I’m very excited to report that I recently had the opportunity to guest-host my favorite music podcast, The Sounds In My Head, normally hosted by Daniel Dunham. Naturally I took that opportunity, and filled my entire episode with versions of “SJI.” As of Monday November 19, that is available here. Check it out!
If you’re coming to this site after having listened to the podcast, then maybe you’ve arrived here to find one or more of the links I talked about, or maybe just to gawk at my weirdness. The most important link is this one, to my essay about “St. James Infirmary.” It should be plenty of information for anybody curious about my interest in the tune, and its history. The essay also appears in my book Letters from New Orleans.
Anyway, here’s a slightly out of date “Buyer’s Guide” I once put together; I’m guessing that Daniel’s links on the Sounds in My Head site will be better if you’re trying to figure out which of the versions I played on the show can be easily bought via iTunes or some other source. Also: Here’s a roundup of some other old versions you can stream online for free.
Finally, I also recommend this interview with Mr. Robert W. Harwood, who has done amazing research on “SJI” and has given me many great tips and suggestions and feedback over the years that I’ve been noodling on the subject.
Below is a list of what’s on the episode, including the “talkover” music that runs while I blather on, and song-specific links. Now if you haven’t listened, then don’t skip ahead, because it will ruin everything! Oh, okay, do what you want.
SOUNDS IN MY HEAD/SJI PODCAST PLAYLIST:
“No. 2,”Peter Brötzmann (talkover); more on that here.
“St. James Infirmary,” Louis Armstrong
“St. James Infirmary,” Baby Face Willett (talkover)
“St. James Infirmary,” Jack Teagarden 1954 Club Hangover version.
“St. James Infirmary,” Pérez Prado. More on that here.
“St. James Infirmary,” Marc Ribot (talkover)
“St. James Infirmary,” Main Squeeze Orchestra (talkover); more on that here.
“The Dyin’ Crapshooter’s Blues,” Blind Willie McTell
“St. James Infirmary,” The Ventures (talkover)
“St. James Infirmary,” Ingrid Lucia & The Flying Neutrinos
“St. James Infirmary,” Lily Tomlin on Saturday Night Live. Transcript. I’ve also seen this on YouTube, but can’t find it at the moment, maybe it’s been purged.
“St. James Infirmary,” J. Lawrence Cook (talkover); more on that here.
“Those Gamblers’ Blues,” Jimmie Rodgers