Thursday, February 15, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Songs of Bobby Dunbar

Little Bobby Dunbar -- or was it Bruce Anderson? -- standing in front of a car with "unidentified people." 
I just heard an amazing story on This American Life called "The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar." First presented in 2008, it was just recently replayed.

Here's the basic outline of the story from the show's website:

In 1912 a four-year-old boy named Bobby Dunbar went missing in a swamp in Louisiana. Eight months later, he was found in the hands of a wandering handyman in Mississippi. In 2004, Bobby Dunbar's granddaughter discovered a secret beneath the legend of her grandfather's kidnapping, a secret whose revelation would divide her own family, bring redemption to another, and become the answer to a third family's century-old prayer. 

You can listen to the whole story at the bottom of this post. But suffice it to say it's such a crazy story it inspired its own instant folk ballad.

Here's the story according to New Orleans bluesman Richard "Rabbit" Brown. i'm not sure when this was recorded but I'd guess sometime in the 1920s:

Here are a couple of more recent songs dealing with the Bobby Dunbar  legend. First this one from an Denver artist called King Cardinal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Jon Dee Graham wrote a song about Bobby also

And, as promised, here's the episode of This American Life

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