Stack O'Lee (Stack Lee, Stagerlee, Stagolee, Stack-A'Lee, Stagger Lee, Stackalee, Stack a Lee, Stack-O-Lee) (Blues) (Trad.)

registered as composers for the copyright on this titel are Sidney Joseph Bechet, Jack Durpee, Jesse Fuller, Dave Van Ronk, John S Hurt, Harold Logan and Lloyd Price, Oscar Klein and Gerald Ricks and others

Sources:

article in The St. Louis Globe Democrat, 1895 about Lee Sheldon (known as "Stag" Lee), who shot his friend William Lyons because of a hat (Billy Lyons later died from his wounds, Lee Sheldon was convicted and served time)

Tony Kullen: Stagger Lee: A Historical Look at the Urban Legend

Sheet Music: -

Recordings (dates of first release and recording, if I've got to know):

1925 - Ma Rainey - New York City - cDec. 1925 - 2376-2 Paramount 12357 - Ma Rainey (v) and Her Georgia Band (Joe Smith (c) Charlie Green (tb) Buster Bailey (cl) Coleman Hawkins (bsx) Fletcher Henderson (p) Charlie Dixon (bj)) -

1927 - Furry Lewis - Chicago IL - Oct. 9, 1927 - Vocalion 1132 - "Billy Lyons and Stackolee"

1927 - Long Cleve Reed and Little Harvey Hull, Down Home Boys - cMay 1927 - Black Patti 8030 - "Original Stack O'Lee Blues" -

1928 - Cliff Edwards - July 25, 1928 - "Stack O'Lee"

1928 - Mississippi John Hurt- New York City - Dec. 28, 1928 - 401481-B OKeh 8654 - Mississippi John Hurt (v,g) - "Stack O'Lee Blues" -

1933 - Ivory Joe Hunter - July 1933 - Wiergate TX - Library of Congress - "Stack-O-Lee"

1937 - Tom Bell - July 23, 1937 - Livingston AL - Library of Congress - "Stagolee"

1938 - Johnny Dodds - Decca - "Stack O'Lee Blues"

1940 - Lucious Curtis, Willie Ford - Oct. 19, 1940 - Natchez MS - field recording by Alan Lomax - "Stagolee"

(1944) - Sonny Terry - "Stack-O-Lee"

1944 - Woody Guthrie - on: The Ash Recordings - "Stackolee"

1947 - Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy - March 2, 1947 - New York City - Nixa NJL 8, on: Blues In the Mississippi Night-Authentic Field Recordings Of Negro Folk Music (released 1957) - Leroy (Memphis Slim) (v,p), Sib (Sonny Boy Williamson) (h), Natchez (Big Bill Broonzy) (b)

1948 - Bama - fieldrecording from Parchman Farm by Alan Lomax - Tradition Records, on: Negro Prison Songs (released 1957) - "Stackerlee"

1950 - Archibald (Leon T. Gross) - March 23, 1950 - Imperial 5068 - Archibald, Dave Bartholomew, Joe Harris, Clarence Hall, Ernest McLean, Chuck Badie, Thomas Moore... - "Stack-A'Lee"

50s - Frankie Avalon - "Stagger Lee"

1951 - Tennessee Ernie (Ford) and The Carr-Hops - Capitol 1349 - "Stack-O-Lee"

1952 - Frank Hutchinson - 1927 - on: Anthology of American Folk Music - "Stackalee"

1954 - Cisco Houston - Folkways, on: Hard Traveling - "Stagolee"

1958 - Will Geer, Woody Guthrie - 1956 - on: Bound for Glory, Smithsonian Folkways - "Stagger Lee"

1958 - Pete Seeger - Folkways 2321, on: American Favorite Ballads, Volume Two - "Stagolee"

1959 - Fats Domino - June 13, 1957 - New Orleans LA - IM-1362 Imperial 5526, Imperial 9065, on: Let's play Fats Domino - Fats Domino (v,p), Herb Hardesty (ts), Clarence Ford (bs), Ernest McLean (g), Frank Fields (b), Corenlius Coleman (d) - "Stack and Billy"

1959 - Champion Jack Dupree - New York City - Feb. 4, 1958 - Atlantic 8019, on: Blues From the Gutter - Champion Jack Dupree (voc,p), Ennis Lowery (aka Larry Dale) (g), Wendell Marshall (b), Willie Jones (d) - "Stack-O-Lee"

1959 - Lloyd Price - 1958 - on: Body With No Body - "Stagger Lee"

1959 - Hogman Maxey - Louisiana Folklore Society, on: Angola Prisoners' Blues

60s - Bill Haley - Jan. 7, 1960-Dec. 16, 1969 - Bear Family, on: The Warner Brothers Years & More (released 1999) - "Stagger Lee"

1960 - Pat Boone - on: Great! Great! Great!, Dot - "Stagger Lee"

1961 (1959?) - Chevrons - on: Sing-A-Long Rock N Roll, Time - "Stagger Lee"

1961 - Memphis Slim - Jan./Feb. 1961 - New York City - United Artists 3137/6137, on: Memphis Slim: Broken Soul Blues - Memphis Slim (v,p), Muddy Waters (g), unknown (b), poss. Francis Clay or Casey Jones (d) - "Stack Alee"

1962-64 - Bert Jansch - Glasgow - "Stagolee"

1962 - Curtis Jones - Sept. 28, 1937-Aug. 18, 1941 - on: Lonesome Bedroom Blues - "Stackolee"

1962 - Dion - on: Lovers Who Wander, The Right Stuff - "Stagger Lee"

1963 - Dave van Ronk - April 1962 - Prestige, on: Folksinger - "Stackerlee"

1963 - Tom Rush - on: Blues, Songs and Ballads - "Stackerlee"

1963 - The Journeymen - Collectors' Choice Music, on: New Directions in Folk Music - "Stackolee"

1964 - Mississippi John Hurt - Newport, RI - July 25, 1963 - on: Newport Folk Festival 1963: The Evening Concerts Vol.1, Vanguard VRS-9148, VSD-79148 - "Stagolee"

1964-67 - Pete Lancaster And The Upsetters - March 11, 1964-June 8, 1966

1965 - Dave Baby Cortez - 1965 - on: Organ Shindig, Roulette - "Stagger Lee"

1965 - Shirley Ellis - on: The Name Game - "Stagger Lee"

1965 - Ike & Tina Turner - Sue 139, on single: Stagger Lee And Billy / Can't Chance A Breakup

1967 - James Brown - on: Cold Sweat - "Stagger Lee"

1967 - Mississippi John Hurt - July? 1964 - ? - Vanguard 9248, on: The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt - Mississippi John Hurt (v,g) - "Stagolee"

1967 - Charlie Taylor - Audio Blues 1931 - "Stagger Lee"

1967 - Doc & Merle Watson - on: Ballads From Deep Gap, Vanguard - "Stack-O-Lee"

1969 - Taj Mahal - June 1969 - San Francisco CA - Columbia 18, on: Giant Step/De Ole Folks at Home - Taj Mahal (v,h,g,bj), Jesse Ed Davis (org,p,g), Gary Gilmore (b), Chuck Blackwell (d)- "Stagger Lee"

1969-71 - Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband - Sept. 1, 1969-Nov. 30, 1971 - Storyville - "Stack O' Lee Blues"

1970 - Mississippi John Hurt - April 15, 1966 - Oberlin, OH - Vanguard 19/20, on: The Best Of Mississippi John Hurt - Mississippi John Hurt (v,g) - "Stagolee"

1971 - Mac Curtis - on: Early in the Morning, Bluelight - "Stagger Lee"

1971 - The Youngbloods - June 6-July 15, 1971 - Sundazed, on: Good and Dusty - "Stagger Lee"

1973 - Ike and Tina Turner - on: Shake a Tail Feather - "Stagger Lee and Billy"

1974 - Fats Domino - May 1, 1973 - Montreux, Switzerland - Atlantic 50107, on: Live At Montreux "Hello Josephine" - Fats Domino (v,p), Frederic Kemp, Walter Kimble, Maurice James Simon (ts), Frederick Sheppard (as), Roger Hayward Lewis (bs), Roy E.Montrell (g), David Douglas (b), Walter Daniel Lastie (d)- "Stagger Lee"

1975 - Mississippi John Hurt - 1963/64 - Washington DC? - Piedmont-Legacy 1068, on: Volume One of a Legacy (released 1975) - Mississippi John Hurt (v,g) - "Stack O'Lee (Blues)"

1977 - Michael Bloomfield - Santa Monica, CA (at McCabe's Guitar Shop) - 1977 - on: I'm With You Always, Demon - "Stagger Lee"

1978 - Greatful Dead - on: Shakedown Street, Arista - "Stagger Lee"

[1979 - Clash - on: London Calling - "Wrong 'Em Boyo"]

1979 - Neil Diamond - on: September Morn, Columbia - "Stagger Lee"

