View Issues‎ > ‎2021 Issues‎ > ‎2108 August 2021‎ > ‎

210809 August 9, 2021


American Bandstand Stagger Lee

Our Innocent Lives Were Protected
(On American Bandstand)
Woody Beck
LHS '65 

    There were two versions of Lloyd Price’s “Stagger Lee”. One in which Stagger shoots and kills Billy, and the other sanitized for American Bandstand in which Price sings that Stagger Lee and Billy reconcile their differences and stroll away in the sunset being friends. Wonkish: the history of the Stagger Lee ballad (a.k.a. Stag-O-Lee, Stagolee, Stack-A-Lee, Stack O’Lee) was based on a 1895 shoot out in Bill Curtis’ saloon in St. Louis, in which William [Billy] Lyons, 25, was shot and killed by Lee Sheldon who was subsequently convicted and sent to prison. The earliest version was in 1895 under the title “Bully of the Town”. In 1927 “Stagolee” was recorded by Mississippi John Hurt; our generation would be most familiar with Lloyd Price’s rendition of 1959. Various versions have been recorded by Wilson Picket, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Hogman Maxey, the Fruit Jar Guzzlers, and others.

    Here is the original version which was santized for American Bandstand to remove the violence.

Original Stagger Lee


        Memphis, TN - Here is a head-up announcement. Beginning September 1st Google is requiring me to change to their new version of the program which has been used in the past to produce Lee's Traveller. Apparently all the old pages will have to be archived and not available any longer. I have no idea what the new program will produce, since I have been dragging my feet to avoid the change. Hopefully it will not be a drastic change or even better a drastic improvement allowing better content creation.

    Thanks this week to Woody Beck and John Drummond for thier much appreciated inputs and to the only responder from last week's song survey, Jeffrey Fussell who comments "They are ALL good ones."

    Again this week we have a song heavy issue. I hope you can all hear them and appreciate them for what they meant to us in our youth.

Slow Song Selections

My Girl

"My Girl"
John Drummond
LHS '65

    An iconic song for our generation which remains popular even today, 57 years after its release, is "My Girl", recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label.  Written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White of The Miracles, it was released at Christmas 1964.  It became The Temptations first U.S. number one single and is still their signature song.  The opening bass notes "BAH bum-bum, BAH bum-bum, BAH bum-bum" are instantly recognizable, followed by a classic and equally recognizable guitar riff.  When the lyrics "hey hey hey" are voiced, many dancers gleefully thrust their arms in the air three times, as if signaling for touchdowns.

    The song was introduced into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.  In 2004, "My Girl" ranked number 88 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  At Auburn in the late 1960s, it could have been declared the unofficial AU National Anthem.  There was probably never a fraternity party or R&B concert during that era at which the song was not performed.  It tied for the most first place votes in Tommy's LHS survey of favorite last dance slow songs.

Try Me

Another Choice
"Try Me"
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    This is my own personal pick of favorite last dance slow songs. Listening today, I see the lyrics appealed to an insecure teenage boy like me to anyone who would give him a chance to become her boyfriend. We all needed someone in our lives.

    Most often I can relate a dance song to a particular place or time or girl. Not this one. This is a generic song that only brings back sweet memories to me for no particular reason except to conjure up memories of dark dance floors and the warmth of a sweet young things body held tighly next to mine. I close my eyes to listen to this song and the memories of my youth flood my brain.It was a slow and deeply personal song, that will always take me back to those carefree teenage years.
    "Try Me", titled "Try Me (I Need You)" in its original release, is a song recorded by James Brown and The Famous Flames in 1958. It was a #1 R&B hit and charted #48 Pop - the group's first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Brown and the Flames' second charting single, ending a two-year dry spell after the success of "Please, Please, Please".

    The song sold over a million copies and saved the Famous Flames from having their contract dropped due to lack of hits following the original Famous Flames disbanding and Brown's struggles to deal with the group and their performances on the chitlin' circuit. The song was also the best-selling R&B single of 1958, and its success gave Brown confidence in his own abilities as a musician and gave him the needs to build his career.

    I was not aware but Brown recorded an instrumental version of "Try Me" for the Smash label in 1965 which charted #34 R&B and #63 Pop in the U.S. I had to go find it on youtube and hear what it sounded like. I would love to slow dance to this version as well. I personally see a lot of Booker T. and the M.G.s influence on this recording.

Try Me Instrumental

What Do You Want?    

    We have covered a lot of topics in the past in Lee's Traveller. Most of them have been selected by The Most Illustrious Editor or a small group of participating classmates. Perhaps you are getting tired of what we pick and have your own thoughts on what you would like to read about or share with your classmates, but never felt you had the right opportunity of let it be known. Now is your chance. What would you like to see as a topic in a future issue. Do you want to read about music, cars, dancing, teachers, classes, church, clothing, movies, or something else? Here is you chance to make your wishes known. Just fill out the form below to let us know what you are interested in and we will try to accomidate you. Please give us your ideas.

New Topics


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Coronavirus

Richard Simmons

LHS '64

    Great Issue, Tommy,  Thanks to you and all the contributors,

    Information you may want to share regarding Coronavirus: Maryann and I have both received the Covid19 vaccinations in March...Maryann the Moderna and me the Pfizer.  We are on our final trip for the summer from North Texas to Jacksonville, Florida. Somewhere between leaving Texas and arriving in Florida we both contracted the virus. Having travelled in and out of a lot of rain, been in and out of the car, I began feeling like a bad cold was coming on as we arrived. I finally sought treatment on Saturday, July 31. After several hours of testing the doctor reported the diagnosis was COVID win pneumonia (the cause of my symptoms) She was very quick to point out that I was a very lucky man...because I had been vaccinated my prognosis is much better exponentially than those she has seen who are are NOT vaccinated.  I was sent "home" with some medications and procedures to follow.

    Maryann was tested Sunday.  She is positive. Because of her vaccine status she was given a medication protocol to follow. Her symptoms are a bad cold.

    To the LEE FAMILY, if you have not been not delay. It help avoid contracting the virus. If you still contract the virus, your complications will be greatly mitigated. As a closing note, We have no idea at this time when we will be heading back to Texas. I don't imagine we can travel while positive.  I am just glad we are with family.



Join the Mailing List to Receive Notification When New Issue is Available 


 Email Me