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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Rivers on August 16, 2007, 04:03:07 AM

Title: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 16, 2007, 04:03:07 AM
Listening to my new JSP Lemon boxset, and apropo of adding another socio-historical context, I got to thinking about commercial brand names and products that appear in country blues.

Off the top of my head, early in the morning:

Brands mentioned:
Uneeda Biscuits - Lemon, Rabbit's Foot Blues
Coca Cola - Charlie Jordan, Keep It Clean
Chevrolet - Sam McGee, Chevrolet Car

Products mentioned without a brand:
Terraplane - Ford, Robert Johnson, Terraplane Blues
Canned Heat - Sterno, Tommy Johnson, Canned Heat Blues
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Norfolk Slim on August 16, 2007, 04:34:44 AM
John Hurt gave a massive plug to Maxwell house... ;)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 16, 2007, 07:34:16 AM
Jake alcohol refers to Ginger Jake, a fake pharmaceutical with poisonous solids added to mask the alcohol content. We had a thread about this way back.

Various references to "Elgin movement" refer to a popular watch brand.

That's all from my fuzzy, early morning head,  but I'm thinking Sleep John Estes may have had one or two and either Bo Carter or the Shieks may have had some.

All for now.
John C.

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 16, 2007, 07:39:01 AM
You could probably find a hundred references each for Colt and Ford.
 
Do railroad names count as brand names?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 16, 2007, 07:54:25 AM
Palmer's Skin Success in Ishmon Bracey's Saturday Blues.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Richard on August 16, 2007, 01:38:45 PM
This ones for Ari.... "Winter Green" a brand of chewing gum from Charlie Poole.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 16, 2007, 01:42:15 PM
- Buick and Chevrolet in Patton's 34 Blues.
- Levi Garrett chewing tobacco in Lemon's Dry Southern Blues.
- Cadillac and Ford in McTell's Mama Let Me Play with Yo' Yo-Yo

And while's it's more of a pun, there's Frank Stokes' Nehi Mamma Blues.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 18, 2007, 06:07:11 AM
My vote for the best brand name mention in a song goes to Waymon "Sloppy" Henry's "The Best Cheap Car In The Market Is A Ford".  He should have gotten a free car for that one!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Great Bear on August 18, 2007, 07:18:29 AM
In I Done Caught My Death of Cold, Bumble Bee Slim asks for "some R-Ninety-Nine or Three Sixes." In Paul Garon's What's The Use Of Walking If There's A Freight Train Going Your Way?, there's a reprinted ad for "666", which was a good for what ails you type medicine. I presume R-99 was a similar product.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Norfolk Slim on August 18, 2007, 08:10:13 AM
If we're doing Ford - Memphis Minnie's Me and My Chaufeur comes to mind "My V8 Ford"

And i cant believe Richard beat me to it with the Charley Poole! ;D
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 18, 2007, 10:11:41 AM
Sleepy John mentions BVDs in "Someday Baby" and sings about the Model T in "Poor Man's Friend."
Bo Carter sings about a Grafonola (Columbia's Victrola equivalent) in "Baby, How Can It Be?"
Lemon mentions the Super Six (which I believe was a Hudson) in "DB Blues." (What kind of a car is a DB anyway?)
Uncle Dave Macon recorded "On the Dixie Bee Line (In That Henry Ford of Mine)" and "The New Ford Car," and also mentions Fords in not such glowing terms in "Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel." In a couple of songs (one of them is "Come Along Buddie, Don't You Want to Go?") Uncle Dave mentions Budweiser.
Frank Hutchison recorded "Chevrolet Six."

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Richard on August 18, 2007, 11:08:03 AM
NS, hehe beat you to it eh  :D

While I'm here, I can't remember who (not a lot of help really  :-X ) but theres an obscure one by a blues lady who sings about a "Rolls Royal" referring to a Rolls Royce...  and Casey Bill mentions Victrola in... err.... umm

I'll think about them...  :-\

ps I know what BVD's are  but what does it stand for?

So does this help.............

The Rolls Royal I am pretty sure occurs in "I've got Ford engine movements in my hips" by Ms I-Still-Can't-Rememebr and it also has the line "your Packard and Stutz..."

Plus it's not Casey Bill who mentions Victorola I have feeling it's is Washboard Sam - I'll keep going on that one on principle!

Lastly another un-remembered (!) female one entitled (Stutz) Bearcat Crawl - I have feeling meade Lux Lewis did this as well ?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on August 18, 2007, 01:14:46 PM
RJ--"Good Gulf Gas"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: GhostRider on August 18, 2007, 04:48:58 PM
Howdy:

Joe Callicott mentions "like a 1930 Ford" in Travilin' Mama Blues.

Funny Papa Smith list a number of Coffee brands, "Folger, Maxwell, White Swan, Arbuckle"  in his Good Coffee Blues.

Alex
















Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 18, 2007, 05:21:35 PM
ps I know what BVD's are  but what does it stand for?

From the Fruit of the Loom website...
BVD, founded in 1876 by three gentlemen, Messrs. Bradley, Voorhees and Day, is one of the most famous and historically innovative brands in America.

Also, Blind Blake gives Maxwell House a plug on "West Coast Blues."
Chris
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Richard on August 19, 2007, 01:20:58 AM
BVD's.... thanks! 

And, I've corrected my earlier post below as well.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: outfidel on August 19, 2007, 05:01:52 AM
Stetson Hats (http://www.stetsonhat.com/history.htm) are mentioned in the various versions of "Stagger Lee", and Jimmie Rodgers asks for a John B Stetson hat in "Muleskinner Blues".
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: mississippijohnhurt1928 on August 19, 2007, 04:03:30 PM
"V-8 Ford Blues"- Cedar Creek Sheik
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: mississippijohnhurt1928 on August 19, 2007, 04:10:01 PM
And an interesting fact to mention would be the use of jug bands as advertisements for products:

The Old Grand-Dad Jug Band (whiskey)

The Schlitz Jug Band (beer)

Ballard Chefs Jug Band (Flour, among other products)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: frankie on August 19, 2007, 05:31:11 PM
I only found a small handful from the Mississippi Sheiks:

She Ain't No Good:
"The country girl get a chew of Brown?s Mule but she?s getting drunk just the same"

Please Don't Wake It Up:
"Get you a bar of P&G and take a bath tonight"

The New Sitting On Top Of The World
"My baby got movements like a old Cadillac eight"

Don't Wake It Up (essentially a remake of Please Don't Wake It Up)
"Get a bar of P&G and take a bath tonight"

Brown's Mule: chewing tobacco
P&G: Proctor & Gamble soap
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 19, 2007, 08:40:32 PM
Hi all,
Texas Alexander cites Battle Axe chewing tobacco in "Section Gang Blues".
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 21, 2007, 01:21:52 PM
Pet Cream, A product of the Helvetia Milk Condensing Company (from 1885) and later the PET Dairy Products Company (after 1929) is mentioned in numerous songs.  I just heard it in Walter Davis' "If You Only Understand".   
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 21, 2007, 03:48:39 PM
Hi all,
Buddy Moss, and later John Jackson, both mentioned Chesterfield cigarettes.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: onewent on August 21, 2007, 04:45:55 PM
Willie McTell in Scary Day Blues: '.. rides me like a Cadillac car'  ..great image
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 21, 2007, 05:33:36 PM
This thread has turned out to be much more interesting than I thought it would be...   :P

Here's a tabulated list to date, please post more as you stumble across them.
 
I'm thinking it might be fun to show period logos etc so please feel free to attach any old logos or ads you can find.

?? means more research needed (hint hint).

[edit: list updated and moved to end of thread]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: frankie on August 21, 2007, 07:01:48 PM
The Charlie Poole song is "Sweet Sixteen"

Blind Willie McTell - Warm It Up To Me:
Strut in a Cadillac, [sew] in a Ford,
do a little strutting on the running board
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 21, 2007, 07:40:34 PM
The Packard gets a mention in Lemon's "DB Blues." Does anyone know what kind of car? that is?
Chris
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 21, 2007, 08:00:07 PM
Nehi (pronounced knee-high) was a brand of sodas, which according to Wikipedia changed its name to Royal Crown in 1955 after its RC Cola brand. Some may remember Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H* being fond of Grape Nehi.

A quote from Wikipedia: "In the early 20th century, the advertising logo of Nehi was a picture of a seated woman's legs, in which the skirt was high enough to show the stockings up to the knee, suggesting the phrase "knee-high"."  Which is what Frank Stokes was playing with...

"Chesterfield" was the name of the song John Jackson played about the cigarettes, which was a cover of the Buddy Moss tune of the same name, I believe (Buddy played it, anyway).

BTW, what's "bathtub!" ??
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 21, 2007, 08:06:32 PM
Doesn't Pink Anderson use "Grafonola" in Ain't Nobody Home But Me? I'll have to check...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on August 21, 2007, 10:59:20 PM
"Good Gulf Gas," along with "V-8 Ford" are in RJ's "They're Red Hot."

http://www.deltahaze.com/johnson/lyrics.html

I remember drinking Nehi soda when I was a kid. RC might have changed the cola name to Royal Crown Cola in 1955, but I think that they might also have continued to market other flavors under the Nehi label, probably owing to brand name identification, loyalty, less confusion, etc. Anybody else who grew up in the U.S. during the 50s/60s have any recollections?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 22, 2007, 12:03:08 AM
Mention of Packard, reminds me that the following not yet mentoned. Maybe because it's so obvious!

RJ - Terraplane Blues - 1930s car manufactured by Hudson Motor Co. Johnny Shines reworked the song in 1965 updating the vehicle to a Dynaflow.

