Available - 

Keith ∓ Rusty McNeil - 
 California Songs with historical narration, Volume 1

Song Samples (MP3 Format)

Cielito Lindo (Norteņo)-Cielito Lindo (Huasteca)  (2.574 MB mp3 file) 

The Days of Forty-Nine  (3.150 MB mp3 file) 

Sweet Betsey From Pike (2.034 MB mp3 file)

CALIFORNIA SONGS with historical narration - Volume One- Nineteenth Century

Thirty-nine songs depicting California before and during the turbulent 19th century.

Two CDs and Notes on the Songs (WEMCD605)

Total Playing Time: 2 hours

Companion Songbook Now Available.  Buy/Listen To Individual Songs/Disks Online.

Disk 1                 Disk 2

". . .the historical sweep of this lively, enlightening work is impressive. . .the McNeils take care to include a multi-cultural perspective on the racially fractured times, noting in sound and historical narration the plight of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and immigrant Chinese."

          San Diego Union-Tribune

". . .These performances are truly inspired...Performed by the McNeils in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly...This music absolutely belongs in a library.  For all practical purposes, no library in either the public sector or at the college level should be without access to these CDs and the songbooks...This is multidimensional and deep work, broad in scope, collecting the myriad influences of our music..."

          The Electronic Review

Part one:
Indian, Spanish and Mexican California

Spain explores California and establishes missions. Indians at the missions chant the mass to European traditional and popular music. Mexico gains independence from Spain and creates a distinctive California culture. Americans arrive, clash with Mexicans, and establish the short-lived Bear Flag Republic. The United States declares war against Mexico.

 The Songs:

You Who Don't Believe It

La Sandunga

Mouth Bow

Muiņeira D' A Fonte

Kyrie Eleison

Cielito Lindo (Norteņo)-Cielito Lindo (Huasteca)  (2.574 MB mp3 file) 

The Spaniish Fandango

Windy Bill

El Caņtico Del Alba

La Paloma

All The Way to Californy

The Dying Californian

Part Two:
The Gold Rush

Mexico cedes California to the United States. The gold discovery brings people from many countries. American citizens cross the plains, sail around the Horn and cross the Isthmus. Immigrants arrive from China, and are barred from the mines. African-Americans come to the mines, some leave California for British Columbia. Steamboats fill the rivers. The Port of San Francisco becomes notorious for shanghaiing sailors. The Indian population shrinks.

 The Songs:

My Darling Clementine

Oh, California

A Ripping Trip

Seeing The Elephant

Crossing The Plains

Joe Bowers

The Days of Forty-Nine  (3.150 MB mp3 file) 

Cripple Creek

California Ball

Sweet Betsey From Pike (2.034 MB mp3 file)

Mark Twain Quote

John Chinaman's Appeal

We're All A-Panning

Over My Head


North to Victoria

Steam Navigation Thieves


The Big Five Gallon Jar

La Indita

My Log Cabin Home

Part Three:
Railroaders, Boom and Bust

The Union Pacific, with the help of thousands of Chinese railroad workers, completes the transcontinental railroad. The Southern Pacific monopolizes rail traffic to and from California. Farmers rebel against high-handed railroad tactics. After ten years of depression, the boom begins again.

 The Songs:

I've Been Workin' On The Railroad


John Chinaman, My Jo

Hayseed Like Me

The Bummers' Hotel

I Had But Fifty Cents

 Records On Line

Order CD's and Song Books

Back to:WEM 

Back to:McNeil Music,