Jesse James

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Whitey & Hogan (1948)
Who Built America - American History Through Its Folksongs : Bill Bonyun (1950)
Toby Stroud & the Blue Mountain Boys (1954)
Sonny Osborne (1956)
American Ballads : Pete Seeger (1957)
Country Songs Old & New : The Country Gentlemen (1960)
Thereby Hangs A Tale : Eddy Arnold (1963)
Legends Of The West : The Sons Of The Pioneers (1965)
The Flat-Picker's Guitar Guide, An Advanced Instruction Record : Jerry Silverman (1966)
Bluegrass From the Blue Ridge - A Half Century of Change - Country Band Music of Virginia : Various Artists (Wade Ward, Fields Ward & Glen Smith) (1967)
Songs Of The Old West : Ed McCurdy (196?)
Typical American Boys : Chad Mitchell Trio (196?)
Sounds Of The South : Various Artists (Mountain Ramblers) (196?)
Cattle Call : Eddie Arnold (1971)
The Bergerfolk, Vol. 1 - Sing for Joy : The Bergerfolk (1971)
Broadside Ballads, Vol. 6: Broadside Reunion : Various Artists (Sis Cunningham, Mike Millius, Wesley Houston (1972)
RHB Express (1973)
Early Days Of Bluegrass, Vol. 1 : Various Artists (Whitey & Houston) (1974)
Early Days Of Bluegrass, Vol. 2 : Various Artists (Toby Stroud & The Blue Mountain Boys) (1974)
Cowboy Songs : Mark Ross (1976)
The Bergerfolk, Vol. 4 - Pack Up Your Sorrows : The Bergerfolk (1978)
Bluegrass Concerto : Osborne Brothers (1979)
Grandad Of The Old Guitar Pickers : Sam McGee (197?)
Southern Soul : Jimmie Arnold (1983)
American Banjo - Three Finger & Scruggs Style : Various Artists (Eric Weissberg, Mike Seeger & Ralph Rinzler) (1990)
Cowboy Songs on Folkways : Various Artists (Woody Guthrie) (1991)
Old Time Music : New Lost City Ramblers & Friends (1994)
Music By Ry Cooder : Ry Cooder (1995)
Capitol Years : The Kingston Trio (1995)
Link In The Chain : Pete Seeger (1996)
This Land is Your Land - The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1 : Woody Guthrie (1997)
Southern Journey, Vol. 5, Bad Man Ballads : Various Artists (1997)
Songs For Americans : Earl Robinson (19??)
Frontier Ballads & Cowboy Songs : Bill Bender & Clayton McMichon (19??)
Golden Oldie Classics, Vol. 1 : vernon Dalhart (19??)
Native American Ballads : Various Artists (Harry McClintock) (19??)
Neiman-Marcus First Edition : Various Artists (Mac McClintock) (19??)
Frontier Ballads And Cowboy Songs : Bill Bender (19??)
Bill Berry & Paul Chaney & the Bluegrass Travelers (19??)
Carl Tipton & the Mid State Playboys (19??)
Old Joe Clark (19??)

Performance History

Played by Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester and Robert Hunter at the Carlos Bookstall in San Carlos in July 1961.

Not performed by the Grateful Dead. Occurs only on pre-Dead tapes featuring future members of the dead.


One of a 'family' of Jesse James songs.

The lyrics from the San Carlos tape are as follows;

Went down to the station not many days ago
I did something I'll never do again
I got down on my knees and delivered up the keys
To Frank and his brother Jesse James

Jesse had a wife, she's a [mourner all her life]
Three children, they were brave
But that dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard
[And] laid poor Jesse in his grave


Oh, Jesse was a man that befriended of the poor
He would never see a man suffer pain
But [with his brother] Frank he robbed the [Glendale Train]
And stopped the Glendale train


Well the people in the west when they heard of Jesse's death
They wondered how it was he came to die
It was Ford's pistol ball that [???] wall
And he laid poor Jesse down to die


Now old Jesse's gone to rest with his head upon his chest
And the devil [???]
He was born one day in the country of Clay
And he came from a solitary race


Now this song it was made by old Billy Gashade
As soon as the news did arrive
Said there was no man with the law in his hand
That could take Jesse James when alive