Stack O’ Lee Blues, Mississippi John Hurt (1928) The song was published in 1911 and first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, but the origin predates both, as a song called Stack-A-Lee was mentioned in in the Kansas City Leavenworth Herald, in 1897 as being performed by “Prof. Charlie Lee, the piano thumper.”
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 28 December 1895
Shot in Curtis’s Place
William Lyons, 25, a levee hand, was shot in the abdomen yesterday evening at 10 o’clock in the saloon of Bill Curtis, at Eleventh and Morgan Streets, by Lee Sheldon, a carriage driver. Lyons and Sheldon were friends and were talking together. Both parties, it seems, had been drinking and were feeling in exuberant spirits. The discussion drifted to politics, and an argument was started, the conclusion of which was that Lyons snatched Sheldon’s hat from his head. The latter indignantly demanded its return. Lyons refused, and Sheldon withdrew his revolver and shot Lyons in the abdomen. When his victim fell to the floor Sheldon took his hat from the hand of the wounded man and coolly walked away. He was subsequently arrested and locked up at the Chestnut Street Station. Lyons was taken to the Dispensary, where his wounds were pronounced serious. Lee Sheldon is also known as ‘Stag’ Lee.
For the past few days, this has been my earworm. I like it.
Weather Anywhere. Facebook factcheckers flagged it for sexual content.
[Top image: La Charge, Félix Edouard Vallotton, 1893.]