The Farm Relief Song was written by Slim Smith(see Breadline Blues) and, most likely Betsy White whose real name was Adelyn Hood. She was a violinist who worked with Vern Dalhart. If the Carter Family were the first country music group that became famous then Vern Dalhart may have been the first individual country singer who reached fame. Even before Jimmie Rogers. He was the first million selling country star.

Born Marion Try Slaughter in 1883 he first had a career in opera traveling and performing extensively in Europe and throughout the USA. In the early 20’s he began recording country music under several different names (this one was actually released under the name Mark Allen) and had his first hit with “The Prison Song.” Although “Farm Relief Song” was not as big a hit it was quite popular and received considerable airplay when he recorded it in 1929.

Despite his popularity his, music career eventually faded and he died in 1948 while working as a baggage handler at a hotel. This is his recording.


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