She'll Grow Back: Stagger Lee Saturdays: The Best of Stagger Lee

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stagger Lee Saturdays: The Best of Stagger Lee

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and no small amount of trepidation that She'll Grow Back presents a compilation entitled "Talkin' Bout The Baaad Man: The Best of Stagger Lee."

The choices made to cut this down to under 80 minutes, or one CD's worth, were hard and are likely to be controversial. (I intend to remedy this with further volumes of "the best.") Hopefully, most of you will find your favorite version of Stag on this collection. If not, that's what the comments section down there is for. I'm not writing up special liner notes for this; I've written up each song in its own post, which you'll find links to below. Arranged chronologically, these 22 tracks embody the main themes of Stagger Lee the ballad, the folk song, the blues song, and the rocker.


1926: Ma Rainey
1927: Frank Hutchison
1927: Furry Lewis
1928: Cliff Edwards
1928: Mississippi John Hurt
1944: Woody Guthrie
1950: Archibald
1951: Tennessee Ernie Ford
1958: Lloyd Price
1963: Dave Van Ronk
1966: Ike and Tina Turner
1968: Taj Mahal
1968: Wilson Pickett
1972: Dr. John
1979: The Clash
1993: Bob Dylan
1996: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
1998: R. L. Burnside
2004: The Black Keys
2005: Chris Whitley and Jeff Lang
2007: Samuel L. Jackson
2008: Keb' Mo'


HowMarvellous said...

Hi Mark

you say zip, but the d/l is a .ace file, and unaceX for mac just hogs the cpu & does nothing with the file - any ideas?

Mark H. Besotted said...

Well, crap. Give me a few hours. I'll think of something.

Housekeeping note: When I put the files together as a .zip, many people have trouble opening those archives too, since I'm using crappy freeware to do my zipping. (That would be WinAce, which I've never bothered to pay to register. I think there's a free download site somewhere, but I'll probably just upload all the individual files this morning. Stay tuned.)

HowMarvellous said...

ok, done it now, had to use the command line version at cuz the gui one uses an older exec which isn't compatible with v2 ace files.

but you can be sure many ppl won't get that working on a mac

anyway - playing Ma Rainey now - smashing! - thanks

HowMarvellous said...

here's a zip

just listened to 'em all - splendid choices & very enjoyable.

Mark H. Besotted said...

Well, that's incredibly helpful. Thanks. If anyone else downloads that version, be sure to leave a comment. I'll try to keep all you Mac users in the loop in the future...

Also, I just finished Cecil Brown's excellent book "Stagolee Shot Billy" which is about the true crime, the song and its legacy. You can pick it up used on Amazon for a couple bucks -- highly recommended.

CD said...

You put in the Keys version, which is my fave for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the complete re-interpretation for a new time.

Mark H. Besotted said...

I had to -- the opening riff is so glorious. I mean, the rest of the song is really good too, but that opening riff ranks, for me, right up there with The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back," The Isley Brother's "Do Your Thing," and Luna's take on "Season of the Witch."