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For the Indian tribe, see Catawba people.
Song by Jerry Garcia from the album Garcia
Released January 1972
Recorded 1971
Genre Folk rock
Length 5:54
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Robert Hunter
Composer Jerry Garcia
Producer Bob Matthews
Betty Cantor
Bill Kreutzmann
Garcia track listing
"Bird Song"

"Sugaree" is a song written by long-time Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and composed by guitarist Jerry Garcia.[1] It was written for Jerry Garcia's first solo album Garcia, which was released in January 1972. As with the songs on the rest of the album, Garcia plays every instrument himself (except drums, played by Bill Kreutzmann), including acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and an electric guitar played through a Leslie speaker.

The song was first performed live on July 31, 1971, at the Yale Bowl at Yale University, as was the song "Mr. Charlie".[1] The song appears on numerous other recordings, including Dick's Picks Volume 3 and One From the Vault.[1]

Rusty York recorded a Marty Robbins-penned song in 1959 (Chess 1730) also called, "Sugaree."[2]

Fred Neil released a song in 1966 on his eponymous album called "I've Got a Secret (Didn't We Shake Sugaree)."

Elizabeth Cotten wrote and recorded "Shake Sugaree," in 1966.[3] The chorus of Cotten's song is "Oh lordie me/Didn't I shake sugaree?"

Nick Barker covered this song on his album Black Water Blues released in 2009.

Graham Parker covered the track on his 2004 album, Your Country.[4]

Jackie Greene recorded a cover for his 2009 release The Grateful EP.

References in popular culture[edit]

The song is mentioned in Stephen King's 1981 novel Cujo. Some have alleged that King made a mistake in attributing this song to the Grateful Dead, believing that Elizabeth Cotten wrote the original version of the song. However, her song "Shake Sugaree" bears very little resemblance to "Sugaree" by the Grateful Dead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dodd, David. "The Annotated "Sugaree"". The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  2. ^ "Rusty York | Songs". AllMusic. 1935-05-24. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Shake Sugaree - Elizabeth Cotten | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 2004-09-21. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  4. ^ "Your County". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 

External links[edit]