Inquiries into the early years of SJI

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MP3 Monologue - Carl Sandburg and "Those Gambler's Blues" (aka "St. James Infirmary")

I am trying an experiment here. A little over two years ago a writer/broadcaster/music-historian asked me to record some monologues about "St. James Infirmary" for a possible radio show. I wound up recording sixteen entries, ranging in length from five minutes to one minute. Topics covered such areas as a history of the "Let Her Go" verse, Fess Williams, Don Redman & Louis Armstrong, The Hokum Boys, Irving Mills, and, of course, the significance of SJI.

The show, to my knowledge, was never produced, and having heard nothing lately I doubt it ever will be. So I have decided to post one, a few, or all of my entries on this blog.

First, though, I want to see if there is interest in this endeavor. I am including the first of those recordings: musings on Carl Sandburg's 1927 book of traditional songs, The American Songbag, which featured the first publication of "Those Gambler's Blues" (and which, as you know, would later become "St. James Infirmary"). This is, at five minutes, by far the longest of the entries. Is anyone interested in hearing more?

To listen, don your headphones and click on: "Monologue on Carl Sandburg and Those Gambler's Blues" MP3

1 comment:

Rob Walker said...

Yes! This is great, you should definitely post more!