Rather more obscure, Washboard Sam's 1941 Let Me Play Your Vendor has the following reference to a 1930s jukebox manufacturer ( J.P. Seeburg) who by then had all but lost out to Rock-Ola.

Now let me play your Seeburg,
yes mama one more time.
Just let me play your vendor,
your music sure sounds good to me.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 22, 2007, 02:05:03 AM
I can hear in my head a verse concerning Seagram's Seven Crown Blended Whiskey which I thought was by Black Ace but can't locate. Goes something like:

You spent all your money on Seagram Seven Crown
If you ever get sober you'll find the deal's gone down

And whilst on the subject of booze how about Tampa Red's Good Gordon Gin?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 22, 2007, 03:32:32 AM
I could swear we had a discussion about a brand of razor about two years ago while puzzling out some lyrics, but I just can's find the reference in the Forum. 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 22, 2007, 04:27:55 AM
Thanks for the updates and new entries. Will update my spreadsheet periodically and repost. Terraplane was a Hudson eh, I always thought it was Ford, so there you go.

'bathtub' is an oblique reference to what sometimes goes by the name of 'bathtub gin', basically a prohibition era homegrown manufacturing vessel for various high octane concoctions. Since there was no legal entity knocking the stuff out I thought 'bathtub' was a good a brand name.

I dunno about Lemon's song (will listen later) but Lester Young's D.B. Blues was a reference to a spell in detention barracks while in the army. This may not be relevant.

PS if you know the song's date of recording please post it since I've got a few other columns germane to the context that I'm keeping going in the s/sheet.

[edit: moved the list to the latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on August 22, 2007, 08:37:07 AM
I could swear we had a discussion about a brand of razor about two years ago while puzzling out some lyrics, but I just can's find the reference in the Forum. 

As I recall, there was a discussion on the pre-war blues forum a while ago, but I can't recall the specifics--brand of razor. It began as a question about the lyrics (which were unclear) of a song preformed by one of the early female singers. It was finally determined that it was the reference to a brand of straight-razor that was manufactured until the early years of the 20th century. I didn't save any of the posts. I believe that Elijah initiated the discussion. Anyone remember the singer and the brand?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 22, 2007, 08:50:56 AM
It was a Wade and Butcher straight razor, mentioned in Bessie Smith's Hateful Blues (and Bahamian Blind Blake's "Jones (Oh Jones)"). Misheard as "weddin' butcher", a scary sounding implement.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 22, 2007, 09:05:57 AM
Yeah, I seem to remember Nehi sodas possibly into the early '60s. Definitely remember getting them from those Coca Cola coolers where you put a coin (a dime? maybe a quarter later) in a money box on the side, then grasped the bottle by the top, slid it along between metal bars and pulled it up at the end where there was a roller gate that would open once. Sometimes it was really tough for a little kid to pull up thru those stiff rollers. If you dropped it after pulling most of the way you'd have to beg the store clerk to get it for you. I remeber Nehi had grape, orange and, maybe, lime in those years.

I would have only been 4 in '55 so I don't think I would have such good memories of Nehi if it had been discontinued then.

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 22, 2007, 09:50:00 AM
How about Gattling Gun or Smith & Wesson? Do they count?  Several blues reference the former (RJ for one) and I'm sure I can hear Leroy Carr sing about the latter. Yes? No? MTJ3?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 22, 2007, 10:14:17 AM
Hi all,
Smoky Babe touted Conoco, the gasoline offered by his employer, Mr. Dumesne, at 1668 Banks Road, in his song "Hottest Brand Goin'", recorded by Dr. Harry Oster in 1961.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 22, 2007, 11:22:22 AM
Speaking of razors, doesn't Blind Willie McTell mention a brand of razor in A to Z Blues?
Chris
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 22, 2007, 11:45:11 AM
A quick listen to McTell and he seems to sing "rusty black-handled razor" in both versions.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on August 22, 2007, 11:56:28 AM
Yeah, I seem to remember Nehi sodas possibly into the early '60s...

Thanks, John C. The market a few blocks from where I grew up in Point Pleasant, NJ had the same kind of Coke cooler--I was thinking about it last night when I wrote the post. Us kids would go over there on a hot summer afternoon. I have you by a year, so the time frame seems about right.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 22, 2007, 04:05:27 PM
Solved the DB Blues mystery after transcribing the lyrics which I'll post in the lyrics section. It's Dodge Brothers. See:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/VINTAGE-DB-DODGE-BROTHERS-GREASE-AXLE-DUST-CAP-7_W0QQitemZ200142309746QQihZ010QQcategoryZ140745QQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 22, 2007, 04:23:32 PM
Hi all,
In "Deceitful Blues", from 1935, Texas Alexander mentions a Lincoln and a Cadillac 8.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 22, 2007, 04:53:14 PM
I dunno about guns or railroads, there are so many refs... if you post them give me the brand, product, artist and song otherwise I'll be up to my ass in Google. Here's the updated list: [moved to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 22, 2007, 05:17:01 PM
I think the Nehi in "Nehi Mama Blues" was a woman who wore her dresses "knee high", as was the scandalous fashion after World War I.  I have no idea how this relates to the soft drink.  Pun, maybe?

Teddy Darby mentions Cadillac in "Don't Like The Way You Do", which Johnm transcribed in the Lyrics forum.
 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 22, 2007, 11:39:25 PM
I think the Nehi in "Nehi Mama Blues" was a woman who wore her dresses "knee high", as was the scandalous fashion after World War I.  I have no idea how this relates to the soft drink.  Pun, maybe?
In the early 70s Mike Rowe sent Blues Unlimited an advert for the product from a 1930s Chicago Defender. The label depicted a young woman wearing a "knee high".
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 23, 2007, 12:18:32 AM
A quick listen to McTell and he seems to sing "rusty black-handled razor" in both versions.

Ach so. Thanks for checking.
Chris
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 23, 2007, 12:20:10 AM
Also, I just remembered. How could we forget the Nugrape Twins, whose very existence was a commercial?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 23, 2007, 05:03:20 AM
I slotted in the 'brand bands', found another Cedar Creek Sheik Ford ref, Teddy Darby.

[edit: moved table to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 23, 2007, 05:22:44 AM
I'm surprised there aren't more Sleepy John Estes tunes containing commercial junk, him being such a documenter of everyday life.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 23, 2007, 06:52:59 AM
I think the Nehi in "Nehi Mama Blues" was a woman who wore her dresses "knee high", as was the scandalous fashion after World War I.  I have no idea how this relates to the soft drink.  Pun, maybe?

Hi dj - Yes, a pun, used in fact by the company themselves, as can be seen in this billboard advertisement attached (the artwork for which I have as a fridge magnet discovered in some tourist trap). Perhaps the same ad to which Bunker refers.

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 23, 2007, 09:51:22 AM
I think the Nehi in "Nehi Mama Blues" was a woman who wore her dresses "knee high", as was the scandalous fashion after World War I.  I have no idea how this relates to the soft drink.  Pun, maybe?
Hi dj - Yes, a pun, used in fact by the company themselves, as can be seen in this billboard advertisement attached (the artwork for which I have as a fridge magnet discovered in some tourist trap). Perhaps the same ad to which Bunker refers.
Yep, that's the advert. My memory placed the skirt/legs on the label...wishful thinking, maybe!  ::)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 23, 2007, 11:07:50 AM
Hi all,
In "Machine Gun Blues", from 1941, Willie Blackwell refers to a "Johnson machine gun".  He may have it wrong, and mean a Thompson machine gun; I've never heard of a Johnson machine gun, but that doesn't prove anything, necessarily.  Likewise, in "Chalk My Toy", from the same session, he refers to "Bulldog special shoes", which I believe may still be manufactured.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 23, 2007, 11:22:22 AM
In "Machine Gun Blues", from 1941, Willie Blackwell refers to a "Johnson machine gun".  He may have it wrong, and mean a Thompson machine gun; I've never heard of a Johnson machine gun, but that doesn't prove anything, necessarily. 
I'm fairly sure there was such a comapny and weapon during the 30s John. 20 years ago it was brought up in a review of the compilation which first included that particular song. The reference Blackwell makes to "snapping my typewriter in your face" I think alluded to the fact that the company also manufactured typewriters. I'm sure somebody more clued up than I in such matters can put us straight.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 23, 2007, 11:28:00 AM
Hi all,
This may be a different topic or a sub-heading of this one, but it occurred to me that in some Blues lyrics, the commercial establishments of friends/employers of the singer are touted.  Examples include:
   *  The Conoco station operated by Mr. Ed Dumaine (sp?) where Smoky Babe worked in "Hottest Brand Goin'"
   *  C.H. Hayes, the undertaker mentioned by Willie Blackwell in "Machine Gun Blues"
   *  Vassar Williams' auto repair shop in Durhamville, Tennessee, mentioned by Sleepy John Estes in "Brownsville Blues"
   *  The Union Stockyards, owned by "Mr. Owens", where auctions are conducted by "Mr. Kelly"  , mentioned in Robert Wilkins in "New Stockyard Blues"
I particularly like these mentions when you feel like the singer was trying to drum up business to help out a friend.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on August 23, 2007, 11:30:45 AM
Thanks for the tip on the Johnson machine gun, Bunker Hill.  I should have kept my mouth shut, because what I don't know about guns is . . . everything!
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 23, 2007, 11:40:06 AM
Thanks for the tip on the Johnson machine gun, Bunker Hill.  I should have kept my mouth shut, because what I don't know about guns is . . . everything!
John, each to his own. Why do you think I keep my mouth firmly shut on all topic musicological?  As a Shakespearian character once uttered, "It's all Greek to me".  ;D
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on August 23, 2007, 12:05:07 PM
Expanding a bit--a specific person practicing a profession, such as Sleepy John Estes' "Lawyer Clark Blues."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: banjochris on August 23, 2007, 01:55:00 PM
Sleepy John mentions "D-Con" insecticide in his first postwar recording of "Rats in My Kitchen."
Chris
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 23, 2007, 02:12:19 PM
In "Machine Gun Blues", from 1941, Willie Blackwell refers to a "Johnson machine gun".  He may have it wrong, and mean a Thompson machine gun; I've never heard of a Johnson machine gun, but that doesn't prove anything, necessarily.
I'm fairly sure there was such a comapny and weapon during the 30s John. 20 years ago it was brought up in a review of the compilation which first included that particular song. The reference Blackwell makes to "snapping my typewriter in your face" I think alluded to the fact that the company also manufactured typewriters. I'm sure somebody more clued up than I in such matters can put us straight.

