Inquiries into the early years of SJI

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack Shea recording from 1922 - Lovesick Blues mp3

Readers of I Went Down to St. James Infirmary know that the first song of his own that Irving Mills (aka Joe Primrose) published was "Lovesick Blues" in 1922. He shared the writing credit with Tin Pan Alley songster Cliff Friend. As you can see on the record label, though, only Cliff Friend's name is printed below the title. Was this a mistake? Or did Mills 'assume' partial ownership later that year?

Jack Shea's was probably the second recording of "Lovesick Blues" (after Elsie Clark's, earlier the same year). This song is much different from the one recorded by the yodelling blackface minstrel Emmett Miller in 1928. It was Miller's recording that inspired Hank Williams, whose version shot to the top of the charts in 1949.

To hear this song, click on: "Lovesick Blues" MP3.