[Dixielandjazz] stackolee/stagger lee

David W. Littlefield dwlit at cpcug.org
Mon Dec 8 16:29:53 PST 2003

At 03:09 PM 12/8/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Can someone please tell me who made the first (or an early) record of 
>Stackolee Blues (or Stagger Lee Blues)?  I've known this title, but not the 
>tune.  I 
>heard it played yesterday and liked it a lot.
>My searches so far have turned up versions by the Greatful Dead, Jerry Lee 
>Lewis, Taj Mahal, and Mississippi John Hurt.  Somehow, I think there must
>been earlier versions.  Any help out there?

In 1926 Ma Rainey recorded a tune called "Stack o'Lee Blues" that has the
tune to "Frankie and Johnny" but completely different lyrics.

Anderson has a sheet by Ray Lopez & Lew Colwell (1924) for a standard type
of pop tune called "Stack O' Lee blues", but it's about someone who becomes
a dancin' fool when he hears the tune.Completely different melody.

Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee" was a #1 hit in 1959 and is a rock'n'roll
classic. Wilson Pickett's version hit the charts in 1967, Tommy Roe's in
1971. Johnny Rivers recorded it in 1965. 


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