I noted awhile back in the Willie Blackwell lyrics thread (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=114&topic=3434.msg26126#msg26126) that "typewriter" was actually slang for machine gun, as in "Chicago typewriter" (Chicago referring not to a brand but to the city, where some of the inhabitants were fond of such weaponry at the time).

Edit: and Googling after the fact, it turns out there was indeed a real Chicago typewriter, but the slang term for machine gun still stands. The kind of thing one could imagine Jimmie Cagney saying...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 24, 2007, 03:01:06 AM
I noted awhile back in the Willie Blackwell lyrics thread (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=114&topic=3434.msg26126#msg26126) that "typewriter" was actually slang for machine gun, as in "Chicago typewriter" (Chicago referring not to a brand but to the city, where some of the inhabitants were fond of such weaponry at the time).
Apologies UB, I obviously hadn't, if at all, been following the latter stages of that thread. There's just so much at Weenie to digest my pea-size brain can't cope.  :(
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 24, 2007, 03:52:50 AM
Brought up to date, I slotted the individual businesses & names into the same format, I agree John those are particularly interesting. Added D-Con, Johnson, Bulldog.

[edit: moved table to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rambler on August 24, 2007, 05:26:43 AM
Uneeda Biscuits, Blind Lemon in Rabbit's Foot Blues.  JK 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 24, 2007, 07:32:19 AM
Heh, heh. Nice one, JK. Riv forgot to include the first item in his first post, which is his avatar.

Riv, Ginger Jake was not a bath tub concoction but was produced "legally" in a factory. I don't know of any instances, off hand, in which it was mentioned by name tho'. In most instances I can think of it was referred to as "Jake", or "Jake Alcohol" (TJ's Canned Heat Blues and Jake and Alcohol Blues and Bracey's Jake Liquor Blues) or by the symptoms of the poisonous effects, "Jake Leg" as in many Jake Leg Blues (Mississippi Shieks and Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton).

Here's a link to the Jake Leg thread (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=114&topic=140.0) from a few years back which was inspired by a New Yorker article (which I no longer have). As I recall there was an entire CD produced containing songs that mentioned Jake Leg in one way or another. A search at Document turned up a few more similarly titled songs but I don't have time to research them at present.

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.Natural on August 24, 2007, 08:11:18 AM
John,
This is an intesting article on Jake Leg paralysis:http://www.fohbc.com/PDF_Files/JakeWalkStory_CMunsey.pdf (http://www.fohbc.com/PDF_Files/JakeWalkStory_CMunsey.pdf).
As you wrote, an interresting compilation exists, called Jake Leg Blues (Narmour & Smith, Willie Lofton, Ishman Bracey, Tommy Johnson).
Ed
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 24, 2007, 03:47:13 PM
Read my first post again boys! It's in the table, brand is NBC (National Biscuit Co, later Nabisco)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 24, 2007, 09:41:22 PM
Does Lemon actually mention Nabisco?! Heh, heh, I'm gonna have to dig it up.

Anyway, I know it's hard to figure out what to alphabetize by, but it might be better to have the actual word(s) from the song as the first column?

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 25, 2007, 04:56:40 AM
No he doesn't mention the brand. Since Uneeda was a National Bisuits Co brand it's there by implication only.

Alphabetizing by the actual line wouldn't group by brand, although it would be nice to include for interest's sake. I mean you'd get a lot of "I got me a..." "I had me some..."s grouped together. My original intention, among others, was to get a picture of what brands and products were at the forefront of people's consciousness back then.

Re. Jake, thanks Wax, I found a list at http://www.ibiblio.org/moonshine/drink/jakesongs.html and have added them to the table. It's missing Canned Heat Blues. The Jakes songs are grouped under brand 'Various' since google reveals that was the case, including one recipe I found from 1909 that shows a Sears & Roebuck brand.  :o

Also am now spitting out the year column after looking 'em up in D&G. Chris, do you have dates for those Uncle Dave Macon tunes?

Added another Buddy Moss Ford V8 (great song title btw), another Terraplane...

[edit: moved table to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 25, 2007, 07:33:31 AM
Old Jim Canaan's, Wilkins 1934
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 25, 2007, 07:51:47 AM
Sounds like good reasoning to me, Riv. Good work on all the research, too.

As to Jake in Canned Heat, I think the 4th verse is

Lord, Lord I wonder, Canned Heat's killin' me
Jake alcohol has ruined me, churnin' 'bout my soul
'Cause brownskin women don't do that easy roll

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 25, 2007, 08:43:45 AM
Please do post the actual lyrics, I've added another column.

The Victrola ref was Bill 'Jazz' Gillum, Washboard Sam and Broonzy were in the band, song was Gillum's Windy Blues, 1938

[edit: from the Peg Leg Howell lyric thread added 2 Elgins & 2 daily newspapers, Lemon's Elgin lyric]

[edit: moved list to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 26, 2007, 10:20:20 AM
Re. Jake references. I just came across one while listening to Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band and their version of He's In the Jailhouse, which is done as "She's In the Graveyard Now."

We were drinkin' every minute/I thought I was in it/I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the pound
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on August 26, 2007, 10:43:42 AM
And another Canned Heat reference in Arthur Pettis' Good Boy Blues:

First verse: Canned Heat ain't no good, boy, leave you with a fly away mind (2X)

Second verse: You don't want no more Canned Heat when the judge give you your time

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 26, 2007, 11:23:53 AM
Re. Jake references. I just came across one while listening to Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band and their version of He's In the Jailhouse, which is done as "She's In the Graveyard Now."

We were drinkin' every minute/I thought I was in it/I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the pound
Probably inspired by Whistler's Jug Band's 1924 recording which has a similar reference:

We were strikin' every minute/I made sure I was in it/I was buying Jamaica Gin just by the gallon/But when I went to pay that man/I found that poor gal's hand etc etc

Jamaica rum I've sampled, but gin is there such?

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 26, 2007, 11:32:40 AM
Re. Jake references. I just came across one while listening to Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band and their version of He's In the Jailhouse, which is done as "She's In the Graveyard Now."

We were drinkin' every minute/I thought I was in it/I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the pound
Probably inspired by Whistler's Jug Band's 1924 recording which has a similar reference:

We were strikin' every minute/I made sure I was in it/I was buying Jamaica Gin just by the gallon/But when I went to pay that man/I found that poor gal's hand etc etc

Jamaica rum I've sampled, but gin is there such?

I think it would rightly be Jamaica Ginger, not gin (though Whistler's JB may have sung it or pronounced it as such), no?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaican_ginger

Though they'd be better off with the gin. :P

Never heard of Jamaican gin.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 26, 2007, 11:42:01 AM
Never heard of Jamaican gin.
Me neither. I've only have this on an EP using a pretty ropey 78 for its source. The trouble is the more I listen, the more I'm hearing what I want to hear, namely a garbled "ging". It must be on a Document somewhere...oh come back Weenie Juke all is forgiven.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 26, 2007, 12:29:37 PM
Quote
It must be on a Document somewhere...

Document's Jazz Perspectives series, JPCD 1501-2, Clifford Hayes and the Louisville Jug Bands, Volume 1.  It's not the highest fidelity recording, is it?  But I think a reading of "I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the gallon" fits what's being sung.     
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 26, 2007, 01:43:33 PM
Wiki says:
"Bathtub gin refers to any style of homemade spirit made in amateur conditions. It first appeared in the prohibition-era United States in reference to the poor-quality alcohol that was being made."

So probably 'gin' was appended to various types of concoctions. Jamaica 'gin' would just be another name for Jake. edit: spoke too soon, see UB's post below! Corrected the lyric.

[edit: moved table to latest post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 26, 2007, 07:40:24 PM
OK, so I went and dug out the Document JPCD 1501-2, Clifford Hayes and the Louisville Jug Bands, Volume 1, that dj refers to. While "Jail House Blues" is definitely a lo-fi recording (hey, it's 1924), it is pretty clear to me that Buford Threlkeld is singing the line as dj has it:

I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the gallon

He pauses slightly as he sings it: Ginn-ger.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 27, 2007, 04:01:25 AM
Was that Whistler or LJB? I'm confused, who sang 'by the pound', if anyone? Can someone post the two lyrics, I don't have either tune.

Whistler's 'Strikin' should be 'drinkin', n'est pas?

On a side note googling the brands and products discussed brings up this thread at or near the top of Google's search results.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 27, 2007, 04:35:39 AM
Quote
Was that Whistler or LJB? I'm confused, who sang 'by the pound

Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band is "by the pound", Whistler is "by the gallon".

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on August 27, 2007, 05:24:27 AM
From Bunker Hill much earlier in the thread:

Quote
I can hear in my head a verse concerning Seagram's Seven Crown Blended Whiskey which I thought was by Black Ace but can't locate. Goes something like:

You spent all your money on Seagram Seven Crown
If you ever get sober you'll find the deal's gone down

Good memory!  The song is "Drink On Little Girl", recorded September 10, 1960.  The exact lyric is:

You spends all your money on Seagram's Seven Crown
If you ever get sober mama,  you'll find that the deal's gone down

The company name at the time was The Seagram Company Ltd., based in Montreal.

