BIG SLIM The Lone Cowboy

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The complete Arc recordings of Big Slim, The Lone Cowboy, comprising of three LPs released 1961-1964, are presented here. Below is a brief biography of Big Slim from "Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia" by Ivan M. Tribe (The University Of Kentucky Press, 1984):

One of the musicians who came to WWVA as a Border Rider soon branched out on his own. Big Slim McAuliffe had already experienced a wide degree of geographic and occupational variety. Born in Mercer County, West Virginia, on May 9, 1903 (or 1899, or 1904, or 1905), the facts of Slim’s personal life have become somewhat clouded largely because of his own capacity for contradictory statements. For instance, in a 1939 autobiographical statement in one of his songbooks Slim claimed to have been born in the city of Bluefield and on a 750-acre farm. He also contended he had been orphaned at eight, left home at eleven, and become a radio trick rider that same year, while on another page he displayed a contemporary photo of his father. Slim also punched cows and railroaded according to his “Life Story” before entering radio work in 1929. He gained radio experience in Pittsburgh and on a border station at Eagle Pass, Texas. On December 17, 1936, he did a session for Decca under the name Big Slim Aliff which included the initial recording of the country standard “Footprints in the Snow” under that title. He came to WWVA late in 1937. At five feet eleven inches and 175 pounds he was neither very big nor very slim, but the nickname did seem to be in character with his other qualities.
Big Slim possessed a rich and deep voice and rendered good versions of both common and more obscure western songs such as “The Strawberry Roan” and “Patanio, the Pride of the Plains.” He also sang mountain ballads like “Hills of Roane County” and copyrighted some good original material such as “On the Sunnyside of the Mountain” and “Moonlight on My Cabin” (although he reportedly wrote none of them). Slim had other talents which supplemented his stage shows, including whip and rope tricks along with a trained horse act. While the Lone Cowboy generally stayed close to WWVA, he went to other stations for brief stints and later helped younger artists such as Hank Snow and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Harry C. "Big Slim" McAuliffe passed away in 1966, two years after the release of his last Arc album.

Big Slim The Lone Cowboy
Arc 523


1. Sunny Side Of The Mountain
2. Put Me In Your Pocket
3. Where The Old Red River Flows
4. Wondering
5. Thought I Heard You Call My Name
6. Release Me
7. Patanio
8. Golden River
9. Speckled Bird No. 4
10. Rainbows End
11. Tragic Romance
12. Over The Hill

*download here*

Big Slim "The Lone Cowboy"
"Old Favourites" Arc 544


1. Little Joe
2. Go Down To The Graveyard
3. Pink Party Dress
4. Footprints In The Snow
5. Blue Velvet Band
6. Little Blossom
7. Old Rover
8. Cowboy Dance
9. Don't Blame The Children
10. Will You Love Me When I'm Old

*download here*

Big Slim The Lone Cowboy With The Blue Valley Boys
"On Tour With Big Slim" Arc 583


01-Rainbow at Midnight
02-Letter Edged in Black
03-Billy Veneero
04-Old Shep
05-Mother Queen of My Heart
06-Oklahoma Hills
07-Little Old Rag Doll
08-Never Say Goodbye
09-Weary River
10-When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold

*download here*


tamworthted said...

Hi Lefty,
Thanks for sharing Big Slim. Really like this bloke. Sure had some great singers in Canada and a good one to add to the growing list of greats.

onekrafty1 said...

I found an old 78 among my grandmother's things - "Never Get Too High" on one side and "I Had To Learn The Hard Way" on the other by Big Slim and his Oklahoma Boys - MFGD by Page Recording Co., Johnstown, Penna.