1979 - Taj Mahal - Geneva Switzerland - Cat 81002/3, on: At the New Morning Bues Festival - Taj Mahal (v,g) - "The Ballad of Staggerlee"

1980 - Champion Jack Dupree - Pinorrekk HB-P 7002, on: Freedom - Champion Jack Dupree & Monty Sunshine Band - "Stag-O-Lee Blues"

1982 - Mississippi John Hurt - Washington DC (Coolidge Auditorium) - July 15, 1963 - on: Avalon Blues: The Library of Congress Recordings Volume Two, Heritage HT 301 - Mississippi John Hurt (voc,g) - "Stack O'Lee (Blues)"

1986 - John Cephas & Phil Wiggins - on: Dog Days of August, Flying Fish - "Stagger Lee"

1986 - Merle Travis - on: Rough Rowdy & Blue, CMH - "StackO'Lee"

1987 - Angela Brown - "Stagger Lee"

1988 - Mississippi John Hurt - Washington DC - July 15/23, 1963 - on: Sacred And Secular: The Libray Of Congress Recordings Volume Three Heritage HT-320 - Mississippi John Hurt (voc,g) - "Stagolee"

1990 - Taj Mahal - Sept. 24, 1988- London UK - DRG 91441, on: Big Blues: Live at Ronnie Scott's - Taj Mahal (v,g), Wayne Henderson (kb), Ward Allen (b), Ozie Williams (d), Kester Smith (perc), Carey Williams (v)

1993 - Mississippi John Hurt - Washington DC (Ontario Place Coffee House or The Blues House) - Nov.27/28 or Dec.12, 1964 - on: Memorial Antholog, Genes GCD 9906/7 - Mississippi John Hurt (voc,g) - "Stagerlee"

1993 - Bob Dylan - summer 1993 - Malibu CA - Columbia, on: World Gone Wrong - Bob Dylan (v,g)

1993 - Dave Van Ronk - Jan. 19, 1993 - Bremen GER - Tradition & Moderne, on: Dave Van Ronk On Air

1994 - Jimmy Ballero - on: Jimmy Ballero & the Renegade Band, Southland - "Stagger Lee"

1994 - Jimmy Barnes - on: Soul Deep, Mushroom - "Stagger Lee"

1995 - Alton Purnell - Dec. 12, 1964 - on: Live with Keith Smith, GHB - "Stack-O-Lee"

1995 - Tom Morrell & The Time Warp Tophands - April 1, 1993-Jan. 3, 1994 - on: How the West Was Swung, Vol. 5: Go Uptown, W.R. - "Stack-O-Lee"

1996 - Terry Garland - Planetary, on: One to Blame - "Stagger Lee"

1996 - Taj Mahal - Oct. 6, 1993 - Bremen GER - Ruf 1009, on: An Evening of Acoustic Music (released 1996) - Taj Mahal (v,p,g,bj) - "Stagger Lee"

1999 - Henry Gray and the Cats - on: Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest - "Stagger Lee"

1999 - Kevin O'Donnell's Quality Six - Aug. 30/31, 1998 - on: Heretic Blues, Delmark - "Stak-O-Lee"

2000 - The Blue Rider Trio - Mapleshade, on: Harp, Steel And Guts - "Stagolee"

2000 - Fernando Goin - SR, on: Mystery Train

2000 - Bryan Jacobs - Orchard, on: Remington Steel - "Staggerlee"

2001 - Taj Mahal - 2000 - Bremen GER, Hawaii - Tradition & Moderne 017, on: Hanapepe Dream - Taj Mahal (v,g), The Hula Blues Band (Carlos Anrade (v,g), Pat Cockett, Wayne Jacintho (v,uke,v), Rudy Costa (reeds, kalimba,piccolo), Fred Lunt (g), Michael Barretto (uke,v), Pancho Graham (b,v), Kester Smith (d), Carey Williams (v)) - "Stagger Lee"

2002 - Cephas & Wiggins - on: Somebody Told the Truth, Alligator - "Stack and the Devil"

2004 - Professor Longhair - March 10, 1978 - on: Ball the Wall: Live at Tipitina's 1978 - "Stack-O-Lee"

2004 - Taj Mahal Trio - Dec. 2002 - Oakland CA - Tradition & Moderne, on: Live Catch - Taj Mahal (v,g,bj), Bill Rich (b), Kester Smith (d)

2005 - The Black Furries - on: Death Trip Saturday Night, Gearhead - "Stagger Lee"

