Sun Records 232, 1955.
Audio: Gordon Jenkins ft. Beverly Mahr - "Crescent City Blues"
From Seven Dreams, Decca Records, 1953.
Audio: Little Brother Montgomery - "Crescent City Blues"
Bluebird Records B6733, 1936.
I don't think I'd ever heard the Gordon Jenkins version. Fascinating! It's not surprising that after the live version of the song became a hit in 1968, Jenkins sued Cash and reportedly settled for $75,000. But I wonder if Jenkins ever kicked any dough to Little Brother Montgomery, from whom he borrowed the melody. Doubt it.
--ROBERT HILBURN, Los Angeles Times, AUG. 22, 2006In a mid-'90s interview with a Canadian magazine, Cash said he heard the Jenkins tune during his Air Force days in Germany. “At the time, I really had no idea I would be a professional recording artist; I wasn’t trying to rip anybody off,” he said.
“So when I later went to Sun to record the song, I told Sam Phillips that I rewrote an old song to make my song, and that was that. Sometime later I met up with Gordon Jenkins and we talked about what had happened, and everything was right.”