For the 3 recordings of Freight Train
I'm most familiar with, Elizabeth Cotten doesn't get songwriting credit. For both the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group and crooner Rusty Draper versions that made the Billboard Top 100 singles chart [#40 and #6 respectively], credit goes to British songwriters Paul James and Fred Williams. Pete Seeger's sister Peggy, for whom Elizabeth had worked part-time, was successful in getting the copywrite restored. The song is also on PPM's In The Wind
LP with credits to Mezzetti-Yarrow-Okun-Travers. Mezzenti was also credited with co-writing 7 of the 12 songs on Moving
, their 2nd LP. Who was she? "Elaina Mezzetti is my sister," said Yarrow. "That was my way of giving her income."
Cotten, by the way, was a self-taught guitarist. She was also left handed and played a right handed instrument upside down without rearranging the strings. I'm also left-handed but never learned to play the guitar either way so I can't assess how difficult it is to play EC's way.
I've been kidding back and forth via email with a group of far-flung high school friends about record labels which had used our first names [e.g. there was a LARRY Records which had all of 3 releases]. One friend who goes by the nickname Chic was intrigued by the label with his name so I did a little research. CHIC Records out of Thomasville, GA had 15 releases, all in '56-'57. It featured local artists with one exception. Founder Chic Thompson purchased the US rights to a recording by a group out of Scotland, The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group [with lead singer Anne Wilson a.k.a. Nancy Whiskey]. The "A" side of the recording was Elizabeth Cotten's folk classic "Freight Train" and the record reached #40 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart [the "B" side was "The Cotton Song", which 4+ yrs. later was a #13 hit by The Highwaymen as "Cotton Fields"].
The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group made it to the then top of USA exposure, The Ed Sullivan Show, in July of '57. And look what the guys [but not Nancy] were wearing. Were Bob and Dave watching?