She'll Grow Back: Stagger Lee Saturdays: Chris Whitley and Jeff Lang

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stagger Lee Saturdays: Chris Whitley and Jeff Lang

I have lots of versions of "Stagger Lee," and almost every single one is different in some way from almost every other single one. So I'm going to post at least one every week till I run out. This will take several years.

You can read about the history of the song, and the two men immortalized, here. In fact, I'm not even going to say much about the song tradition here, so you might as well click that link. Suffice to say, the earliest known recording is from 1928, and the song had been around at least 20 years before that. It's still changing and mutating and recombining with other versions today (soon we'll hear Sam Jackson's version from Black Snake Moan).

So here's a version taken completely at random from my Stagger Lee collection (which is not to say it's not incredibly good). Chris Whitley died in 2005. His friend and collaborator Jeff Lang released this album the next year.

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