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on August 27, 2007, 08:08:19 AM
Was that Whistler or LJB? I'm confused, who sang 'by the pound', if anyone? Can someone post the two lyrics, I don't have either tune.

Whistler's 'Strikin' should be 'drinkin', n'est pas?

On a side note googling the brands and products discussed brings up this thread at or near the top of Google's search results.

Yes, Whistler should be "drinking". Here are the lines in Whistler's Jug Band "Jail House Blues":

Well, we was drinking every minute, I made sure I was in it
I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the gallon

And here's Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band's "She's In the Graveyard Now":

We were drinking every minute, I thought I was in it
I was buying Jamaica Ginger by the pound

And here's the audio file examples for both of them, since this has become complicated and folks may want to know what we're talking about.



[attachment deleted by admin]

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 27, 2007, 03:32:35 PM
Thanks for clearing that up. Also updated Black Ace.

edit: Moved the updated list to the joola content manager database. To access it you can click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=120) or use the 'Miscellania' menu item on the left.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 31, 2007, 02:20:17 PM
How did we miss this one:

Barlow, knife, Bessie Smith, Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair, "I cut him with my Barlow, I kicked him in the side, I stood there laughing over him, while he wallowed 'round and died"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Slack on August 31, 2007, 02:21:45 PM
Good quote too...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 24, 2007, 07:07:42 PM
Thanks Slack for posting the Juke list. Found a few more old Fords in there.

Quiz time... There are a few titles that could be products and brands.
Anyone know to what Lonnie Johnson is referring in '6/88 Glide'?
How about A & B Blues, Boy Green?
A & V Blues, Mississippi Matilda... probably a railroad but maybe not.

While I'm at it, who knows what a C.C. Pill is?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 24, 2007, 07:11:15 PM
I'd post the updated table but it's blown out the 15,000 character limit for a post. Slack, is that something we can control easily?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Slack on September 24, 2007, 10:19:31 PM
I'd post the updated table but it's blown out the 15,000 character limit for a post. Slack, is that something we can control easily?

It is - but maybe it would make more sense to post the table as an attached file...??
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on September 24, 2007, 11:22:47 PM
While I'm at it, who knows what a C.C. Pill is?
From memory of an ancient Paul Oliver explanation, Compound Cathartic.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on September 25, 2007, 05:03:57 AM
Anyone know to what Lonnie Johnson is referring in '6/88 Glide'?

Other than 6 guitar strings and 88 piano keys?  Nope.  I think that's all it is, but I could of course be wrong.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on September 25, 2007, 10:47:43 AM
A & V Blues, Mississippi Matilda... probably a railroad but maybe not.
Little Brother Montgomery recorded A(labama) & V(icksburg) Railroad Blues in 1936.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on September 25, 2007, 10:59:28 AM
How about A & B Blues, Boy Green?
When this was first issued on LP in 1976 a reviewer pointed out that this was probably a mishearing by whoever logged the song since what Green sings is actually AB blues and speculated that in light of the lyric might be a girl's initials. I'll give it a listen later.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on September 25, 2007, 11:18:39 AM
Anyone know to what Lonnie Johnson is referring in '6/88 Glide'?

Other than 6 guitar strings and 88 piano keys?  Nope.  I think that's all it is, but I could of course be wrong.
Yep. Here's what Dick Spottswood says about this unissued acetate in the booklet to volume 14 of the LoC Bicentennial series, Folk Music In America:

"6/88 Glide" was simply tossed off in the middle of a two-day session in which Johnson and his pianist were backing St. Louis singer Victoria Spivey. Its existence was not known until recently, when it was discovered that metal parts for the matrix adjoining the Spivey session still existed, and a special pressing was made for audition. The title appears on the extreme edge of the master disc itself.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 08, 2007, 06:23:27 PM
Collected a couple more today.

Cadillac, 8, Speckled Red, Dirty Dozen, Yonder go your mama goin' across the field // running and a shakin' like an automobile // I hollered at your mama and I told her to wait // she slipped away from me like a Cadillac 8

And surprisingly, the first guitar brand reference:

Gibson, guitar, Roy Harvey, Lonesome Weary Blues, (spoken intro) Boys, when I'm blue and downhearted, I just reach and get my old Gibson guitar and play the weary, lonesome blues
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: GhostRider on October 09, 2007, 06:50:58 AM
Felicitations:

Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe perform "North Memphis Blues" as basically a singing commercial for the North Memphis Cafe. They use the name of the place at least 10X in the piece.

Alex
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 10, 2007, 07:16:56 AM
Cadillac, Buick, Ford, Blind Willie McTell, Kill It Kid, 1949, You know papa gotta Cadillac, mama got a Buick, sister got mad because she couldn't do it // She want to kick it in a Cadillac, then in a Ford, tail jivin' on the running board

It also struck me that Lemon is likely to be singing about not just any old 'morning news' in One Dime, since the Dallas Morning News has been around since 1885:

Dallas Morning News, newspaper, Blind Lemon Jefferson, One Dime Blues, 1927, I bought that Morning News, Lord // Then I bought a cigar too
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 10, 2007, 12:55:48 PM
We've moved the full up-to-date list to the joomla content manager database and will continue to maintain it from there. To access it you can click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=120) or click on the new menu item on the left, 'Miscellania'. Thanks to all for posting, keep 'em coming, somebody apart from us might be desperate to know this stuff!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 13, 2007, 09:40:10 AM
Cadillac   Eight   Jimmie Rodgers   Jimmie The Kid   1931   On the Lehigh Valley he yodeled a while, then he went to the Nickel Plate // From the old Lake Shore and the Erie line he yodels to a Cadillac 8

Added four from Sonny Boy Williamson; Ford V-8's, Frigidaire, Western Union

Filled in some more lyrics.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on October 14, 2007, 08:10:31 AM
This ones for Ari.... "Winter Green" a brand of chewing gum from Charlie Poole.

I'm thinking "Wintergreen" here refers to chewing tobacco, probably from Beechnut.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 14, 2007, 05:37:28 PM
Added Old Taylor / Memphis Slim from the 'name that...' thread, apologies I missed that the first time around.

Researching Wintergreen: gum or mentholated chewing tobacco? Certainly there was chewing gum in them days, and Wintergreen was a brand. Question is was there also a tobacco product, and do the full lyrics shed any light.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Slack on October 14, 2007, 06:04:04 PM
I thought chewing tobacco also - I tried to google the history of beechnut, came up empty, but I'm certain they were in business at he time.  I don't have the song handy but the lyrics you posted '...she chewed and chawed.."  A plug of tobacco is also known as a "chaw".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaw#Chewing_tobacco
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 14, 2007, 08:07:21 PM
Yeah, I reckon chewing tobacco is more likely given the context. Will amend in the next update. Got tons of search hits on wintergreen chewing tobacco.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on October 30, 2007, 08:09:04 AM
I've been updating the Brands & Products table with old logos etc, check it out... click on 'Bed Slats & All' in the left menu, or click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=120)

BTW I found a nice page full of Jamaica Ginger (Jake) bottles:

http://www.cocktaildb.com/ingr_gallery?id=87
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 04, 2007, 01:00:50 PM
Added some more today, total 131 entries.

More BVDs - Lemon - Pneumonia Blues
Another Gordons Gin - Broonzy - I Feel So Good
Another Cadillac - Lonnie Johnson - Chicago Blues
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (!) - SBW - Win The War Blues

Click on 'Bed Slats & All' in the left menu, or click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=120)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 05, 2007, 04:46:59 PM
This one's been buggin' me, finally figured it out where the other (four so far) reference to Elgin appears.

Elgin, watch, Blind Blake, Panther Squall Blues, 1928, She got Elgin movements, that's twenty years guaranteed // I bet my last dollar she done put them jinx on me
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on November 07, 2007, 07:39:14 PM
Packard, automobile, Big Bill Broonzy, State Street Woman, 1930
Studebaker, automobile, Big Bill Broonzy, State Street Woman, 1930

She got ways like a Studebaker, starts off like a Packard Straight-8 // when she starts off with me she never breaks her gait.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on November 07, 2007, 09:53:23 PM
Interstate Grocer Co, King Biscuit Flour, Big Joe Williams, King Biscuit Stomp, 1947, I got the best King Biscuit, boys, I'll sell it guaranteed // If it don't do what I say, send it back to Helena, Arkansas, to me

Pretty sure this is a poke at Rice Miller for stealing Sonny Boy's name.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 08, 2007, 04:53:46 AM
Way cool, thanks Bob. The oblique ref to SBW II belongs in both this list and the Names one as well.

