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Dupree's Diamond Blues
Composer: Jerry Garcia / Robert Hunter

Dupree's Diamond Blues is a reworking of the traditional family of songs that are variously known as Betty and Dupree, Dupree Blues, Diamond Ring Blues and similar names. The song is thought to be based on a real event, the robbery of a jewellery store in Atlanta in 1921 during which a policeman was killed. The robber was caught and executed in September 1922.

Garcia spoke of the song in an interview;

Hunter and I always had this thing where we liked to muddy the folk tradition by adding our own versions of songs to the tradition .... We had our Casey Jones song. We had our Stagger Lee song. Dupree's Diamond Blues is another one of those. It's the thing of taking a well-founded tradition and putting in something that's totally looped. So that's Hunter's version of that. Originally it's one of those cautionary tales; one of those 'Don't take your gun to town' type tunes. So Hunter elaborated on that in a playful way.
Garcia also spoke about Dupree's in an interview for Rolling Stone in 1971;
It reminds me of a little cartoon strip, with cartoon characters. It has a banjo in it, a little 12-string and stuff like that. Texturally it's really successful to my ears. It does what it's supposed to do.
Dupree's Diamond Blues made sporadic appearances in the live repertoire over the years. It was performed regularly between January and July in 1969. It then disappeared until half a dozen or so performances in late 1977 and early 1978. It's next revival was in August 1982 after which it was played fairly regularly until the Fall of 1988. After this there were just three solitary appearances in 1989, 1990 and 1994.


Grateful Dead

info Aoxomoxoa, 1969
info Single (Dupree's Diamond Blues / Cosmic Charlie), 1969
info Dozin' At The Knick, 1996
info Fillmore East 2.11.69, 1997
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 18, 2000
info The Golden Road (1965-1973), 2001
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 26, 2002
info Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings, Nov 2005
info Fillmore West 1969: Compilation, 2005
info Grateful Dead Download Vol 12: 4/17/69, 2006
info Spring 1990 (box set), 2012
info Dave's Picks Vol 12: Hamilton, 11/4/77, 2014

The Dead

info St. Louis, MO, July 2, 2003
info Somerset,WI, August 3, 2003
info Morrison, CO, June 15, 2004
info Mountain View, CA, June 26, 2004
info Cleveland, OH, July 28, 2004
info Scranton, PA, August 4, 2004
info Dead '09: Worcester, MA April 18, 2009
info Dead '09: Philadelphia, PA, May 1, 2009

Furthur

info Feb 17, 2010, Buffalo, NY
info Mar 8, 2010, Portland, OR
info May 30, 2010, Angels Camp, CA
info June 29, 2010, Jim Thorpe, PA
info July 30, 2010, Bridgeport, CT
info March 11, 2011, New York, NY
info March 23, 2011, Upper Darby, PA
info July 29, 2011, Simpsonville, SC
info Nov 13, 2011, Buffalo, NY
info April 6, 2012, Boston, MA
info September 27, 2012, Troutdale, OR
info April 19, 2013, Port Chester, NY
info July 19, 2013, Canandaigua, NY
info Oct 1, 2013, Las Vegas, NV

Phil Lesh & Friends

info Love Will See You Through, Highlights Volume One, 1999

 
Other recordings

info 20 Of Solitude, Grass Is Dead, 2004
info Grass, Keller and The Keels, 2005
info Merlefest, April 26, 2007, The Waybacks, 2007
info Fingerpicking, Ragtime, Bottleneck & Blues, Michael Woods, 2009

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