Stagger Lee’s Return: Jazz/Blues/R&B
Why the song faded from popularity for over twenty years is a bit of a mystery. My own speculation is that the world had plenty to concern itself with during the Depression, dust bowl, and WWII. By the 1950s the good times were back and R&B was one expression of those good times.
“Stagger Lee” is one of those rare songs that can easily be adapted to just about any genre or musical style. Over the next few days the Bus will be traveling through a few of the various styles in which “Stagger Lee” has been interpreted.
Let’s start with the third revival of the song in 1950, with jazz pianist Archibald and his influence on jazz, blues, and R&B artists.