Gypsy Lou

Album: The Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • "Gypsy Lou" is a story about "a ramblin' woman with a ramblin' mind" who is always bouncing around the country and "leaving' somebody behind." It's a silly, fun song about a wild, rootless woman, sung in the spirit of Woody Guthrie's 1938 song "Gypsy Davy."

    "Gypsy Lou" also happened to be a real person.

    With her husband Jon Edgar Webb, "Gypsy Lou" Webb owned and operated Loujon Press in New Orleans. That press produced The Outsider magazine, historically significant because it was instrumental in exposing the work of Charles Bukowski, the "Nobel Laureate of Skid Row," a poet and author whose cultural impact has lasted long after his 1994 death.

    The Outsider also published notable Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The writers it printed were people who were writing about life on the street and the underclass at a time when such a thing was revolutionary. It was countercultural before that word became widely known.

    Gypsy Lou was known as a fierce, uncompromising character. A well-known French Quarter artist named Noel Rockmore called Lou was his muse. The story of Lou and The Outsider is told in the 2007 book The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Rock Stars of HorrorMusic Quiz

Rock Stars - especially those in the metal realm - are often enlisted for horror movies. See if you know can match the rocker to the role.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.