Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?
13. Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?
(George Beebe-H.E. McAfee/public domain)
Track 13 –Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone (MASTER MA 83)
This gospel song was written sometime around 1900, according to Meade, Spottswood, and Meade (p. 217) by the Reverend George Beebe, with music by H.E.McAfee. That formation may have been inspired by an early hymn, “When I Am Gone,” as printed in William Walker’s influential The Southern Harmony, first published in 1854. The chorus there repeats the phrase “When I am gone” at the end of each verse and refrain.
The Carter Family recorded it first in 1928, in a duet by Sara and Maybelle, the ladies
playing autoharp and guitar. Seven years later, they sang it again, each playing guitar, joined
by A.P. singing bass.
This is probably the surest harmony Guthrie, on mandolin, and Houston, playing guitar,
achieved in the marathon sessions.