Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who discovered the process of natural selection and recognized its implications, was born two hundred years ago yesterday.  His epic work Origin Of Species, essentially founded the basis of modern biology.

Charles DarwinCharles Darwin

There have been a number of musical reactions to his work and its conclusions, which remain controversial in certain circles.  A couple of varying points of view can be hear here.

There Is Just A Little Bit Of Monkey (Still Left In You And Me)
M.J. O’Connel on a Columbia blue lable 78 (ca. 1914)
The only “Pro-Evolution” song I’ve ever encountered, and mentions Darwin by name.

The Bible’s True Uncle Dave Macon
A wonderful, toung in cheek, criticism of Darwin’s work, containing
one of my favorite stanzas in all country songs:

God made the world, and then he made man
Woman for his helpmate, beat that if you can!

There are more than a dozen “anti-evolution” songs out there, one great one by Merle  Travis (“That’s All”), most rather pathetic and plodding, such as “William Jennings Bryan’s Last Fight”.  But I think you’ll enjoy these two.  Click on the song titles to listen.

About Peter Feldmann

Peter Feldmann has long been a musical mainstay in Santa Barbara and Southern California. Besides actively performing bluegrass and old time music with a variety of groups, Peter is also known as a bluegrass historian, collector, music consultant, teacher, and producer, both of live concerts and radio/tv programs throughout the area. His music has been heard in clubs, concerts, saloons, universities, pre-schools, at weddings, wakes, parties, barn-raisings, calf-ropings, rodeos, auctions, fund raisers, wine tastings and chili cook offs. Peter founded Santa Barbara's Old Time Fiddler's Convention (1972), UCSB's Old Time Music Front (1964), and The Bluebird Cafe (1971). Through these and other outlets, he was the first to bring many prominent folk, blues, and bluegrass artists, including Bill Monroe, Mance Lipscomb, The Stanley Brothers, The New Lost City Ramblers, Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Rose Maddox, the Balfa Brothers, and many others to the Santa Barbara area. Peter also helped others access the music by teaching privately, and in group classes for Santa Barbara Continuing Education, UCSB Extension, and McCabes Guitars. He was the first on the West Coast to produce and market instruction Lps - three on How To Play Country Fiddle, and one each on Clawhammer Banjo, and Maybelle Carter Style Guitar. He still presents lectures on country music history at UCSB, Santa Barbara area libraries, and for various interest groups, festival workshops, etc. In 2006, he presented his monograph titled "The Big bang Of Bluegrass Music" (describing the origins of bluegrass 1938 - 1946) to the worlds first International Music Symposium at the University of Kentucky at Bowling Green. He has also been very active in radio, television, and film work, producing weekly shows on country and bluegrass music over a 21 year period on various commercial and public stations. Peter currently maintains three music-related websites, a music blog, and an entertainment service company, "BlueGrass West!", based in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California. Peter performs tunes and songs from the heart of America's musical treasure chest. His shows can include fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Well-known as a historian and teacher, Peter is first and foremost an entertainer, sharing his respect, energy and love for the music with his fellow musicians, friends, and audiences.
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One Response to Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

  1. Les says:

    I’d really like to find out the names/artists of the other songs about evolution! Any chance of listing them?

Your comments are always welcome!