[edit: maybe not a dig at Rice, King Biscuit Time was broadcast by KFFA Helena]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 08, 2007, 10:36:57 AM
Interstate Grocer Co, King Biscuit Flour, Big Joe Williams, King Biscuit Stomp, 1947, I got the best King Biscuit, boys, I'll sell it guaranteed // If it don't do what I say, send it back to Helena, Arkansas, to me

Pretty sure this is a poke at Rice Miller for stealing Sonny Boy's name.
That's about the long and short of it. FWIW here's what Jim O'Neal had to say in his exhaustive notes to the 1982 double LP Okeh Chicago Blues:

King Biscuit Stomp has an interesting history, as it was the theme song of hamonica virtuoso Rice Miller who appropraited the name Sonny Boy Williamson for his 1940s King Biscuit Time radio broadcasts in Helena, Arkansas. John Lee Williamson, the original Sonny Boy, tried unsuccessfully to stop Miller from using his name, so Big Joe decided to help his friend even the score and educate the public at the same time. "Real Sonny Boy was on there with me" Joe emphasizes. "Well, sure I stole it from Rice Miller because I wanted people to know he wasn't the real Sonny Boy. That's why I knew to steal that song and make it. For sure. So Rice Miller didn't never get a chance to make it. Yeah I stole it. That was the way I did it for the public". This session was probably the last ever to feature Sonny Boy who was murdered six months later. But Big Joe Williams carried on, and he remains one of the irrepressible greats of country blues today.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on November 08, 2007, 10:54:52 AM
To completely sidetrack the discussion...  Rice Miller/Sonny Boy II reworked the song as "Good Evening Everybody" at his first Chess session in August 1955.  I'm not at home so can't check, but I don't think it was issued at the time.  And he recorded "King Biscuit Theme" for Arhoolie in May 1965.  It was part of a recording of one of Sonny Boy's final radio shows. 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 08, 2007, 11:01:13 AM
To completely sidetrack the discussion...  Rice Miller/Sonny Boy II reworked the song as "Good Evening Everybody" at his first Chess session in August 1955.  I'm not at home so can't check, but I don't think it was issued at the time. 
No it wasn't and didn't see the light of day until the mid-70s when Pete Welding included it on the SBW compilation "One Way Out" (CHV 417).
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 08, 2007, 04:28:51 PM
Well there you go, if Big Joe said it was about Rice then it was about Rice and I will add it to the 'Name that...' list.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2007, 05:01:12 PM
I'm having serious doubts about this one attributed to Pegleg Howell, tune is Papa Stobb:

"I've got the Atlanta Journal, talk about the Mobile Flag"

Google all you like, if you can find one reference to a newspaper called "The Mobile Flag" I'll eat my hat.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on November 15, 2007, 09:33:30 PM
Hi Rivers:

You might try searching OCLC if it is available the next time that you get to the library. Another possibility is that "Mobile Flag" is a variation. Assuming that it's Mobile, Alabama, ask the librarian. They love a challenge.

http://www.mplonline.org/ask.htm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on November 16, 2007, 03:30:12 AM
I googled Mobile Alabama Flagstaff and/or Banner looking for variations. No luck.

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on November 16, 2007, 04:46:47 AM
I searched the online catalog of newspaper archives, both bound and on microfiche/microflm, at the Alabama State Archives.  No Mobile Flag. 

I've often wondered about that line.  Could Howell be singing "Mobile rag", as in a slang term for a newspaper?

 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 16, 2007, 05:03:27 AM
Thanks guys. Howell almost certainly sings "Mobile Flag", the recording's pretty clear at that point. But as you confirm there is no evidence that paper ever existed. Very intriguing.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Prof Scratchy on November 16, 2007, 09:20:29 AM
Here's a question I've been meaning to ask (it may have been asked elsewhere but, if so, I missed it....): when singers mentioned product names, do you think they ever got an additional advertisement fee from the product proprietor? For example, I don't imagine Blind Blake's reference to Maxwell House coffee was anything other than a topical reference to an existing and popular ad campaign. But what about when the blues song wasthe ad? As in North Memphis Cafe for example - do you think Memphis Minnie got at least a couple of free burgers out of it? Or perhaps even a supplementary paycheck. Other songs that are the ad are New Union Stockyard Blues (did Mr Owens donate a mule?) and Best Brand Goin' (lots of money in the oil industry, surely)? Just wondering...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 17, 2007, 10:12:57 AM
Good question Prof. Hopefully someone knows something.

I've filled in more lyrics, added Will Batts' Cadillac Baby, and picked up a couple I missed first time by rereading this thread from top to bottom. Click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=122) to see the full list, with improved graphics.

Hey Andrew were you able to confirm the Grafonola in Pink Anderson's Ain't Nobody Home But Me? I don't have the recording.

BanjoChris, can you make out the last line in Estes' Rats In My Kitchen that mentions D-Con? I hear

I'm gonna call up 42 squad cars, for protect me in my home // .... You know the rats (throwin' my groce'??), hooo (something something???) my D-Con

Wait a minute, that's the Sun Records Rats In My Kitchen. On the Testament disc Goin' To Brownsville it's called 61 and 62 Rats and the lyic is clear, but different:

I'm gonna call up my next door neighbor get him to protect me in my home // You know them rats done eat up all my groceries, boy they're goin' to work on my D-Con

I think I answered my own question.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 17, 2007, 11:49:16 AM
Veering into post war Chicago - Pet Evaporated Milk:

J.B. Hutto Pet Cream Man    Chance 1160  Jan-Feb 1954
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Prof Scratchy on November 18, 2007, 03:46:36 AM
That list is a fine piece of work, Rivers. A couple you may have missed...BVDs in Buddy Boy Hawkins' How Come You Do Me; and didn't Robert Johnson have Elgin movements in his Walkin' Blues? Or did I hear that in somebody else's vesion???
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 18, 2007, 08:49:21 AM
Thanks Prof, props to all contributors.

More BVDs, excellent, that's #4. I don't have a copy of that Buddy Boy Hawkins song, according to B&GR its title would be How Come Mama. Could someone with the record please post the lyric.

The RJ Elgin line in Walkin' Blues (how did we miss that one?) is the fifth reference to the watch company.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on November 18, 2007, 10:14:26 AM
More BVDs, excellent, that's #4. I don't have a copy of that Buddy Boy Hawkins song, according to B&GR its title would be How Come Mama. Could someone with the record please post the lyric.

Buddy Boy Hawkins
How Come Mama Blues

Now if you try to give your womens everything they need
you have to make the winter in your BVDs

There might be a syllable or two more in the second line, but I think that's pretty much it.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on November 18, 2007, 10:29:07 AM
King Solomon Hill
Dead Gone Train (1932)

He said if you go to the Western Union, you might get a chair
(spoken: I didn't know the Western Union run no trains)
Said if you go to the Western Union, you might get a chair
You might could watch as some of your people, and your fireman be standing right there
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 18, 2007, 11:06:41 AM
And speaking of Western Union better fill in at least one of the verses to the 1941 SBW song already listed, how about the first?

Western Union Man, please stop by my house today (x2)
I'm expecting a call from Miss Lacey, I got to hear from her right away
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 18, 2007, 11:40:27 AM
Wow, thanks, that was quick, and good work on Western Union and King Solomon Hill, B&GR has is the title as The Gone Dead Train. List is up to date with 141 entries. Click here (http://weeniecampbell.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=122) to see the full list.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bricktown Bob on November 18, 2007, 03:12:50 PM
B&GR has is the title as The Gone Dead Train.

And so it is, on the label and everything (reproduced in Chasin' That Devil Music).  Thanks.  In my (lame) defense, the CD companion to Chasin' That Devil Music, which is where I first acquired the song, lists it as "The Dead Gone Train," although always in the text it is "The Gone Dead Train."  Go figure.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 19, 2007, 08:38:57 PM
It struck me today that if we're including business owners' names we ought to run down all the folk-blues references to Joe Brown, the Georgia governor who had a sweet deal with the state's penal system suppling cheap prisoner labor to his coal mines.

I'm aware of two, Julius Daniels, 99 Year Blues, and Jesse Fuller, Beat It On Down The Line. I believe there are others out there.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 20, 2007, 05:02:24 PM
While we're doing businesses:

Hampton Hotel, Atlanta (presumably), Willie McTell, Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: mississippijohnhurt1928 on November 21, 2007, 08:27:57 PM
Did we mention Ishmon Bracey's reference to Palmer's Skin Success in "Saturday Blues" yet?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 22, 2007, 05:43:38 AM
Why not click on the list and find out Calvin? You know there's an old saying, 'give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day...'
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on November 22, 2007, 08:14:25 AM
You know there's an old saying, 'give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day...'

"...And if you teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day."

Happy Thanksgiving!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 27, 2007, 08:12:19 PM
We're not doing trains in this thread since there are so many of them they really need a topic to themselves sometime soon. That doesn't mean we can't do bus lines... so I added two references to Greyhound, Robert Johnson's Me & The Devil Blues and Blind Boy Fuller's Bus Rider Blues. Also added another Ford that turns up in Fuller's Worn Out Engine Blues.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 28, 2007, 07:27:58 PM
Finally got to hear Charlie Poole's Sweet Sixteen. It's definitely about chewing gum, not tobacco. I will correct.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on December 20, 2007, 06:32:11 PM
Added Arthur Crudup's Greyhound Bus
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on December 20, 2007, 09:20:34 PM
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi212.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fcc145%2Fomuck%2F003tc026.jpg&hash=7bc3e0c6616d00464e2807b8bb515e5a657d32db)

Soapine, soapine you have always kept me clean,
Soapine, soapine you have always kept me clean,
Soap fo' the universal family,
You even wash my ol' blue jeans

Blind Charlie Hingemoan - 1915 Edison Cylinder recording*

*Total bullshit but I just couldn't resist!

