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Songs about John Dillinger

Leadbelly 12 Mar 08 - 03:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Mar 08 - 06:03 PM
12-stringer 12 Mar 08 - 07:23 PM
Gene 12 Mar 08 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Fat Fingers Jim 23 Jul 14 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,# 23 Jul 14 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,# 23 Jul 14 - 09:00 PM
12-stringer 23 Jul 14 - 11:55 PM
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Subject: Songs about John Dillinger
From: Leadbelly
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 03:59 PM

Just listening to two completely different versions about bank robber John Dillinger I can imagine that there are a lot of other songs about this (fascinating ?)person of american history.
Versions I own: "St. Peter and John Dillinger"(Big Al Whittle) and "John Dillinger"( Howard Stith).
Do you remember any other versions?


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 06:03 PM

If you want to get into the Dillinger vibe - theres this novel called handsome Harry - about Harry Pierpont of the Dillinger gang by James Carlos Blake - also Lori Hyde who runs the dillinger website is a fount of knowledge and very friendly to online queries.

Do those things and you'll be ready to write your own song

al


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: 12-stringer
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 07:23 PM

"John Dillinger" (b/w "Kidnaping is a Terrible Crime") on Bluebird 5522 (1934), by Joe Smith, the Colorado Cowboy, BKA Dwight Butcher. I think this is on the 70s reissue of his old recordings but don't have the LP at hand to check it. Butcher also did the first "Bonnie and Clyde" song, likewise in his Joe Smith persona.

I'm also thinking of a "Goodbye, Public Enemy #1" song from those days, though I can't find anything under that title in Tony Russell's country music discography and this may just be the chorus of Butcher's "John Dillinger," which I haven't heard since Hector was a pup.

I've never heard it, but there is also Champion 16790/45046, a 1934 recording by the Lone Star Cowboys (not Leon Chappelear's group of the same name) called "Dillinger's Warning."


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: Gene
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 08:09 PM

Gene Autry recorded a version also...think i have it somewhere...


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: GUEST,Fat Fingers Jim
Date: 23 Jul 14 - 08:00 PM

There apparently were a number of songs, Jsee http://www.loc.gov/folklife/guides/BibDillinger.html .


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Jul 14 - 08:54 PM

From

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/guides/BibDillinger.html

A List of Songs Concerning John Dillinger

Publication Date: July 1970
Sheet Music and Copyright Lead Sheets

"The Death of John Dillinger." Words by Frank Carlisle. Music by Al Arnstram. Copyrighted and published September 13, 1934, by Hillbilly Publications, Milwaukee. Copyright registration number: E pub 43804. LC call number: M1659.5.D57A.

"Dillinger." Words and music by Joe Hoover. Copyright May 28, 1934, by Joe Davis, Inc. Copyright registration number: E unp 88140.

"Dillinger's Doom." Words, music, and copyright by Norwood Clayton Tew, Durham, N.C., August 11, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 91545. LC call number: M1630.2.T.

"Dillinger's Fate." Music by Jack Mahoney. Words and copyright by Betty Boswell, Neola, W.Va., January 25, 1935. Copyright registration number: E unp 98772.

"Dillinger's Warning." Arranged by Paul Gray. Written and copyrighted by Jimmie Walker, Indianapolis, August 11, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 91533.

"The Fate of John Dillinger." Words, music, and copyright by Valentine Mrozinski, Auburn, Mich., August 30, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 92365.

"John Dillinger." Words by Cliff Grey, Lancaster, Pa., and music by Rieley Lausch, Lititz, Pa. Copyright by Grey and Lausch, August 10, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 43221. LC call number: M1659.5.D57D.

Published and copyrighted by M.M. Cole, Chicago, September 13, 1934. Copyright registration number: E pub 44126. LC call number: M1659.5D57D.

"John Dillinger." Words, music, and copyright by Forest Herbert, Poland, Ind., August 16, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 92273.

Published and copyrighted by Forest Herbert, December 31, 1934. Copyright registration number: E pub 45965. LC call number: M1659.5.D57D.

"John Dillinger." Music by Dorothy Hardy. Words and copyright by H. Robinson Vaughan, Victoria, Va., September 5, 1934. Copyright registration number: E unp 92641. LC call number: M1659.5.D57H.

