At some point in the 1990s, I bought a box set called Roots ‘N Blues: The Retrospective 1925-1950, “a four-CD box set released on Columbia Records in 1992. The set features five hours worth of early blues, folk/country, and gospel recordings from a variety of American artists. Many of these recordings had never previously been issued in any medium.”
Eventually, I got Moby’s 1999 album Play and stopped short when I heard the song Run On. BOY, that sounded familiar. As it turns out Moby sampled Bill Landford And The Landfordaires’ 1949 version of Run On For A Long Time, which appears on disc 4 of Roots ‘N Blues.
From Wikipedia: “‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’, also known as ‘Run On’ and ‘Run On for a Long Time’, is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists… modified to fit the boundaries of diverse genres like country, folk, gospel and techno.”
Subsequently, I got versions of the song by Johnny Cash, on a 2006 posthumous album, and Tom Jones, from his 2010 album. But I had never owned the great 1956 version by Odetta, though my father had possessed several of her albums.
Run On For A Long Time – Bill Landford And The Landfordaires here or here or here
God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Odetta here or here (a slightly different version)
Run On – Moby here or here (official)
God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash here or here (official)
Run On – Tom Jones here