"I used to know that song, I don't know... Oh," the young Bob Dylan says before breaking into Scott Wiseman's Remember Me (When the Candlelights Are Gleaming), with what seems a very uncomfortable Joan Baez providing harmony.
Remember Me was written in 19 and 39, and released by Wiseman and his wife/singing partner Myrtle Cooper under their stage names of Lulu Belle and Scotty on the Conqueror label in September 19 and 40. The song was the B-side to a now mostly forgotten Lulu Belle and Scotty tune, Did You Ever Go Sailing? proving once more Mr. D's contention on Theme Time Radio Hour that we're the poorer in these Modern Times without singles and flip sides which often held more interesting and enduring music than the A-side.
Remember Me was written when Lulu Belle and Scotty were starring in their own radio show, Boone Country Jamboree, airing from Cincinnati on station WLW. "In our guest room at home when I was a child there was a fancy old cup and saucer which sat on the dresser," Wiseman later recalled for Dorothy Horstman's book, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy. "The phrase 'Remember Me' was on the cup in fancy gold lettering. We children were not allowed to touch this memento of the sentimental Gay Nineties, somehow connected with the courtship of Mother and Dad. Feeling a bit homesick and sentimental during the bustle of radio shows and road trips, I made up the song while riding in the car to personal appearance jobs."
Besides composing Remember Me, Wiseman had a hand in the classic (Good Ol') Mountain Dew, rewriting the lyrics to a melody originally composed by Bascom Lunsford. "Lulu Belle and I cut a Vocalion record of it in 1939 in Chicago," Wiseman wrote. "Roy Acuff and other Nashville singers learned it from our record and started singing it. Station WLS, where we sang for 25 years, would never allow any mention of giggle water or tobacco in those days, so we were never allowed to sing it on the National Barn Dance."
Lunsford traveled to Chicago, heard the reworked version of Mountain Dew, gave it his approval, and said, "I believe I know how to pay my bus fare back to Asheville; I'll just sell Scotty my interest in 'Mountain Dew' for $25." Wiseman would later instruct the publisher to send Lunsford 50 percent of the song;'s royalties.
Lulu Belle and Scotty's best known song is probably Have I Told You Lately I Love You? of 19 and 45, a contender as one of the first country songs to make a successful crossover into pop and covered by everyone from Hank Williams Sr., to Bob Hope, to the Andrews Sisters, to Lulu Belle's one-time partner, Red Foley. Confined to the hospital for several weeks in 19 and 44, Scotty Wiseman composed the song after Lulu Belle whispered the words in his ear. He wrote the song in one night, and sang it to Lulu Belle the next day. Gene Autry made the first recording of the song in late 1945 on Columbia, with Lulu Belle and Scotty releasing their own version on a Vogue Picture Record, patriotically displaying a serviceman embracing his love.