It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'

"It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'" is the title of a novelty song that is entirely the creation of the "Red-Headed Music Maker", guitarist and vocalist Wendell Woods Hall (1896–1969). Much like that other major, much-quoted song of the early 1920s, Yes! We Have No Bananas, the novelty, vaudeville aspect of "It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'" is similarly undeniable. Hall's 1923 recording of the song, which was also popular in Britain, sold in excess of two million copies.[1] Additionally, it scored 20 weeks on the U.S. charts, six at number one.[2]

In popular culture

This song may be known to modern audiences because featured at the end of a 7-minute black & white animated cartoon, issued by Pathe Studios in May 1930, the work of John Foster & Mannie Davis, titled Noah Knew His Ark.[3] Part of the song is sung in The Plumber, a 1933 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short.[4] Many antecedents exist from the 19th century. Note the thread at Mudcat.org "Ain't Gonna Rain No More" (the thread discussion begins in 1997). By the 1920s many variants were already extant in popular culture. Carl Sandburg suggests that the song goes back at least to the 1870s and includes verses in his "American Songbag.(published 1927.) This song cycle is an excellent example of the folk tradition of transmission with local variants abounding. Mr. Hall simply took some of what already existed and codified it probably with many of his own original verses. "The Midnight Special" is similarly attributed to Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly) though the song certainly preceded him and his recordings.

References


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