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This is a traditional song that Folk Singer Leadbelly propularized before his death in 1949. He recorded a lot of songs that otherwise might have been lost, including "Goodnight Irene" and "Midnight Special."

Ram Jam took some heat for this because some civil rights groups felt the lyrics were disrespectful to black women.

Ram Jam were a short-lived band from NYC. This was their only hit.

The Australian band Spiderbait recorded this in 2004. It was their first single to reach #1 on the Australian charts.

Real

The song was first recorded in the field by U.S. musicologists John and Alan Lomax in 1933, performed a capella by the convict James Baker (also known as Iron Head) and a group at Central State Farm, Sugar Land, Texas.

The Lomaxes were recording for the Library of Congress and later field recordings in 1934, 1936 and 1939 also include versions of "Black Betty". It was recorded commercially in New York in 1939 by blues artist Lead Belly, as part of a medley with two other work songs: "Looky Looky Yonder" and "Yellow Woman's Doorbells". Lead Belly had a long association with the Lomaxes, and had himself served time in State prison farms.

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8y ago
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13y ago

Black Betty by Ram Jam Album: Ram Jam Date: 1977 U.S. Chart: 18 Lyrics: View Lyrics Ram Jam

Ringtones Listen/Buy @ Amazon Sheet Music

People who like this song also like "Wish You Were Here" "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Stairway To Heaven" View The Song Profile Rate This Song Songfacts: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page. This is a traditional song that Folk singer Leadbelly popularized before his death in 1949. He recorded a lot of songs that otherwise might have been lost, including "Goodnight Irene" and "Midnight Special." Ram Jam took some heat for this because some civil rights groups felt the lyrics were disrespectful to black women. Ram Jam were a short-lived band from New York City. This was their only hit. The Australian band Spiderbait recorded this in 2004. It was their first single to reach #1 on the Australian charts. (thanks, Lynne - Sydney, Australia) A remixed version of this song is used in the 2002 movie Kung Pow: Enter The Fist when the main character fights the villain. (thanks, Frankie - Sarch, IN)

"Black Betty" is a song often credited to Huddie"leadbelly" Leadbetter, who recorded it in the 1930's.

Some sources claim it is one of Leadbelly's many adaptations of earlier folk material. In this case an 18th marching cadence about a flintlock musket called the "Black Betty".

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14y ago

I have found recordings of Black Betty by Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd on MYKAZAAGOLD.COM. I'm curious who else mught've recorded it and would like to hear the original recording. Can anyone help?

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13y ago

Often credited to Huddie Leadbetter aka Lead Belly in 1939 the song was first performed by James Baker aka Iron Head and group in 1933

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14y ago

Black Betty is an old African American work song, it's origin is not confirmed.

If you mean the popular classic rock version, it was 'Ram Jam' (1977)

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14y ago

Ram Jam.

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Q: Who recorded the original version of Black Betty?
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Did George Thorogood record Black Betty?

I believe that the band Ram Jam recorded the original.


Did lynyrd skynyrd either sing black Betty?

Ram Jam wrote Black Betty. Not Lynard Skynard.Ram Jam Did Not Write Black Betty...they just recorded. The Original was Lead Belly. He was a blues singer of the early 1900's & wrote & performed Black Betty in 1933. Ram Jam, Spiderbate and Tom Jones recorded the song. Tom Jones is the Only one giving credit to Lead BellyRead more: Discuss:Did_Lynyrd_Skynyrd_record_Black_Betty


Did zz top sing black betty?

I have researched this topic, thinking myself that ZZ Top did record Black Betty, but I found that ZZ Top never has recorded it. There are 14 studio albums, 6 compilation albums and 42 singles by ZZ Top and none of them have Black Betty as a recorded track. The Band Ram Jam released the song Black Betty on their album Ram Jam in 1977 track # 1, it was their best known song. The songs Original Artist is James ( Iron Head ) Baker. Recorded by Iron Head, Huddie ( Lead Belly ) Ledbetter, Ram Jam, Manfred Mann, Ministry, Spiderbait, Meat Loaf and Soil.


Did thin Lizzie record the song black betty?

he did "record" a black betty version, as did many other artists. it's on the album "Privat 2" http://daz.com/releases/Lynyrd%20Skynyrd/privat%202.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Betty *************EDIT: The original Skynyrd, with Ronnie Van Zant as the main vocalist, never recorded Black Betty. It is possible they covered the song, as it was popular back then, but it was not released on any of their albums. Somebody listed Black Betty as being done by Skynyrd on Limewire, but this version was not them. As for the Tribute Band (or, Current Lynyrd Skynyrd), I don't know, but there is no album entitled "Private 2", so the guy that typed what's up there was wrong. As well, Skynyrd is not a "He", it was a band (Ronnie Van Zant on vocals, Allen Collins, Gary Rossingon, Steve Gaines/Ed King on guitar, Leon Wilkeson on bass, and Artimus Pyle/Bob Burns on drums). ************** IMPROVEMENT: The song that's on Limewire and claims to be Lynyrd Skynyrd is a group called Ram Jet that recorded the song in 1977 and released as the first trach on their album "Ram Jet". NOT LYNYRD SKYNYRD


Who song old black betty song?

