It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down

One hundred two years ago in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, the RMS Titanic went down on her maiden voyage. Ernest Van “Pop” Stoneman recorded his first song in 1924 entitled It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down. The popular song was also known as the Titanic Song or The Sinking of the Titanic which sold over one million copies. In the 1920’s, very few had a Victrola to turn that vinyl record and most of the targeted market for country music had no electricity in their homes for a radio. One million copies was a lot of vinyl in those days.

According to his daughter, Patsy, early in his career he couldn’t afford a Montgomery Ward autoharp, so he made one from parts of an old piano. From 1924-1929, he recorded well over two hundred songs. Pop was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, forty years after his death. The patriarch is pictured below with his family. His children would carry on the tradition of Stoneman mountain music. The Stoneman name is still the longest continuously active name in country music.

Information or to order Stoneman Music, contact Patsy Stoneman Murphy, P.O. Box 17044, Nashville, TN 37217.

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