Don't ask me what all the "Ks" mean. The universal family theme would seem to preclude a Klan endorsement.

www.myspace.com/mromuck (http://www.myspace.com/mromuck)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on December 21, 2007, 07:35:21 AM
Added Arthur Crudup's Greyhound Bus
Whislt on the subject of Crudup folk might like to check out what else there is on WC about him by clicking his name in TAGS.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on January 05, 2008, 09:58:28 PM
Just when you thought you couldn't care less anymore about product references in American folksong:

Uncle Dave Macon, Hill Billie Blues, Been on the Southern, the Seaboard too, it takes a Henry Ford for to shake me and you

I've been exploring the wild & weird worlds of Uncle Dave lately. Not recommended for iPod-powered alarm clocks.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on January 10, 2008, 05:54:54 PM
Hi all,
In "Something's Gone Wrong", from Dan Pickett on August 23, 1949, he sings:
   Gwine uptown in the morning, call up the Frigidaire
   Ah hah, that's the reason why, ohh well, boy, to keep your ice boys away from here

all best,
Johnm
   
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on January 11, 2008, 05:29:18 PM
Thanks folks. List is up to date with 150 entries. [edit: moved table to last post]
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Doug on January 20, 2008, 08:57:15 AM
From our discussion elsewhere in the site, Buddy Moss' Chesterfield Blues, has a reference to Golden Grain, which Bunker mentioned was a cheap type of rolling tobacco.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=114&topic=4507.msg32761#msg32761
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on February 29, 2008, 04:05:58 PM
Another compound cathartic reference,

CC Pill, Mae Glover, Gas Man Blues - "But mister gas man this cold wind surely will give me a chill". "You'd better go to the doctor, get you a CC Pill." "I ain't got no money..." "That's funny..."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Pan on March 01, 2008, 01:18:44 AM
The Ford cars are mentioned in William Moores' "Ragtime Millionaire" from 1928: "Mr. Henry's going to send me a Ford, he must, everybody else are going to taste my dust." and "Some of the boys say I'm going to be late, no if you please I've got a '28. Some of them say they're going to catch me at last, but all I've got to do is step on the gas."

Pan
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on March 16, 2008, 03:10:56 PM
Apparel, Stetson, John B, Clarence Green, Johnson City Blues, Down in Memphis on East Main Street, I was watchin' everybody that I chanced to meet // I saw my sweet daddy comin' 'round a flat. He was dressed in a tailor-made suit and a John B Stetson hat

I'm continuing to update these in a new weeniepedia version of the page which will go online this coming week.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on March 21, 2008, 07:15:07 PM
Beverages, Alcoholic, Boord, Tomcat Gin, Bobby Leecan & Robert Cooksey, Whiskey And Gin Blues, 1926, Gonna drink my whiskey, drink my Tomcat Gin, gonna mess around 'til the bulls break in
 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on March 28, 2008, 08:37:02 AM
Beverages, non-alcoholic:

Sonny Scott, "Try Me Man Blues" (July 1933):  "I've got a Buffalo Rock baby, and an Orange Crush in my hand"

Orange Crush should be well known, at least to North Americans.  For Buffalo Rock, see here (http://www.buffalorock.com/products/gingerale.html)

Scott was from Birmingham, Alabama, home of Buffalo Rock beverages.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on March 28, 2008, 09:27:29 AM
Hey, nice pick of an old bottle for you there, too, Riv.-G-

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on March 28, 2008, 04:25:33 PM
Good one. Two.

Weeniepedia is up-to-date: http://www.weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Brands%2C_Products_%26_Services_In_Country_Blues
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 07, 2008, 04:03:19 PM
I can't believe we missed this, but a search doesn't find it...

Candy:  Baby Ruth, Milky Way

Bo Carter, "Baby Ruth"

"Now some people like all-day suckers, some like a Milky Way,
But if you don't get a Baby Ruth, you can take 'em all away"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 07, 2008, 04:37:13 PM
We did missed it, and thanks you very much.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 08, 2008, 09:27:20 PM
Frank Hutchison, K.C. Blues, Alright boys, this is Frank Hutchison settin' back in the Union Square Hotel, and just tuh' gettin' right on good red liquor. Alright Frank, step on it....
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 09, 2008, 06:11:36 AM
Automobiles:  Ford Model A

Bill Gaither, "Old Model A Blues" (1938):  "It will cost you some money if you want this Model A to go".
 

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 09, 2008, 07:35:56 AM
Stores, grocery:  Hill's Grocery Company

Walter Roland, Sonny Scott, Lucille Bogan, "Red Cross Blues", 1933:  "I cannot go to Hill's, I got to go to the Red Cross store".

Roland, Scott, and Bogan all did solo versions of the song at this session.  The exact lyric of the refrain changes from verse to verse and from lyric to lyric.

Hill's Grocery Company was a small chain of supermarkets - 35 stores when they were bought out by Winn-Dixie in 1962 - around Birmingham Alabama, the hometown of Roland, Scott, and Bogan at the time.  There's a picture of a Hill's grocery here (http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p4017coll6&CISOPTR=1559&CISOBOX=1&REC=10) 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 09, 2008, 08:07:30 AM
Stores, grocery:  Piggly Wiggly

Charlie "Specks" Mcfadden, "Groceries On The Shelf", 1929:  "My name is Piggly Wiggly, I've got groceries on my shelf".

McFadden recorded this song a number of times.  See "Groceries On My Shelf No. 2", "Piggly Wiggly Blues", and "Groceries On the Shelf (Piggly Wiggly)"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 09, 2008, 10:01:03 AM
Beverages, non-alcohol:  Maxwell House Coffee

On Lulu Scott's "Baby I Can Holler" (1938), Scott is singing about a bow legged woman who lived behind the jail and had a sign that said "Good stuff for sale".  Monkey Joe Coleman, accompanying  Scott on piano, says in response "I bet you that woman had some good stuff.  Just like Maxwell House coffee.  Yeah!" 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 09, 2008, 04:38:34 PM
Great stuff dj, just when I thought we were running out. Can't think how we missed Piggly Wiggly. Didn't Lucille Bogan record "Groceries..." as well?

Now you mention it Fred McDowell has another Red Cross Stores reference.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 09, 2008, 04:58:34 PM
Yep, Lucille Bogan recorded Groceries On The Shelf on July 19 1933 with Walter Roland on piano.  One of my favorite sessions.  Can't think how I missed that!

Does McDowell's "Red Cross Store" mention Hill's?  I don't think so.  Do the Red Cross relief stores count as products/brands/services? 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 09, 2008, 06:26:16 PM
Good question... was it run as a commercial concern, would be the question I guess.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on April 10, 2008, 12:06:40 AM
Hi all,
I got the idea somewhere, a long time ago, that the Red Cross Stores sung of by Leadbelly, Fred McDowell and other singers were Army induction centers run by the Selective Service System; hence an unwillingness to go down to the Red Cross Store.  I heard this so long ago that I can't remember the source and I'm sure I did not check it out at the time, since I was a kid.  Does anyone actually know the answer to this question?
All best,
Johnm   
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 10, 2008, 02:40:49 AM
I'm not that familiar with either McDowell's or Leadbelly's versions of "Red Cross Store".  But the song that Walter Roland and Sonny Scott sang was clearly about a Depression-era relief effort.  The lyrics speak of getting cans of beans and tripe and sacks of flour, and about how when the singer (or his girlfriend) is working again, they can go to Hill's Grocery rather than to the Red Cross for food.  I get the impression from the lyrics that "Store" is used more in the sense of "storehouse" or "distribution point" than of "a place to purchase goods", as Roland sings that if you don't get to the Red Cross Store early, there won't be any food left: "Say you know they give you something to eat at the Red Cross you have to go get it 'fore eleven".   
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 10, 2008, 05:30:43 AM
They definitely are a service, albeit not-for-profit, and are part of the backdrop and consciousness of the times. So I think we should include the Red Cross Stores.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 15, 2008, 05:47:15 AM
Automobiles:  Rolls Royce

Virginia Liston, "Rolls Royce Papa", 1926:  "Rolls Royce Papa, this Tin Lizzie Mama is going to tow you in"

This title and lyric has been staring at me all month from the lower right hand corner of this year's Classic Blues Artwork calendar, and I finally took notice.  The song is on the Red Hot Jazz archive, if anyone is interested. 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 15, 2008, 04:37:07 PM
Very cool. We finally got a Roller. There's an unsolved placeholder for another 'Rolls Royal' (sic), we still need to nail the artist and song.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 15, 2008, 04:44:17 PM
Booger Rooger Blues, Blind Lemon Jefferson, 1926, Some joker learned my baby how to shift gear on a Cadillac 8 // Sugar, every since that happened, I can't keep my business straight

Stealing To Her Man, Texas Alexander, Says, I b'lieve I'll get just like Mister Henry Ford // Gonna have me a woman runnin' on every road
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 16, 2008, 02:44:29 AM
We have another Rolls Royce.

Willie Baker, "Sweet Patunia Blues", 1929: "I got a gal, she got a Rolls Royce, she didn't get it all by using her voice / I'm wild about my 'Tuni, only thing I crave..."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 16, 2008, 02:59:27 AM
...And we've got Rolls Royal (and Packard, Ford and "Studs" (Stutz?)).  Credit must go to Michael Taft via Mr. Google for this one.

Cleo Gibson, "I've Got Ford Movements In My Hips", 1929: 

"I've got Ford engine movements in my hips, ten thousand miles guarantee
A Ford is a car everybody wants to ride, jump in you will see
You can all have the Rolls Royal, your Packard and Studs
Take a Ford engine boys, to do your stuff"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 16, 2008, 04:56:50 AM
Automobiles: Cadillac

Jack Kelly And His South Memphis Jug Band: "Cadillac Baby", 1933 "Now somebody learned my baby I didn't get here on a Cadillac 8"
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on April 16, 2008, 10:58:48 AM
Cleo Gibson, "I've Got Ford Movements In My Hips", 1929: 

"I've got Ford engine movements in my hips, ten thousand miles guarantee
A Ford is a car everybody wants to ride, jump in you will see
You can all have the Rolls Royal, your Packard and Studs
Take a Ford engine boys, to do your stuff"
DJ many thanks for mentioning this fantastic song which was on the very first compilation of "classic" female blues singers I ever bought. The LP has just been unearthed (Jazz Sounds Of The 20s - Parlophone PMC1177) and the song given a spin...super.

