Various – ‘Banged Up American Jailhouse Songs 1920’s to 1950’s’ CD/DL-042

042Various – ‘Banged Up American Jailhouse Songs 1920’s to 1950’s’ CD/DL-042

Released: August 2007, CD – Download

American Jailhouse Songs 1920’s to 1950’s
Along with previous themes that we at Viper have covered including: ‘Lets Get Drunk Again’ (Viper CD031) ‘The Ultimate 30’s & 40’s Reefer Songs’ (Viper CD021 ) Protest!(American Protest Songs(Viper CD036)musicians and excess seem to go hand in hand, trouble seems to follow these free spirits that don’t seem to fit well into society and so that leads to brushes with the law and inevitably -Prison.Jail house songs exist in most musical genres whether it be Country, Blues, Jazz or Rock ‘n’ Roll – most of which are represented here on this album.
Many of the musicians featured on BANGED UP were born on the wrong side of the tracks, poverty and other social factors forcing them to use their instruments as a weapon against the harsh realities of everyday life, or at the very least reflect what was all about them.The places that they played often attracted trouble, whether that be in the local Bar Room, Speak Easy, or Honky Tonk, crime, drinking and loose women where never far away. Times were hard – you could be locked up just for being black on the charge of vagrancy! Many famous musicians have spent time in prison and some even recordedthere, such as Leadbelly and Johnny Cash.These songs from the underbelly of society, though recorded over fifty years ago, show dramatically how society has not changed much, Prisons are still being built to cater for the people that society helps to create –and then cannot handle!


1. The Robins – Riot in Cell Block No 9 1954
2. Willie Nix – Prison Bound Blues 1953
3. Lonesome Pine Fiddlers – Twenty One Years 1952
4. Jimmie Rogers – In The Jailhouse Now 1928
5. Big Maceo – County Jail 1941
6. Bill Cox – Long Chain Charlie Blues 1934
7. Bukka White – Parchman Farm Blues 1940
8. Delmore Brothers – Lonesome Jailhouse Blues 1933
9. Bessie Smith – Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair’ 1927
10. Bunny Berigan – Prisoner’s Song 1937
11. Richard Berry – The Big Break 1954
12. Jimmie Davis – Penitentiary Bound 1930
13. Leroy Carr – Christmas in Jail, ain’t that a Pain 1929
14. Oaklahoma Tornadoes – La Prison Circa 1940
15. Gene Autry – Dallas County Jail Blues 1931
16. Red Allen – Patrol Wagon Blues 1930
17. Blue Sky Boys – Prisoner’s Dream 1938
18. Merline Johnson – Crime Doesn’t Pay 1937
19. Alex – Prison Blues Circa 1940
20. Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues 1955
  • ‘A score of prison-related songs by an array of roots heroes. Blues, Country, Jazz and early Rock stroll around the workout yard’ MOJO, Sept 2007
  • ‘Jailhouse Rock’ –authoritative – Viper should send a copy to Paris Hilton’ Spencer Leigh, Record Collector, Sept 2007
  • ‘A trip round some great musicians’ Now Dig This, Sept 2007
  • ‘Nicely illustrated with knowledgeable notes – compilations like this one could go on forever and so they should’ Tony Burke, Blues + Rhythm Magazine, 2007