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Who wrote this song?

From:  "onrysunuvugun"

Who wrote the song Sloop John B?
I know the Kingston Trio and the Beach Boys do it, as well as Johnny Cash (under a different title). I heard somewhere it was a folk song from the twenties. I would really like to hear the original. Help this has bothered me for awhile. Thank god I found this site.

TB bravely attempted this answer: 

"John B Sails" is a traditional
sea chantey of the Bahamas. It's the story of the grounding of the ship
off of Nassau. The wreck was excavated in 1926.
Carl Sandburg published the chantey as a poem called "The John B Sails" in in 1927. Also in 1927, a guy named Alfred George Wathall did a modern arrangement for radio station WGN. The arrangement became
popular in folk circles. The Kingston Trio took their version from The Weavers. Al Jardine brought the song to the Beach Boys

pavolka muttered this thought: 

It was a traditional song in the Bahamas around 1930-35 when Alan Lomax recorded it. No one is likely to come up with a more precise answer.

forrest concluded with this: 

The song's author is listed as "traditional", meaning that it's origin is lost and is considered a "folk song". The most popular version is by the Beach Boys, of course, but I think that a google search may reveal a list of everyone that ever recorded it, not everyone that sang it.
Source: www.lyrics4u.com

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