So Chris Thomas King's "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou has always been one of my favorites.
But today I decided to finally research it and see when it was actually written. I've never done it before, I guess because I was afraid I would find it only a convincing, but modern song made for the movie.
I was pleasantly surprised, however! It was written by Skip James, the gentleman preforming the song in the first video, in 1931. I was pleased to see that Mr. King's version did full justice to the original. I must admit I like the guitar better in the modern version, but I think the less distinct, crackly, dog-eared quality of the older recording adds to its charm.
Doing an Internet search on Skip James is definitely worth it--he lived an interesting life, and was beginning to gain public attention when the Great Depression came along and cut his career short.
However, he experienced a return to the public attention towards the end of his life, in the 1960s.
So. . .compare the two, see which you like best.