Who originally sang "The House of the Rising Sun?"

Answer

It is not known who originally sang "The House of the Rising Sun," but Texas Alexander's rendition from the 1920s is the oldest recorded version, according to SongFacts. The familiar melody came from a traditional English ballad, while the lyrics originated as an African-American folk song.

Because it is a folk song that no specific person or institution has the rights to, "The House of the Rising Sun" can be recorded and sold without payment of royalties. It has consequently been recorded by a wide range of performers, including Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Nina Simone and, perhaps most notably, The Animals.

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The first recording of "The House of the Rising Sun" was made in 1933 by Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster. The original version of the ...
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