Both of these classic songs were written by Dr. “Tex” Logan, a bluegrass pioneer, who died recently at the age of 87. The New York Times referred to his musicianship as a “hare quick bluegrass fiddler.” He performed for years, off and on, with the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, as well as with Joe Val and the Bluegrass Boys, and Peter Rowan among many others.
“Diamond Joe” is oft covered and has truly become a classic; and the composer of the song is apparently, however, in some doubt. You can read that it was written by Cisco Houston, Woody Guthrie, Tex Logan, etc. I can’t prove it, one way or another, but The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, as well as The New York Times give Tex the writing credit. Dylan, Mellencamp, Jerry Garcia and literally hundreds of others recorded “Diamond Joe,” also known as “Willie’s Diamond Joe.”
Tex, for sure, wrote “Christmas Time’s A Comin’” which is among my favorite of Christmas songs. I have more than a dozen versions on this very computer, which I offer as proof that I love the song, and tonight I recognize it’s creator, Dr. Benjamin “Tex” Logan, who, among other things, earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University. So, here is Emmylou Harris’ version, from her album Light in the Stable.
Rest in Peace, Tex. – Harry, in Boston, on Cinco de Mayo.