"Black Betty" was originally an old blues song by the famous blues vocalist Huddie Ledbetter ("Ledbelly"). The hit rock version by Ram Jam could refer to several things-- some sources claim it refers to Black Tar Heroin, but others note the sexual references in the song; there is evidence that Black Betty could refer to a black woman, who even though she was unfaithful, is still someone the singer desires.

Related questions

Who sings old black betty bamalam?

Black Betty was by Ram Jam. As far as I know, that's the earliest recorded version.


Did George Thorogood record Black Betty?

I believe that the band Ram Jam recorded the original.


Who Sings Original Blackbetty?

Ram Jam did the original version of Black Betty in 1977. There was a remix version done in 1990.


What other bands recorded black Betty?

Ramjam, tom jones and I think Joan Jett did a version


Did lynyrd skynyrd either sing black Betty?

Ram Jam wrote Black Betty. Not Lynard Skynard.Ram Jam Did Not Write Black Betty...they just recorded. The Original was Lead Belly. He was a blues singer of the early 1900's & wrote & performed Black Betty in 1933. Ram Jam, Spiderbate and Tom Jones recorded the song. Tom Jones is the Only one giving credit to Lead BellyRead more: Discuss:Did_Lynyrd_Skynyrd_record_Black_Betty


Did zz top sing black betty?

I have researched this topic, thinking myself that ZZ Top did record Black Betty, but I found that ZZ Top never has recorded it. There are 14 studio albums, 6 compilation albums and 42 singles by ZZ Top and none of them have Black Betty as a recorded track. The Band Ram Jam released the song Black Betty on their album Ram Jam in 1977 track # 1, it was their best known song. The songs Original Artist is James ( Iron Head ) Baker. Recorded by Iron Head, Huddie ( Lead Belly ) Ledbetter, Ram Jam, Manfred Mann, Ministry, Spiderbait, Meat Loaf and Soil.


Did thin Lizzie record the song black betty?

he did "record" a black betty version, as did many other artists. it's on the album "Privat 2" http://daz.com/releases/Lynyrd%20Skynyrd/privat%202.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Betty *************EDIT: The original Skynyrd, with Ronnie Van Zant as the main vocalist, never recorded Black Betty. It is possible they covered the song, as it was popular back then, but it was not released on any of their albums. Somebody listed Black Betty as being done by Skynyrd on Limewire, but this version was not them. As for the Tribute Band (or, Current Lynyrd Skynyrd), I don't know, but there is no album entitled "Private 2", so the guy that typed what's up there was wrong. As well, Skynyrd is not a "He", it was a band (Ronnie Van Zant on vocals, Allen Collins, Gary Rossingon, Steve Gaines/Ed King on guitar, Leon Wilkeson on bass, and Artimus Pyle/Bob Burns on drums). ************** IMPROVEMENT: The song that's on Limewire and claims to be Lynyrd Skynyrd is a group called Ram Jet that recorded the song in 1977 and released as the first trach on their album "Ram Jet". NOT LYNYRD SKYNYRD


When did Spiderbait release the music video for Black Betty?

Spiderbait released the music video for Black Betty in the year 2004. It is a song that had it's origins in the 19th century and was recorded for the first time in 1933.


Did blackfoot ever record black betty?

Blackfoot did not ever record Black Betty, it was recorded by Iron Head, Manfred Mann, Lead Belly, Ram Jam, Spider Bait, Throttlerod, Meatloaf, and Soil.


Who sang Black Betty in the movie Basic?

The version of the song in Basic was sung by Player and Peter Beckett


When was Sleeping Betty created?

If you mean when was Black Betty written, no one can say for certain. It was a British pub song in the early 1700's, then a patriot march song during the Revolutionary War. Later it was sung by slaves and/or prisoners on chain gangs. If you mean when was it first recorded, that would be in 1933, by a prisoner known as "Ironhead" Baker, but it didn't really make it. The first really popular recording was by another prisoner, "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, in 1939. The most famous version (imo) is the one by Ram Jam, recorded in 1977.


Who song old black betty song?

"Black Betty" was originally an old blues song by the famous blues vocalist Huddie Ledbetter ("Ledbelly"). The hit rock version by Ram Jam could refer to several things-- some sources claim it refers to Black Tar Heroin, but others note the sexual references in the song; there is evidence that Black Betty could refer to a black woman, who even though she was unfaithful, is still someone the singer desires.