Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Duncan and Brady

There was an enthusiastic crowd at the Big Read event over the weekend and beautiful weather. I noted that the Virginia Publishing booth at the fair was less than a block from the site of Harry Duncan's hanging at the St Louis County courthouse over a hundred years ago. 

In fact, it was 120 years and two days ago when Harry Duncan shot and killed Officer James Brady in St. Louis. The story is in the book, Devil At The Confluence and I discussed it with a number of the people who came to get a copy. The tale of the incident developed into a song and became an early country, or hillbilly standard. Here is the first recording of it: 
from 1930 [at Juneberry78s.com]

Over the years there have been many songs that were created in St Louis and many of them became international standards. It's important to notice that some of the songs became jazz titles or blues or Tin Pan Alley classics or, like the ballad of Duncan and Brady, folk/country classics. St. Louis' music cannot be categorized within a single style or genre because St Louis has always been the city of confluence. 

Devil At The Confluence is available at
and Amazon.

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