Allentown Jail

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"Allentown Jail"
Single by The Lettermen
B-side"Two Brothers"
Format7" single
Songwriter(s)Irving Gordon
The Lettermen singles chronology
"Heartache Oh Heartache"
"Allentown Jail"
"Where or When"

"Allentown Jail" is a folk-style song. Written by Irving Gordon, it tells the story of a man who is caught stealing a diamond for his girlfriend and ends up in the Allentown jail.

In 1951, Jo Stafford recorded this song. It was released as a single on Columbia Records.

In 1960, Kathy Linden recorded it as her first single on Monument Records.[1]

The song became popular in the folk scene. The Kingston Trio recorded a version in 1962 with plans of releasing it as a single, but the single never came to fruition. Their version has since been released on various CD compilations of their works.

In 1963, a more harmonic arrangement was performed by The Lettermen and released as a single. This version incurred some success, but only to a minor degree.

Other artists who recorded this song include The Seekers, The Springfields (folk group of which Dusty Springfield was a member), Billy Strange and British singers Lita Roza and Karen Young. There is also a French adaptation of the song, "Les prisons du roy", by Edith Piaf, which was later covered by Marianne Faithfull.


  1. ^ Kathy Linden, "Allentown Jail" single release Retrieved January 22, 2016.