2006 - The Big Five-O - on: Texas Tone, Taxim - "Staggerlee"

2006 - Steve Howell - on: Out of the Past - "Stack O'Lee"

2007 - Carl Sonny Leyland - on: Back in the Alley, Pianomania - "Stack O'Lee"

2007 - Dave Van Ronk - Jan. 19, 1993 - on: On Air, Tradition & Moderne - "Stack-O-Lee"

2008 - Keb Mo - on: Honeydripper [Soundtrack], Rhino - "Stack O Lee"

2009 - Lonnie Donegan - Big3, on: Original Hits of the Skiffle Explosion

2011 - Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton - NYC - Rhino, on: Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center - Wynton Marsalis (tr), Eric Clapton (g,v), Taj Mahal (v,bj), Dan Nimmer (p), Carlos Henriquez (b), Ali Jackson (d), Marcus Printup (tr), Victor Goines (cl), Chris Crenshaw (tb,v), Don Vappie (bj), Chris Stainton (kb) - "Stagger Lee"

? - Ike and Tina Turner (other version to 1973) - "Stagger Lee"

...

and further instrumental versions
Version Mississippi John Hurt

Police officer, how can it be?
You can 'rest everybody but cruel Stack O' Lee
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee.

Billy de Lyon told Stack O' Lee, "Please don't take my life,
I got two little babies, and a darlin' lovin' wife"
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee.

"What I care about you little babies, your darlin' lovin' wife?
You done stole my Stetson hat, I'm bound to take your life"
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee

...with the forty-four
When I spied Billy de Lyon, he was lyin' down on the floor
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee.

"Gentleman's of the jury, what do you think of that?
Stack O' Lee killed Billy de Lyon about a five-dollar Stetson hat"
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee.

And all they gathered, hands way up high,
at twelve o'clock they killed him, they's all glad to see him die
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O'Lee.

Version Lloyd Price

The night was clear and the moon was yellow
And the leaves came tumbling down.

I was standing on the corner when I heard my bulldog bark
He was barkin' at the two men who were gamblin' in the dark.
It was Stagger Lee and Billy, two men who gambled late,
Stagger Lee threw seven, Billy swore that he threw eight.

Stagger Lee told Billy, "I can't let you go with that"
"You have won all my money and my brand new Stetson hat".
Stagger Lee started off goin' down that railroad track.
He said "I can't get you Billy but don't be here when I come back".

Stagger Lee went home and he got his forty-four
Said "I'm goin' to the barroom just to pay that debt I owe".
Stagger Lee, he went to the barroom and he stood across the barroom door
He said "Nobody move" and he pulled his forty-four.

Stagger Lee cried Billy, please don't take my life,
I have three little children and a very sickly wife.
Stagger Lee shot Billy, oh he shot that poor boy so bad
Till the bullet came through Billy and it broke the bartender's glass.

Version Bob Dylan

Hawlin Alley on a dark and drizzly night,
Billy Lyons and Stack-A-Lee had one terrible fight.
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack-A-Lee walked to the bar-room, and he called for a glass of beer,
Turned around to Billy Lyons, said, "What are you doin' here?"
"Waitin' for a train, please bring my woman home.

"Stack-A-Lee, oh Stack-A-Lee. please don't take my life.
Got three little children and a-weepin', lovin' wife.
You're a bad man, bad man, Stack-A-Lee."

"God bless your children and I'll take care of your wife.
You stole my John B., now I'm bound to take your life."
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack-A-Lee turned to Billy Lyons and he shot him right through the head,
Only taking one shot to kill Billy Lyons dead.
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Sent for the doctor, well the doctor he did come,
Just pointed out Stack-A-Lee, said, "Now what have you done?"
You're a bad man, bad man, Stack-A-Lee."

Six big horses and a rubber-tired hack,
Taking him to the cemetery, buy they failed to bring him back.
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Hawlin Alley, thought I heard the bulldogs bark.
It must have been ol' Stack-A-Lee stumbling in the dark.
He's a bad man, gonna land him right back in jail.

High police walked on to Stack-A-Lee, he was lying fast asleep.
High police get Stack-A-Lee, and he jumped forty feet.
He's a bad man, gonna land him right back in jail.

Well they got old Stack-A-Lee and they laid him right back in jail.
Couldn't get a man around to go Stack-A Lee's bail
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack-A-Lee turned to the jailer, he said, "Jailer, I can't sleep.
'Round my bedside Billy Lyons began to creep."
All about that John B. Stetson hat.