Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “They give him the road…” The 1920’s

This is Chapter 4 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.   See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 5 Introduction Our online compendium celebrating the great American folk song and tale “Stagolee” has grown now and, though I’m not tired of the music, I’m ready to move on to … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “The Bucket of Blood”

This is Chapter 3 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.  See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 Caveat – While I will make every reasonable effort to maintain propriety and decorum in writing this post, the language and narrative content of the media herein is decidedly not appropriate … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “I’m in a World of Trouble”

This is Chapter 2 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.  See also Chapter 1,  Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 Introduction In the introduction to the first chapter of this digital compendium, I claimed that today we can all look to Stagolee to find some inspiration.  I called him a shaman, … → read more

“The baddest man in the whole damn town…”

Friends, I’ve got a confession to make.  I’m white, but I love Stagolee.  And I don’t just mean the Grateful Dead’s “Stagger Lee”, which was my gateway to the story – I love to hear them all.  I’ve been too busy this week to do this song justice with another … → read more

Ain’t gonna tell you no stories

We’ll start today’s posts with some news accounts, to begin thinking about whether and how the facts matter to the song, and how the facts leave their traces, often in indirect ways, in the songs.  For the moment at least, we’ll proceed on the assumption that “Frankie…” tells the story … → read more

Frankie and Albert

The Frankie and Johnny mural in the House Lounge at the Missouri State Capitol “Frankie and Johnny” or “Frankie and Albert” is the most popular and commercially successful murder ballad.  I can’t think of a song that really comes remotely close.  “Frankie,” “Frankie and Albert,” “Frankie and Johnny,” and a … → read more