlton Country band in the late 20s
Darby and Tarlton were part of a generation Country musicians that included artist like Fiddlin’ John Carson and Cliff Carlisle. The duo consisted of Tom Darby (born August 25, 1891 Columbus, Georgia – died August 20, 1971) and Jimmie Tarlton, (born May 8, 1892 Cheraw, South Carolina – died November 29, 1979 Phenix City, Alabama).
Down in the valley, Valley so low, Late in the evenin’, Hear the train blow, Hear the train blow, love, Hear the train blow, Late in the evenin’, Hear the train blow
Write me a letter, Send it by mail, Send it in care of Birmingham Jail, Birmingham Jail, love, Birmingham Jail Send it in care of, Birmingham Jail.
Photo Credit: By Archives of Ontario, C.H.J. Snider fonds Reference Code F 1194 S 15000 I0015265 – Ontario Public domain via Wikimedia Commons