Thursday, July 10, 2008
Taken from Wikipedia:
Lead Belly's boastful spirit and penchant for the occasional skirmish sometimes led him into trouble with the law, and in January 1918 he was thrown into prison for the second time, this time after killing one of his relatives, Will Stafford, in a fight. He was incarcerated in Sugar Land, Texas and it is there that he got the inspiration for the song Midnight Special. It is said that he was released two years into his 35-year sentence after writing a song appealing to Governor Pat Morris Neff for his freedom. Lead Belly had swayed Governor Neff by appealing to his strong religious values. That, in combination with good behavior (including entertaining by playing for the guards and fellow prisoners), was Lead Belly's ticket out of jail.
Lead Belly "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"