In the Jailhouse Now

DESCRIPTION: Bill Campbell disregards warnings and keeps gambling; he's in the jailhouse now. Bill Austin tries to vote twice; he's in the jailhouse now. Singer meets a girl; after a spree, he finds her hand in his pocket. She's in the graveyard, he's in the jailhouse
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recording, Whistler's Jug Band)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer's friend (Bill Campbell) disregards warnings and keeps gambling; he's in the jailhouse now. Another friend (Bill Austin) tries to vote twice (in the white folks' election); he's also in the jailhouse now. Singer meets a girl (Ivy); they go out and paint the town, but when it comes time to pay, he finds the girl's hand in his pocket. She's in the graveyard now, and he's in the jailhouse
KEYWORDS: captivity warning crime homicide prison punishment theft death gambling drink humorous prisoner thief
FOUND IN: US(SE)
RECORDINGS:
Pink Anderson, "He's in the Jailhouse Now" (on PinkAnd1)
Arkansas Woodchopper [pseud. for Luther Ossenbrink], "In the Jailhouse Now" (Gennett 7036/Supertone 9570/Champion 15852 [as West Virginia Rail Splitter], 1930; Champion 45038. C. 1935)
Blind [Arthur] Blake, "He's in the Jailhouse Now" (Paramount 12565, 1927; Broadway 5053 [as Blind George Martin; as "He's in the Jailhouse"], n.d.)
Bill Bruner, "He's in the Jail House Now" (OKeh 45438, 1930)
Walter Dalton, "In the Jail House Now" (Perfect 12468, 1928)
John Dilleshaw, "She's in the Jailhouse Now" (recorded for OKeh, 1929, unissued)
Adelyne Hood, "He's On the Chain Gang Now" (Columbia 2158-D, 1930) (Oriole 1935, 1930)
Jim Jackson, "He's in the Jailhouse Now" (Vocalion, unissued, 1927) (Vocalion 1146, 1928)
Frankie Marvin, "In the Jailhouse Now" (Edison 20002, 1929) (Brunswick 248, 1928) (Cameo 8328/Conqueror 7164 [both as Frankie Wallace], 1928)
Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band, "She's In the Graveyard Now" (Columbia 14255-D, 1927; on Ruckus1)
Memphis Sheiks [pseud. for Memphis Jug Band], "He's in the Jailhouse Now" (Victor 23256, 1930; on GoodForWhatAilsYou)
Billy Mitchell, "In the Jailhouse Now" (Bluebird B-6651, 1936)
Jimmie Rodgers, "In the Jailhouse Now" (Victor 21245,1928; Bluebird B-5223, 1933; Montgomery Ward M-4721, c. 1935)
Whistler's Jug Band "Jail House Blues" (Gennet 5614, 1925; recorded 1924)

SAME TUNE:
Gene Autry, "In the Jailhouse Now No. 2" (Champion 16141, 1930; Montgomery Ward M-4975, 1936); "He's In the Jail House No. 2" (Banner 32082/Jewel 20035/Oriole 8035/Regal 10259/Romeo 5035/Perfect 12667/Conqueror 7708, 1931; Broadway 4062, n.d.; Piccadilly [UK] 872, 1932)
Frankie Marvin, "I'm in the Jailhouse Now - No. 2" (Crown 3026/Homestead 22992, 1930)
Jimmie Rodgers, "In the Jailhouse Now - No. 2" (Victor [US & Can.] 22523, 1930; Montgomery Ward M-4315, 1933; RCA Victor 20-6092, 1955)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
He's In That Jail House Now
NOTES: I'm astonished we haven't indexed this song yet -- looking at the keyword list, it has every important ingredient except, perhaps, trains and Mama. While Jimmie Rodgers' version is probably the best-known, the song was also current in African-American tradition; a very different version was recorded by blues singer Luke Jordan. - PJS
I've encountered this phenomenon many times: Songs well-known in folk revival circles don't always have much currency in books. I don't know if it's lack of collections or lack of respect for the songs; perhaps it's something of each.
Jimmie Rodgers copyrighted his version in 1928, and he is sometimes listed as the author, but the Louisville Jug Band recording argues against this. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.6
File: RcItJHN

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