1960 - 1970
1960. Pat Boone covers Lloyd Price’s version but changes the chorus from "Go, Stagger Lee! Go!" to "Oh, Stagger Lee! Oh!" Pat, apparently, is not comfortable cheering on the badass black man.
1963. The Isley Brothers record it with a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar. They sing the song on live TV in the UK and create a scandal when Ron pulls a gun from his coat and mimes the shooting.
1963. A folk musicologist, Tom Hoskins, rediscovers John Hurt near Avalon, Mississippi. Hurt now begins introducing the song with a story about Stack O’Lee and Jesse James robbing a card game in a coal mine. Hoskins interviewed Hurt extensively. Hurt speaks at length about Stack O’Lee and insists he was a white man. Hurt dies in ’66.
1963. The Ventures record their instrumental Surf guitar version.
1965. Ike and Tina Turner rewrite the story as a brawl in a modern-day Go-Go bar.
1967. James Brown.
Found an error? Please let us know.
928 Nu’uanu #503
Honolulu HI 96813
Ph: (808) 306 3042