1950 - 1960
1950. Archibald (Leon T Gross) records the epic "Stack-A-Lee, Parts 1 & 2" and has the first mainstream hit. This is the version that Lloyd Price hears while serving in Korea.
1955. Poet Margaret Walker records a spoken word version, "Stackalee" released on, "An Anthology of Negro Poets."
1958. The song explodes in popularity when Lloyd Price includes it as the B side to his single "You Need Love." DJs prefer to play "Stagger Lee." Sales peak at nearly 200,000 copies a day and the song shoots to #1 on the charts. Dick Clark thinks the song too violent for the American Bandstand audience. Price delivers a clean version with a happy ending. The first #1 hit to be censored. Lloyd Price is still performing. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
1959. The Collins Kids on Town Hall Party.
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