Part 6: Original Songs and their Interpretations: ‘Junco Partner’_James Waynes, 101ers, The Clash

…and now, for something a bit different.

For the 6th installment of my presentation of songs/videos comparing original versions with cover interpretations, I am showcasing three generations of “Junco Partner’.

Originally composed and sung by prisoners at Louisiana’s ‘Angola’ State prison — and eventually recorded by numerous artists over the last 60+ years — James Waynes is  credited with the first known recording of “Junco Partner‘ in 1951.

Two decades later, Joe Strummer played it with his first band, The 101ers. A live, energetic version (circa 1975) was preserved.

Five years “down the road”, Joe Strummer with the Clash recorded ‘Junco Partner’ for 1980’s Sandinista album. At this point, the song had gone from an old blues number, to an up-tempo R&B song (101ers), and now a Reggae/Dub piece (Sandinista features 2 versions). The style and recording technology may have changed over time, but the essential vibe remains.


‘Junco Partner’: James Wayne_1951


‘Junco Partner’: 101ers live (circa 1975)


‘Junco Partner’: Clash (Sandinista Album, 1980)