Published and copyrighted by H.R. Vaughan, December 28, 1934. Copyright registration number: E pub 46203. LC call number: M 1659.5.D57H.

"John Dillinger's Fate." Words by Lawrence Pitzer, music by H. Dobbins. Copyright by Pitzer and Dobbins, Portsmouth, Ohio, August 4, 1934. E unp 91375. LC Call Number: M 1659.5.D57D.

Published and copyrighted by Robbins Music Corp., November 16, 1934. E pub 44814. LC Call Number: M 1659.5.D57D.

"John Dillinger's Fate." Written and copyrighted by Chas. Joder and Jos. Runyan, Gary, Ind., March 1, 1935. E unp 100386. LC Call Number: M1630.2.R.

"Killer John Dillinger." Written and copyrighted by Bob Miller, New York, July 24, 1934. E unp 91430. LC Call Number: M1630.2.M.

"The Life and Fate of John Dillinger." Written and copyrighted by Hershel K. Deckard. E unp 92170. LC Call Number: M1659.5.D57D.

Commercial Recordings

"John Dillinger." Sung by Joe Smith [Bob Miller?]. Recorded May 28, 1934, New York City. Released on Bluebird 5522.

"Outlaw John Dillinger." Sung by the Frank Luther Trio. Recorded July 26, 1934, New York City. Release October 1934 on Oriole 8364, Romeo 5364, etc.

Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture

AFS 5033A2: "John Dillinger." Sung with guitar by Frank Lankas. Recorded June 16, 1941, in Gardenville, New York, by Charles Todd and Robert Sonkin. Fieldnotes describe this as an "original song."


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Jul 14 - 09:00 PM

FFJ, I copy and pasted the info from your link in case the link gets corrupted or disappears.


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Subject: RE: Songs about John Dillinger
From: 12-stringer
Date: 23 Jul 14 - 11:55 PM

Besides these, "The Gangster's Yodel," recorded for ARC by Bill Cox, NY, 4 Sept 1934, mx15853-2, released on Banner 33227, Melotone M13194, Oriole 8386, Perfect 13067, Romeo 5386, and Conqueror 8391, plus a couple of Canadian issues. This is probably a Cox original. Odd numbered verses are set to a Jimmie Rodgers-like blue yodel melody, with yodeling; the even numbered have no yodel and serve as a chorus.

I never was a gangster, but I'm going to sing this song
Don't put your trust in women, for some will do you wrong
Yodel-ay-hee hee, yodel-ay-hee-hee-hee

Johnny was a gangster, left his old home town
He went up in Chicago and shot the police down.

One time the law locked Johnny up, he thought he got a dirty deal
So Johnny swore when he got out, he'd learn to rob and steal
(yodel)

They locked up Johnny's sweetheart, she did not care to die,
She told the judge that Johnny was just a clean-cut guy.

The police tried to round them up and catch them one by one
But when they locked up Johnny, he made a wooden gun
(yodel)

They had him locked in prison, they would not give him bail
With a wooden gun he held them up and walked right out of jail.

Johnny went to the picture show with a woman dressed in red
Little did poor Johnny know that day he'd be shot dead
(yodel)

Johnny had a lot of friends, around Chicago town
They thought it was a dirty shame, the way they shot him down

Don't put your trust in women, for some will do you wrong
That woman told on Johnny, and now he's dead and gone
(yodel)

Johnny was a gangster, he left his old home town
He went up in Chicago and the police shot him down.


This is perhaps the best of the hillbilly Dillinger songs of the mid-30s, cheerfully amoral with a jaunty tune and yodel. Frank Luther's "Outlaw John Dillinger" is pretty dismal, a preachy catalog of crimes and warning against sin. Dwight Butcher's, now that I've heard it again, isn't a lot better, also a rather dreary song, composed by Joe Hoover and recorded very soon after Dillinger was shot.

The other recording I mentioned in a previous post was Buck Nation's "End of Public Enemy Number One," on Decca 5075 (1935), c/w "Bruno Hauptmann." Apparently I had that 78 at one time, though most of my shellac collection did not survive a move about 25 years ago, and I don't think I have it now.


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