The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
"Somebody Stole My Gal"

"Somebody Stole My Gal"

#359 / June 7 Podcast

Some songs have very deep roots in the Floodisphere. For instance, the late Joe Dobbs loved this song.

In fact, we can remember Dave Peyton and Charlie Bowen jamming on this one with Joe and his brother Dennis at their Fret ‘n Fiddle music shop in its original Huntington West 14th Street location in the mid-1970s. (The song might even have been in the set list when the four opened for Little Jimmy Dickens’ concert at the old Memorial Field House in 1977.)

The tune also was the first song that the great Doug Chaffin played with us when we met up with him at a Nancy McClellan New Year’s Eve party a quarter of a century ago.

And Sam St. Clair still talks about Chuck Romine loving that melody; oh, how Doctor Jazz could tear it up on his tenor banjo.

These days Sam and Charlie have introduced the song to a whole new generation of Floodsters. Just listen to Randy Hamilton and Danny Cox and Jack Nuckols rocking on “Somebody Stole My Gal!”

About the Song

“Somebody Stole My Gal” already was an old-timer by the time it reached Floodlandia.

Written in 1918 by San Francisco songwriter Leo Wood, the song was first recorded by Ted Weems and His Orchestra. In 1924, that group’s version sold a million copies and spent a full five weeks at No. 1 on the charts in The Roarin’ Twenties.

Over the decades, the song also has been recorded by so many of our heroes, folks like Bix Beiderbecke (1928), Cab Calloway (1931), Fats Waller (1935), both Count Basie and Benny Goodman (1940), Johnny Ray (1952) and Jim Kweskin (1965).

In the Movies

The song has even gotten its share of screen time, starting in a cartoon of all things in 1931 from Fleischer Studios, the famed creators of Betty Boop and Koko the Clown.

Its best known Big Screen moments, though, were in Peter O’Toole’s 1982 comedy My Favorite Year, in the Sissy Spacek-Piper Laurie comedy The Grass Harp in 1995 and in the 2004 epic bio-pic The Aviator about Howard Hughes, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

On a Flood Album

When The Flood went into the studio in November 2002, this was one of the song the guys recorded for the album to be released as The 1937 Flood Plays Up a Storm. Just listen to Joe, Chuck and Doug rocking the introduction. (Oh, and how we love hearing Joe’s comment midway through Romine’s solo: “Sounds like New Orleans!…)

Nowadays you can hear that disc — and all the other Flood albums — for free on the Floodango music streaming service. Click here to give the album a spin.

More History?

Finally, if you’d like more history on the tunes we play, check out Flood Watch’s ever-growing Song Stories section.

Click here to start your browsing.

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: