Please click on the following links to learn more about Green Field Records and our artists. The blog will be updated with information periodically with news, information and album release notes to accompany download purchases.
1. The Green Fields of Illinois (Lyle Mayfield)
2. My Scars (Lyle Mayfield)
3. Mommie, Come and Sit Awhile With Me (Doris Mayfield)
4. The Little Rosewood Casket (Traditional)
5. The Old Man's Prayer (Doris Mayfield)
6. The Longest Road Is Going Back Home (Lyle Mayfield)
7. And Once Again Old Woman Cried (Lyle Mayfield)
8. Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight? (Traditional)
9. I Miss The Whistle (Lyle Mayfield)
10. Jesus My Saviour (Doris Mayfield)
11. A Ten Letter Word (Lyle Mayfield)
12. Everyday Angel (Lyle Mayfield)
13. The Old Country Preacher (Lyle Mayfield)
In 1976, following their series of successful concerts in Washington, DC, the Mayfields returned home to Greenville, Illinois and began work on what would be their first full-length album: Green Fields Re-Visited. This album would feature the first appearance of their theme song "Green Fields of Illinois". Other popular Mayfield songs to appear on the album were Lyle's "I Miss The Whistle" and Doris's "Jesus, My Saviour". Here are the original liner-notes from the album:
Who Are The Mayfields?
The Mayfields are a singing, picking family from Greenville, in Southern Illinois. Their repertoire of hundreds of songs and tunes, includes 400-year old ballads, early country music, mid-forties swing, works of contemporary composers and "brand, spankin' new ones" they've written. It all began when a seven-year-old Lyle was given a $.25 harmonica by his music loving mother. From there he progressed to the guitar, mandolin, banjo and practically all the country string instruments. In 1950, Doris Mindrup becam Mrs. Mayfield, promptly started learning the guitar and singing with Lyle on a local radio show. Next came son David who debuted on the folks' program at age 34 months. After David, daughter Lynda sang part time with the act. Now the third spot is amply filled by younger son, Layne, who can tickle the strings of almost as many instruments as Dad. (They own in excess of 100.) Many of their instruments are handmade in Lyle's workshop. Some are, as Lyle puts it, "the only ones like 'em in captivity." We think you'll like the songs on this album by The Mayfields. Incidentally, they wrote eleven of the thirteen included here.
1. The Ballad of The Saddle Tramp (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
2. The Blind Child (Traditional): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
3. The Old Country Preacher (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal and Recitation
4. May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister (Traditional)-Doris Mayfield, Lead Vocal
5. I Cannot Give An Answer (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
6. The Old Country Preacher (Demo) (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
7. The Ballad of The Saddle Tramp (Demo) (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
8. Who Says I Don't Love You (Demo) (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
9. Three O'clock Blues (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
10. I Miss The Whistle (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
11. Possum Up A Gum Stump (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
12. The Ghost That Walked Main Street (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Recitation
13. The Ghost On The Fence (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Recitation
14. A Story For Children (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Recitation
15. Why Don't You Leave Me Alone (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
16. Gonna Take A Little Walk (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
17. Why Don't You Leave Me Alone (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
18. Who Says I Don't Love You (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
19. If You'd Rather Have Your Pride (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
20. Gonna Take A Little Walk (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal
# 1-4 From The Mayfields"The Old and The New" (1st 45 rpm) released in 1964
# 5-14 Various Recordings made in 1964
# 15 Recorded in 1966
# 16-18 Live Over The Air in 1966
# 19-20 From The Mayfields 2nd 45rpm released in 1969
Following their contributions to compilation album "Green Fields of Illinois" in 1963, Lyle & Doris Mayfield found themselves in demand for performances all over the country on folk music circuit. Some of these performances included several appearances at the Arkansas Folk Festival (founded and hosted by Jimmy Driftwood), an appearance at the Old Town School of Folk Music and culminating in an appearance in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Institution in 1976 during the Bicentenial celebration. During this time period, they continued to perform on their regular radio program and released two 45rpm records. This album captures the Mayfield family at the beginning of their boom period featuring the songs from the two 45rpm releases as well as a host of other recordings made during this period, but never released. Rounding out the collection are some demo recordings of signature mayfield songs (some made the day the song was written) and some recordings from their radio program during this period.
Selected Song Information:
1. The Ballad of The Saddle Tramp: "Zane Grey and Louis Lamour have always been high on my reading list. There was one character in their books that fascinated me...the saddle tramp. Often he would wind up as the "sacrificial lamb" in those stories. I figured his story should be told more completely. For the melody, I borrowed part of a tune my father-in-law played on the guitar. It was known only in the family as "Papa's Slovak Tune". I wrote this in 1963 to the rythmn from an autoharp."
2. The Blind Child: The Blind Child is the oldest song Lyle knows. His mother used it as a lullabye as she rocked him in an old maple rocking chair that now sits in dignity in the Mayfield living room.
3. The Old Country Preacher: "From 1957 to 1961 we lived in Nokomis, Illinois. During that period of our life we saw some less than prosperous times. One of the brighter aspects of our four-year sojourn there was friendship with a Baptist preacher named Brother John Eller. John became almost a surragate father to me. We shared many wonderful hours together. This song and recitation was based on him and his life. His death was a great loss to me and my family. It's one of the numbers we did regularly in our performances. It's also one of my compositions that has been most well received."
4. May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister: This is a song that both Doris and Lyle learned from their parents. It features the pure, country singing style of Doris and the harmonica artistry of Lyle.
5. I Cannot Give An Answer: "A discussion with a college student about patriotism provoked these thoughts and words."
6. Who Says I Don't Love You: "One day I decided to write a waltz. After the melody was completed, I gave thought to the lyrics. I had heard a girl ask a boy friend, "Who says I don't love you?" It was the "hook" I needed."
7. Three O'clock Blues: "The clock said 3:00 am. The rain was coming down. I'd worked an evening shift and was sitting alone in our living room. I couldn't sleep because as the old saying goes...I was "bright-eyed and bushy tailed." Out of all this came this song."
8. I Miss The Whistle: "The old steam engines were an important part of my growing up years. This piece is my protest against their demise. Diesels may represent progress, but I still miss the whistle and smell of the old coal-fired locomotives."
9. Gonna Take A Little Walk: "While I'm a luke warm fan of bluegrass music, it's not my favorite for extended listening. I did set out to write a song of that type with this one."
10. If You'd Rather Have Your Pride: "Pride can get in the way all too often. This song sums up how pride can stop two people who love each other from making up."
Here is the record that started it all. When the Campus Folksong Club of the University of Illinois released "Green Fields of Illinois", it quickly became a hit bringing recognition to the club and launching the recording careers of artists like fiddler Stella Elam and Lyle & Doris Mayfield. It would also make the Folksong Club a popular spot for performances by such artists as Doc Watson and The Blue Sky Boys (who gave their ONLY reunion concert to the folksong club-The recording of this concert would eventually be released on Rounder Records with the master tape having been preserved by Lyle Mayfield.)
1. GREEN FIELDS OF AMERICA, (1:30) (Stelle Elam, fiddle solo)
2. STONEY POINT, (:56) (Stelle Elam, fiddle solo)
3. FAIR FANNY MOORE, ( 3:35) (Cecil Goodwin, guitar and vocal)
4. OLD AGE PENSION, (1:24) (Cecil Goodwin, guitar and vocal)
5. CROW CREEK -- JAY BIRD -- TENNESSEE WAGGONER, (2:56) (Stelle Elam, fiddle; Lyle Mayfield, guitar)
6. THE BLACK SHEEP, (3:33) (Lyle Mayfield, guitar and vocal)
7. THE LETTER EDGED IN BLACK, (3:45) (Doris Mayfield, guitar and vocal; Lyle Mayfield, mandolin)
8. DRINK 'ER DOWN, (3:02) (Lyle Mayfield, guitar and vocal)
9. GREEN CORN, (:42) (Jim Goodwin, banjo solo)
10. HASTE TO THE WEDDING, (:52) (Jim Goodwin, fiddle; Cecil Goodwin, guitar)
11. SALLY GOODIN, (:55) (Lyle Mayfield, mandolin; Doris Mayfield, guitar)
12. BILLY IN THE LOW GROUND, (1:32) (Stelle Elam, fiddle; Lyle Mayfield, guitar)
13. BUFFALO NICKEL, (1:28) (Stelle Elam, fiddle; Lyle Mayfield, guitar)
14. MY LITTLE GIRL, (:38) (Cecil Goodwin, guitar and vocal)
15. BILLY RICHARDSON'S LAST RIDE, (2:20) (Cecil Goodwin, guitar and vocal)
16. APPLES IN THE SUMMERTIME, (1:02) (Jim Goodwin, guitar solo)
17. OLD COON DOG -- MISSISSIPPI SAWYER, (1:40) (Jim Goodwin, fiddle; Cecil Goodwin, guitar)
18. PUT MY LITTLE SHOES AWAY, (2:10) (Lyle Mayfield, guitar and vocal; Doris Mayfield, vocal)
19. MISSISSIPPI FLOOD, (1:50) (Cecil Goodwin, guitar and vocal)
20. TRAMP ON THE STREET, (2:36) (Cathy Reynolds, vocal; Lloyd Reynolds, guitar)
