The Story of "Stagger" Lee Shelton

The Story of "Stagger" Lee Shelton

Hey there, delicious listeners,

We've made some improvements since the last Ear Candy Update; we have a new intro produced by The All Pro and Duke Wilbury featuring a killer, Leonard Cohen-inspired voiceover by The Count.

This update peers through the prism of Americana to examine the evolution of modern music specifically focused on the legend, myth and factual accounts of the murder of William "Billy" Lyons by "Stagger" Lee Shelton on Christmas Eve, 1895 in St. Louis.

What follows is the report in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat from 1895:

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 Shelton, a carriage driver. Lyons and Shelton 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 Shelton's hat from his head. The latter indignantly demanded its return. Lyons refused, and Shelton withdrew his revolver and shot Lyons in the abdomen. When his victim fell to the floor Shelton 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 Shelton is also known as 'Stagger' Lee.

This is the track listing from the show:

Stack O'Lee - Mississippi John Hurt
Stack Shot Billy - The Black Keys
Stack O'Lee Blues - Foghorn Stringband
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson
Stagger Lee - Tin Cup Serenade
Crossroads - Cream
Stagger Lee - The Staggers
Wrong 'Em Boyo - The Clash
Stagger Lee - The Grateful Dead
Way Down in a Hole - The Blind Boys of Alabama
There Would be Hell to Pay - T-Bone Burnett
Stagger Lee - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Stack-O-Lee - Samuel L. Jackson

This show demanded each version of the song be different in style, genre, mode, key and tempo than the preceding song for variety's sake. Each track is a different take on American folklore, which this man believes to be the true soul of America.

Please enjoy and feel free to unleash your criticism in the comment section.

As ever, thanks for tuning in.

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Ear Candy Update July 1, 2009.m4a

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