Hanging of Charlie Birger

DESCRIPTION: Charlie Birger is feared throughout the Midwest; after the shooting of Joe Adams, Birger's henchman Thomasson turns state's evidence and Birger is sentenced to hang. Despite appeals and an unsuccessful suicide attempt, he is hanged on April 19, 1928.
AUTHOR: Carson Robison (or, possibly, Andrew Jenkins)
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (recording, Vernon Dalhart)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Charlie Birger, bandit, is feared throughout the Midwest; after the shooting of Joe Adams and a public outcry, Birger's henchman Thomasson turns state's evidence and Birger is sentenced to hang. Despite appeals and an unsuccessful suicide attempt, he is hanged on April 19, 1928. The singer draws lessons in morality from this story
KEYWORDS: accusation betrayal crime execution homicide punishment death suicide outlaw
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
April 19, 1928 - hanging of Charlie Birger
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Neely, pp. 266-268, "The Death of Charlie Burger" (1 text)
Burt, pp. 214-215, "(The Death of Charlie Burger)" (1 text)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 453-454, "The Death of Charlie Birger" (1 text)
DT, CBIRGER
ADDITIONAL: Richard M. Dorson, _Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States_, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 405-407, "The Death of Charlie Burger" (1 text)

RECORDINGS:
Vernon Dalhart, "The Hanging of Charlie Birger" (OKeh 45215, 1928) (Edison 11002, 1929 [as "The Hanging of Charles Birger"])
Frank Luther, "The Hanging of Charlie Birger" (Supertone 9183, 1938)
Art Thieme, "The Hanging of Charlie Birger" (on Thieme02)

NOTES: Birger's gang, and the rival Shelton Bros. gang, made Williamson Co. in southern Illinois a battleground in the mid-1920s, fighting over the rights to the regional bootlegging trade. The first bomb ever dropped on United States soil was a load of dynamite the Sheltons dropped on Birger's hangout from an airplane. The song accurately tells what happened after that. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.2
File: DTcbirge

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