Let normal service continue.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 16, 2008, 11:06:14 AM
Rivers, sorry for taking this thread off topic for a post or two, but...

Parlophone put out an LP of "Jazz" that included Cleo Gibson?  Wow.  Times were different back then.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on April 16, 2008, 11:44:49 AM
Rivers, sorry for taking this thread off topic for a post or two, but...

Parlophone put out an LP of "Jazz" that included Cleo Gibson?  Wow.  Times were different back then.
The clue lies in the sub title "blues singers and accompanists"; most featuring Armstrong, or Kid Ory or Joe Oliver. I attempted a scan of the track list, personnel and Brian Rust's notes (1962) but too faded for my ancient OCR software to cope with. Others featured are Sippie Wallace, Victoria Spivey, Chippie Hill, Butterbeans & Susie, Mamie Smith, Sara Martin and Margaret Johnson. As I said my introduction to others than Bessie Smith or Ma Rainey who at the time were the only ones I had LPs.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 16, 2008, 04:24:22 PM
Not OT at all, and many thanks for clearing up the "Rolls Royal" thing.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on April 17, 2008, 11:30:18 AM
Automobiles:  Packard, Cadillac

Sonny Boy Williamson, "Low Down Blues", 1938: "Well now I was going to buy you a Packard baby, I was going to buy you a Packard too / I was going to buy you a Cadillac you know just to try to get along with you"

I swear that Sonny Boy sings Packard twice, almost certainly that's a mistake either in Sonny Boy's singing or in my hearing.  If anyone has an alternate understanding of what's being sung, I'd like to hear it. 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on April 17, 2008, 12:00:37 PM
Did he buy her other things in previous verses? He could have left out the "too" from the first line where he inserted "baby" instead. Make sense?

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on June 12, 2008, 11:26:01 AM
Hi all,
Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie's "Do It Right" has a verse that rhymes Coca-Cola and Victrola.
all best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: SCWV on June 15, 2008, 08:07:21 PM
Not the only artist to sing about Coca Cola, ... ,

Emry Arthur, who had one of the first versions (or the first version) of "Man of Constant Sorrow, sang about "I'm going to Pensacola to get drunk on Coca Cola" in his version of "Nobody's Business" (recorded 1928).

Pepsi Cola would've been better.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: SCWV on June 27, 2008, 12:47:50 AM
Not the only artist to sing about Coca Cola, ... ,

Emry Arthur, who had one of the first versions (or the first version) of "Man of Constant Sorrow, sang about "I'm going to Pensacola to get drunk on Coca Cola" in his version of "Nobody's Business" (recorded 1928).

Pepsi Cola would've been better.

Speaking of soft drinks:  I believe that Bascom Lamar Lunsford's Good Ol' Mountain Dew was used to promote the soft drink, & I've Got an Ice Cold Nu Grape by the Nu-Grape Twins was a pre-fabricated jingle for a product intentionally done in Country Blues style.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: frankie on October 27, 2008, 06:41:13 AM
Another plug for Gulf gas in Charlie McCoy's "Your Valves Need Grinding:"

Screw up on your carburetor, tighten down on your coil
Use this good Gulf gas and the best of oil
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: oddenda on October 27, 2008, 07:19:13 AM
Folks -

          I can't believe it! Firstly, though, is Frank Edwards' "Terraplane Blues" which has nothing whatsoever to do with R. Johnson's song IN SPITE OF WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN!

          The biggie is Buddy Moss' "Ride to Your Funeral in a V-8 Ford"... because he DID just that after killing his girlfriend in 1935. Life imitating art as his recording preceded his homicide. I am surprised that y'all haven't mentioned that, but the SE tends to get lost in the sauce.

Peter B.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: waxwing on October 27, 2008, 09:27:04 AM
That one's already on the list, Pete. Take a look:

Brands, Products & Services In Country Blues (http://weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Brands%2C_Products_%26_Services_In_Country_Blues)

And I take offense that you would imply that here at Weenie we ignore the south east. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe at some of the other bastions of Robert Johnson worship that I've seen you on, but certainly not here, sir.

(grin)

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: oddenda on October 27, 2008, 06:30:29 PM
Waxwing -

I sit corrected, but where the hell is/was that list? First I've heard about it! Being a Luddite who prefers his steam powered typewriter, there is much about these infernal machines (computers) that I do not know. Still, It's Buddy's tune, and it was prophetic - not many like that (Pat Hare's "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" being an exception).

Peter B.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Slack on October 27, 2008, 07:34:36 PM
Quote
I sit corrected, but where the hell is/was that list? First I've heard about it!

Peter, you obviously need to explore the depths of Weeniepedia! 

The Main Menu on the left column has a heading "Resources", under "Resources" is a link "Weeniepedia" - click the link.  Very high tech.  ;D
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 07, 2010, 04:48:08 PM
Time to kick this cultural scenery thread back into life, Brownie mentions a Frigidaire in 1940, Back Door Stranger, I swiped a nice badge and added an entry to the weeniepedia 'brands & products' page. Note the similarity to Dan Pickett's later entry:

http://www.weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Brands,_products_%26_services
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Bunker Hill on September 08, 2010, 12:21:51 AM
In my head I can hear Casey Bill Weldon using the phrase "I don't want no iceman, I'm gonna get me a Frigidaire" in his 1930s Outskirts of Town but not at home to check.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on September 16, 2010, 04:44:00 AM
You're correct, Bunker Hill.  Frigidaire it is.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on September 16, 2010, 04:45:58 AM
Automobiles:  Cadillac, Ford, and a new one, Mack Truck

Casey Bill Weldon, Race Horse Filly Blues:

Sometimes she rides like a log wagon, sometimes she rides like a Cadillac Eight
Sometimes she rides like a Mack truck, sometimes she's passin' like a Ford V8
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on September 16, 2010, 07:15:25 AM
Beverages, alcoholic:  Old Quaker whiskey

Ollie Shepard, Drunk Again:

You just keep on drinkin' Old Quaker in your Dixie Dew

Note:  Dixie Dew is a cocktail made up of Whiskey, triple sec, and white creme de menthe, but I could swear I heard the name in my youth used to describe a mixture of whiskey and milk.  Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Gerry Clarke on September 17, 2010, 07:41:21 AM
Here are a couple that I guess belong in "Hospitality"...

On the 1937 "Muscat Hill Blues", Vo 03906, Buddy Woods tells us that he is going down to "The Golden Slipper".  I think this may have been a tavern in Shreveport, La.  I wonder if there is still any trace of it?  Incidentally, the other side is the great band version of "Don't Sell It, Don't Give It Away", with lovely piano from Wampus Cats' band leader Kitty Gray complementing Buddy's tricone for a fine dance record.

On the 1928 "Kansas City Blues", Ge 6707, the incomparable William Harris tells us: "my good gal quit me; she promised me today, she'd meet me down on Beale Street at the Panama Cafe".  I'm pretty sure Gus Cannon spoke of this tavern as one of many the musicians of the time played at along Beale.

Gerry

p.s. my Irish roots have nothing to do with my ability to recall references to gin palaces!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 17, 2010, 10:26:56 AM
Which reminded me of mentions of the Blue Goose in Shreveport.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on September 17, 2010, 10:44:57 AM
Was Blue Goose an actual business establishment? I had thought it was a neighbourhood in Shreveport.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Parlor Picker on September 18, 2010, 01:51:50 AM
Talking of Blue Goose, one of Roger Hubbard's fans in Canada thought that the "Brighton Belle" was a pub, but it was in fact a train that ran from London to Brighton on England's south coast.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 18, 2010, 04:30:37 PM
Was Blue Goose an actual business establishment? I had thought it was a neighbourhood in Shreveport.

You are correct sir, I misremembered it as a bar. Courtesy of the tag index:

http://web.archive.org/web/20030413093856/http://www.softdisk.com/comp/loobg/

"Had Mr. Hogan ever heard of Blue Goose?

Why of course he had, it had been called that long before he came into the area in the early thirties. It was named for a big picture of a blue goose feeding it's young, painted on the side of a grocery store. That store was torn down in the early forties."

So it was a small locale named for a grocery store, which later became a speakeasy. I think it still counts. Another quote:

"Another historian, Eric Brock, contends that the original Blue Goose structure was built in the 1890's and during prohibition, became a speakeasy, operating ostensibly as a cafe.
[Picture: Blue Goose Grocery]

"The building was pulled down in the early forties and replaced by a structure similar to a 1939 annex to it's immediate west. The only known photograph of the front of the Blue Goose shows stacks of bricks for the new building. In the photo, the Blue Goose was literally in it's last days.

The new structure became the Silver Slipper Cafe and in the 1980's the Ebony Club.

During WWII the Blue Goose was a popular stop for troops coming into Union Station nearby.

In its speakeasy days and earlier -- indeed throughout its life -- the Blue Goose saw many noteworthy musicians play there. At the time many were virtually unknown. Like the WWII soldiers, they found the Blue Goose because of its proximity to the RR tracks and Union Station."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on September 19, 2010, 09:48:13 AM
This is a photo found on a Shreveport forum. Wonder if it is the grocery store.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 30, 2010, 04:50:00 PM
From the Good For What Ails You comp, a second chewing gum reference: Wrigleys, chewing gum, Bow Wow Blues, The Allen Brothers, 1927:
She's got a sister she loves some fun, but she's got more ways of loving than Wrigley's got gum

Also has a Ford limousine and a Cadillac 8
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on June 29, 2011, 03:46:29 AM
Apparel, footwear:  Nunn Bush boots.  Yank Rachell, Squeaky Work Bench Blues: "I get my Nunn boots nasty from walkin' 'round on your dirty rug" 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on August 05, 2011, 08:28:24 PM
Love Me Baby Blues, Joe Callicot, Airstream trailers
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on October 20, 2011, 10:07:48 PM
Hi all,
Jubilee, a detergent mentioned by Skip James in "Drunken Spree":
   Hand me down my Jubilee and all my dirty clothes
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on November 15, 2011, 03:10:00 PM
Personal hygiene Products,  Soap:

Ma Rainey, Those Dogs Of Mine:

"Oh Lord these dogs of mine
They goin to worry me all the time
The reason why, I don't know
Sometimes I soak em in Sapolio"

Sapolio was a soap first manufactured by the Enoch Morgan's Sons Company in 1869.

