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jofield Origins: In the Jailhouse Now (109* d) Lyr/Chords Add: IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW (J Rodgers)^^ 11 Feb 01


The Coen Brothers' "Oh Brother" has brought the old Jimmie Rodgers song back on to the airwaves. At his pleading, they let the actor (one of those three-name guys) do his own singing, which is perfectly competent. He sings a version which begins:

[D] I had a friend named Ramblin' Bob
Who used to steal, gamble and rob
He thought he was the smartest guy in [G] town
But I found out last Monday
That Bob got locked up Sunday
They've [A] got him in the [E] jailhouse way down [A] town.

Refrain:
He's in the [D] jailhouse now
He's in the [G] jailhouse now
I [A] told him once or twice
To quit playin' cards and shootin' [A7] dice
He's in the [A] jailhouse [D] now. (Yodel)

[copied from the DT database]

Recently, I got a Jimmie Rodgers songbook, and it gives the same "Ramblin' Bob" version above, as does a Charlie Pride CD I have.

But I learned this tune way back around 1962 right off of an RCA Jimmie Rodgers reissue album, and it went like this:

I had a friend named Cambell,
He used to rob, steal, and gamble,
He'd try any thing that was lowdown.
He was out tomcattin' one night,
Got into a great big fight,
And the town policeman came and knocked him down.

He's in the jailhouse now (2x),
I told him over again
To stop drinkin' whiskey, lay off of that gin.
He's in the jailhouse now.

I learned two more verses, also completely different from the "Ramblin' Bob" version. I prefer the "Cambell" version, but what I really want to know is, What's the story? Did Jimmie Rodgers record it one way and publish another? Did he ever record the "Ramblin' Bob" version? Or did they clean it up for Webb Pierce in the '50s, and then change the sheet music to match? Any information out there?

Thanks, James.


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-Joe Offer-


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