Peg Moreland

Arnot "Peg" Moreland

Arnot “Peg” Moreland, Oct. 29, 1892 – Jan. 11, 1973

One of the pleasures of collecting 78 RPM records is the frequent discovery of musicians you had never heard or heard of before. You listen,  connect to their music and their voices, and would like to know more. But often there’s very little published online about these people. Peg Moreland is one of those musicians whose life is something of a mystery. We know he had a wooden leg because of the appellation “Peg.” We know he was born Arnot (or Arnet) Jackson Moreland. And until we stumbled across an 11-year-old post on a country music newsgroup, that’s all we could find out about him. Check out the post. It’s brief, but it puts a little bit of life behind the delightful recording we have of Moreland singing “When I Had But Fifty Cents.”

The Recordings

In the Town Where I Was Born

 record label Group: Peg Moreland
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (v-40296)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: May 17, 1930
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When It's Moonlight on the Prairie

 record label Group: Peg Moreland
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (v-40296)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: May 16, 1930
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Published in 1908 with lyrics by Robert F. Roden and music by S.R. Henry.

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When I Had But Fifty Cents

 record label Group: Peg Moreland
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (V-40209-A)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: 1929
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Notes:

This is a wonderful version of Moreland’s arrangement of “When I Had But Fifty Cents.” He recorded this in Atlanta Georgia on November 20, 1929 for Victor Records (V-40209). And it’s a soft and gentle and fun version of a tale about a man who takes a little wisp of a girl out to dinner (“to a fancy ball”) and she eats and drinks everything in sight.

The title is the plaintive refrain. It’s just Peg and his guitar. And he starts out with a thoughtful little phrase on his guitar that he doesn’t quite repeat again and I wonder if it’s just a little intro he throws in there to get himself started. We have R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders on LP doing a great version of this same song with a different arrangement, but Peg just does something to it that gets under your skin.

And if you want something to watch while you’re listening, we uploaded this one to YouTube:

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Comments

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7 thoughts on “Peg Moreland”

  1. Bill Barnes says:

    I heard Peg Moreland on KGKO Radio way back about 1940-41. The only song he sang that I remember was Ivan Skivinski Skivar. I loved it and I still sing it! I was 9 or 10 years old! My how the years are flashing by. It seems like only yesterday!

    1. TBurns says:

      Bill – Thanks for writing. How exciting that you heard him live on the radio! I love his delivery and that easy flatpick that never misses. I’m not familiar with Ivan Skivinski Skivar… I’ll have look that one up. –Thomas

  2. Bill Barnes says:

    That song might be listed as Abdul a abul bul amir. It was a very long song telling the story of an Arab and a Russian fighting to the death because Ivan trod on the toe of Abdul.

  3. Bill Barnes says:

    I THINK peg Moreland had a 15 minute radio show on KKO Ft Worth Tx. My family listened to Peg often because my Mother was what I’d called ‘A Radio Fanatic’! So was I! I guarantee you that no kids enjoy TV now as much as I did the world of wonderful fantasy Radio! But I digress from Mr. Moreland. I think he sounds better now than he did when I was a ki! Why??

  4. Bill Barnes says:

    that was radio station KGKO Ft. Worth, Tx,

  5. Bill Barnes says:

    You can find a recording of Abdul abulbul amir by Frank Crumit, Victor recording 1927. I couldn’t find a recording of Peg Moreland.

    1. TBurns says:

      Bill – Frank Crumit is a favorite of ours here at Retriever Records. He and Peg have a very similar delivery. But, like you, I can’t find any evidence of Peg Moreland recording that song either. Moreland recorded 19 songs with Victor Records between 1929 and 1930. We’re on a mission to collect as many of these as we can. Thanks so much for writing!

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