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Featuring:  Daniel T. Coates

Written by: Barry P. Foley
Copyright © 20 Jun 2021

I’m hungry said little Jimmy, as he  knocked on Miss Damie’s door
A street orphan in a grown mans shirt, maybe 3 or 4
Damie Rowland ran a little business, but she barely got by
A lonely divorcee far from home, she was charmed by Lil’ Jimmy’s smile

Little Jimmy offered up his labor in trade for food,
She took him, bought him clothes and his first pair of shoes
When it came time to start going to school, Jimmy wanted a change
I’ll be Dick Rowland from now on, everybody will know my name

1st chorus
By 16, Dick had quit school, became a shoe-shine boy
He made good money every day in tips, found his work a joy
He clothes got sharper by the week and even bought a diamond ring
Diamond Dick was living to fast, said all of his friends

Dick rode that elevator to the fourth floor where colored restroom lay
Just to see pretty Miss Sarah Page several times a day
He knew a black man better watch his step, everybody knows
Messing with a white girl, could find yourself at the wrong end of rope

But Dick and Sarah made history on the 30th of May
What really happened in that elevator, no one can really say
Didn’t matter to clerk who called COPS, when he saw Dick Rowland run
That’s all the Klan needed to tell the mobs, go home and get yourgun

The very next day the cops found Dick and hauled him off to jail
Miss Sarah would not press charges, and they’re stories matched as well
Sherriff McCullough was dead set, no mob would take his man
He put Dick in a top floor cell ordered guards to take a stand

As Greenwood was still burning, the Sherriff hid Dick in Kansas City
Come September all charged were dropped and a relief for Miss Damie
He stayed a while, and then moved on to the shipyards on the west coast
Dick Rowland died 1960 in an accident on the wharf

Now you know all there is to tell about, Little Jimmy Jones


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