A Cruel Murder, Part 1

This is a 2-part post about a very famous case. This is a little outside the time period Old Spirituals usually covers, but it’s a fascinating story that has a little star power: 15 years after the case ended, the wonderful actress Barbara Stanwyck starred in a film called Double Indemnity, which is based loosely […]

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A Cruel Murder, Part 2

Continued from Part I The next morning, Ruth managed to awaken her daughter, who had slept through everything and told her to go next door for help. When the police arrived, they quickly realized the scene was staged. First, they found some of Ruth’s “stolen” jewelry hidden under a mattress. Then, they interviewed little Lorraine, […]

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The American Murder Ballad

I love American roots music. A lot of music can fall into this category – blues, bluegrass, folk, soul, jazz, and country can all qualify – but today I want to write specifically about murder ballads. Murder ballads are uniquely American. There are, of course, songs about murder in every culture, but Americans truly made […]

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