3/16/2005 09:38:00 AM|||peter patnaik|||Billy Lyons will be killed a few more times today. To add to my requests I'm now looking for the Beach Boys and Elvis versions of Staggerlee, apparently the Beach Boys version is really awful, but I think Elvis could have done something good with the song. As always I'm looking for any information about the Lucille Bogan track, that doesn't seem to exist.
Honey's resident bulldog, Kallie, has increasingly interested in the ballad of Stagolee as a lot of them mention a bulldog growling at Stagolee and Billy fighting. Our bulldog just growls at cars and birds, but tends hide from loud noises and fighting. This first track is by Lucious Curtis and Willie Ford, who I have previous blog and included on the Honey Mix CD for their track "Payday" Curtis and Ford were residents of Natchez and recorded a few songs for Alan Lomax in 1940. Sounding more like Blind Boy Fuller, than Jack Kelly, they rip through this uptempo version of Stagolee in record time and its so very good.
Lucious Curtis and Willie Ford - Stagolee
Randall T. Hayes sends along another wonderful prisoner's take on the tale. This version is was recorded in the 50s in Louisiana State Penitentiary by Dr. Harry Oster. John Miller writes of up this track very nicely:
"Matthew 'Hogman' Maxey follows [the first track] with a version of 'Stagolee', likewise played on Dr. Oster's twelve-string. Hogman's monicker derived apparently from his mistaken notion as a child that he was a hog doctor. His version of 'Stagolee' is terrific. Played in E standard, it shares much of the same vocal phrasing as Lloyd Price's popular version from the '50s, but Hogman's time is so driving, fierce really, that the song is given an entirely different
feel. His powerful monotonic bass and one-chord approach (with a hint of a IV chord) remind me of Mance Lipscomb's song 'Freddie', from his first album."
Hogman Maxey - Stagolee
Lloyd Price's verison that's mention above and then again in the Wilson Pickett write up has been sent to us by Chris O'Leary of the amazing (and with a great new coat of paint) Locust St. Price's version was a big hit in 59 and features some pretty grim lyrics mixed with a very danceable beat. I think I like this version more than Wilson Pickett's cover.
Llyod Price - Stagger Lee
The last track is a gift from Dan Bluestein and it's a really good version of the ballad by Taj Mahal recorded in 1969 on his 12 string guitar. Taj Mahal was always one of those people I had written off before reallly hearing, but I'm definitely going to check him out after this track.
Taj Mahal - Stagger Lee|||111098652669388443|||Stagolee Went Into To the Bar, Stood Three Feet From The Door3/16/2005 11:45:05 AM|||Anonymous|||Thanks for this excellnet bunch of tunes. On the "Inside Dave Van Ronk" album, Dave Van Ronk also lays down a great version of this tune.3/17/2005 05:08:55 AM|||Tuwa|||I think Taj Mahal's work is kind of hit or miss, though I'm a fan. An Evening of Acoustic Music has some stnadouts, especially "Crossing," but then there are a couple of tracks on it that I skip, and a couple of entire albums of his (Hula Blues) that I skip.3/17/2005 05:33:30 PM||||||I don't have any Taj Mahal albums other than "Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home" (the one where I got this track) so I can't make any recommendations except to say that I like most of the "Ole Folks" half very much... he does some nice banjo picking on there in addition to the 12-string work.