21. FARTHER ALONG, (3:00) (Cathy Reynolds, vocal; Lloyd Reynolds, guitar and vocal)
22. LORD, BUILD ME A CABIN IN GLORY LAND, (1:40) (Cathy Reynolds, vocal; Lloyd Reynolds, guitar and vocal)
23. LIFE'S RAILWAY TO HEAVEN, (3:24) (Cathy Reynolds, vocal; Lloyd Reynolds, guitar; Lyle Mayfield, mandolin)
1. I'll Be Glad To Gather Up The Pieces (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1954
2. My Grandfather's Clock (Traditional): Doris Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1955
3. Two Babes In The Woods (Tradtional): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1955
4. I'll Be Glad To Gather Up The Pieces (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1955
5. Nearer My God To Thee (Traditional): Instrumental, Recorded in 1955
6. Leave My Gal Alone (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1956
7. My Little Girl's Music Box (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Recitation, Recorded in 1957
8. Dora Lee (L. Mayfield): Lyle Mayfield-Lead Vocal, Recorded in 1957
Lyle & Doris Mayfield were married in 1950 and soon began performing together live and over the radio in Southern Illinois as the "Bond County Sweethearts". This collection is drawn from various recordings made by the Mayfields in the 1950s showcasing some of their early performances and songs. Please note that the recording quality varies from track to track as some of the recordings were made using acitate 78 rpm disks as well as open reel recordings. We have attempted to restore them as much as possible, but some imperfections still remain. We hope that you will enjoy this peek into some of the earliest recording made by Lyle & Doris Mayfield.
Selected Song Information:
1. I'll Be Glad To Gather Up The Pieces: "The oldest copyright I own. A "Dear John" letter can wreak havoc in a young man's life. He will do about anything to repair the damage...even write a song. Some of my friends consider it my best "country" ballad." Composed by Lyle Mayfield in 1948.
2. Leave My Gal Alone: "After Doris and I became engaged in 1949, a friend said in jest, "You'd better watch out. I might steal that gal from you." My answer to him was to write this song, not as much in jest as he was." Composed by Lyle Mayfield in 1949
3. My Little Girl's Music Box: "This recitation embodies the memories of a middle-aged father after his daughter has grown up and moved out. She left behind one of her most prized possessions...a music box." Composed by Lyle Mayfield in 1957
12. You Can't Walk On Water (L. Mayfield)-Lyle 2000
13. I Miss The Whistle (L. Mayfield)-Ryan Smith w/Lyle 2001
14. I'd Like To Follow The Green (L. Mayfield)-Lyle w/Don Hoffmann 1994
15. Little Rosewood Casket (Traditional)-Lyle & Doris 1976
16. Everyday Angel (L. Mayfield)-Lyle w/Dale Black 1985
17. I'm Gonna Walk With My Jesus (L. Mayfield)-Lyle, Doris, w/Harold & Betty Mindrup 1988
18. Jesus, My Saviour (D. Mayfield)-Doris w/Lyle 1976
19. My Front Porch (L. Mayfield)-Lyle 2001
20. Green Fields of Illinois (L. Mayfield)-Lyle, Doris, Paula Marohl 1990
The Best of The Mayfields:
Actually the Mayfield family musical tradition extends back four generations. It began when Great-Grandma Grace bought Grandpa Lyle a $.25 harmonica in 1936. Between her singing the old songs to him and an ancient Edison phonograph, Lyle was heavily endowed with a brain full of music before he started school. He later went on to play guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo and most of the stringed instruments. The best move he ever took was when he married Doris Mindrup. She came from a musical background. There followed 3 children: David, Lynda and Layne. They all sing and play. Now there's three grandsons who also sing and play. Ryan and Nathan (Lynda's sons) play a variety of instruments. Their father, Bill Smith, is a classically trained violinist who loves and plays a hot bluegrass fiddle. Marion (Layne's son) plays bass and drums. David (oldest son) has no children. Brenda Mae, wife of Layne, sings with the family. Also heard on this album are several friends considered "family" by the Mayfields. Bruce "Swamp" Weiss, Paula Marohl, Don Hoffman, Dale Black and Doris's brother Harold.