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Lyle Lofgren on November 15, 2011, 05:04:05 PM
Sorry for being so tardy, but this question was posed before I started following the WC threads. I found it while looking backwards from the current discussion. It was a question about whether performers ever got paid for mentioning products:

Here's a question I've been meaning to ask (it may have been asked elsewhere but, if so, I missed it....): when singers mentioned product names, do you think they ever got an additional advertisement fee from the product proprietor? For example, I don't imagine Blind Blake's reference to Maxwell House coffee was anything other than a topical reference to an existing and popular ad campaign. But what about when the blues song wasthe ad? As in North Memphis Cafe for example - do you think Memphis Minnie got at least a couple of free burgers out of it? Or perhaps even a supplementary paycheck. Other songs that are the ad are New Union Stockyard Blues (did Mr Owens donate a mule?) and Best Brand Goin' (lots of money in the oil industry, surely)? Just wondering...

When Kirk McGee appeared at a folk music series in Minneapolis in 1965, we spent an afternoon with him asking every question we could think of. He told us that Uncle Dave had sent a copy of his record, "Dixie Bee Line" ("Everybody knows the Henry Ford car, Everybody knows it's the best they are ...") to the Ford company (as I remember, he addressed it to Mr. Henry Ford), and Ford sent him a brand new automobile in appreciation. Kirk's brother Sam saw an opportunity for a free car, so he recorded his "Chevrolet Car" ("I love my baby, but crazy 'bout my Chevrolet"). He sent a copy to the Chevrolet company, but they didn't even bother to answer him. Maybe if he'd addressed it to Mr. Chevrolet?

Lyle
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on November 15, 2011, 05:40:26 PM
Really great six-string banjo playing on Chevrolet Car too, worthy of a donation from Mr. Chevrolet. Sam was robbed! (Though we encourage use of public transit and bicycles ourselves.)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 05:54:00 PM
I nailed that one early on! See post #1 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=4160.msg28781#msg28781)

Sincere thanks for the added value though Lyle!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 15, 2011, 07:02:11 PM
Quote
Personal hygiene Products,  Soap:

Ma Rainey, Those Dogs Of Mine:

"Oh Lord these dogs of mine
They goin to worry me all the time
The reason why, I don't know
Sometimes I soak em in Sapolio"

Sapolio was a soap first manufactured by the Enoch Morgan's Sons Company in 1869.



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Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 07:18:24 PM
Thanks O'Muck. I will add them graphics to the B&P weeniepedia page when I do the next update. I have to wonder what's with the 'K' 'K' 'K' toy blocks in the first image? That is pretty weird, pending some other plausible theory.

Not to mention the dead whale, complete with a hunk of blubber hacked out of it, in the second image. Or the Japanese stereotype doll in the third. Or the shoeshine stereotype in the fourth (but what's with the robot?). Time to switch ad agencies perhaps. Whoops, too late, Sapolio went down the plughole.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: lindy on November 15, 2011, 07:34:56 PM
I have to wonder what's with the 'K' 'K' 'K' toy blocks in the first image?

Probably K for Kendall, the manufacturer's name.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 07:41:10 PM
lindy, please tell us more. There's no reference to Kendall so far.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: lindy on November 15, 2011, 07:49:10 PM
lindy, please tell us more. There's no reference to Kendall so far.

In the first image, the words "Kendall Mfg. Co," are on the washtub--faint, but readable. I don't think the K's are on toy blocks, but on cases of soap.

In the second image, the words "Kendall Mfg. Co." are at the lower left, just under the whale's mouth.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 15, 2011, 07:51:02 PM
I think what you are seeing as missing blubber is actually a reference to the soap washing the Black off of a whale. When this concept is extended to our species its ramifications are obvious and there are ads from the period stating just that..
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 08:06:30 PM
Thanks lindy, got it. You've still got to notice the disposition of the bricks, two sets of
 K
K K

O'Muck: Thanks, that makes it even worse, if possible. Call me naiive, I thought it was a ref to the raw material from which the product was made.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: lindy on November 15, 2011, 08:27:17 PM
When I first saw the letters I also thought "Klan," but the other clues in the picture didn't fit--Providence, RI was not a hotbed of Klan activity, and while the images in the second illustration are cartoonish renditions of an Indian, a black child(?), and a Chinese, they don't seem as over-the-top racist as we've all seen in other ads of the time. Also, it looks like there are two white children on the left side. Note the words "Universal Family," it doesn't seem to fit with a Klan theme.

L
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 15, 2011, 08:30:11 PM
Ironically In the " Universal Family" ad we see Columbia (the United States) as identified by her red white and Blue striped shield belt buckle, as an all- Mother figure, arms out to embrace the unwashed children of every nation. There is a pigtailed Chinese, a be-kilted Scott, a Pacific Islander complete with bone through nose, an Iroquois looking Indian, an African American and others all being welcomed into the embrace of the great Mother-Tubber! Its actually pretty progressive for the time, despite the misleading KKK crates.

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Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: lindy on November 15, 2011, 08:42:18 PM

Ah, Columbia, I didn't get that. But what do you think about the figure at the center bottom? Flat on his(?) back, helpless, looks like he's about to get stabbed with a very sharp point attached to the scrub board. Can't tell if that's a cat or what next to his head.

L
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 08:49:01 PM
Compelling questions. We need answers!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 15, 2011, 08:58:42 PM
Well...I am Jewish ...so I just assumed it was another doomed ancestor...

But seriously,  if we were to look for a sinister interpretation, and why not after all, we could see that child as your typical "White" American  overthrown and about to be done in by the hostile immigrant hordes welcomed in by an over generous Mother America. Lots of anti Immigrant sentiment in them days. In that case the KKK could actually be THE KKK....but it gets worse.....much worse...for instance.....

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Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 09:05:26 PM
Jeezus H. WTF were these people thinking.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 15, 2011, 09:15:02 PM
They were trying hard to create effective mechanisms with which to keep down and oppress an entire race of people for the purpose of economic exploitation. To Create a world in which those people were never far from images that supported ideas of their supposed inferiority. It was meant to break hearts and dull minds and sell soap in the process. Its not a bad thing for a forum like this to get a little of the shock value that was part of the atmosphere out of which this music emerged.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on November 15, 2011, 09:22:08 PM
I agree, we can take it, and good on us.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on November 15, 2011, 11:42:30 PM
Trading cards:

http://www.the-forum.com/ephemera/TRADE002.HTM

http://www.rubylane.com/item/192551-RL4346/Universal-Family-Soapine-Trade-Card

And a book:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Universal_family_Soapine_Kendall_M_f_g_C.html?id=3FOUZwEACAAJ

http://www.worldcat.org/title/universal-family-soapine-kendall-mfg-co-providence-ri-established-1827/oclc/438589410&referer=brief_results


Strange things happen in this world...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on November 16, 2011, 03:29:54 AM
Quote
But what do you think about the figure at the center bottom? Flat on his(?) back...

On Stewart's second link, you can magnify the image and see it more clearly.  It's an Anglo-Saxon type, looks like he's got a mustache, and he's broken a clay pipe as he's fallen down.  I guess everyone else is getting ready to wash his clothes now that they're dirty.

By the way, in the enlarged image, you can see that that "Pacific Islander complete with bone through nose" is a European, probably Italian, with a big mustache.

And as someone whose ancestors were whalers for generations, I'd like to point out that the pictures of the whales carry a double meaning.  Yes, they're cleaning off the black, but more importantly, whale ships were known as the smelliest things on earth.  If the wind was right, you could smell them coming into port before you could see them.  The implication is that Soapine could take the stink out of a whaler's clothes - the most difficult laundry task of the 19th century.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Stuart on November 16, 2011, 06:03:43 AM
The implication is that Soapine could take the stink out of a whaler's clothes - the most difficult laundry task of the 19th century.

Or flush out Moby Dick who was known to travel the Seven Seas incognito.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Lyle Lofgren on November 16, 2011, 06:12:07 AM
Also, it's not well known that Moby Dick performed in minstrel shows. He'd get down on one fluke and sing "Mammal, my dear old mammal," and the crowd would go wild. He performed under the pseudonym "Fishmeal," as in "Call me Fishmeal."

Lyle
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Mr.OMuck on November 16, 2011, 08:50:01 AM
"crickets"....
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Slack on November 16, 2011, 08:56:20 AM
LOL, Lyle goes off on a tangent.

Now, no blubbering....

uh oh...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: dj on November 16, 2011, 09:46:48 AM
Quote
LOL

You want to hear something really funny?  We have letters from my great-grandmother where she complains about the "smelly" natives living around the arctic ocean.  I read those and keep thinking "What????  You're in the middle of spending two years on a whaling ship!  You must absolutely reek of bone and blubber."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on December 13, 2011, 07:59:42 AM
Courtesy of Chris and UB, Picnic Twist chewing tobacco mentioned in Salty Dog Blues (Take 1) - Papa Charlie Jackson: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=790.msg66522#msg66522 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=790.msg66522#msg66522)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on April 04, 2012, 11:40:34 AM
Three Bad Habits Blues by the unknown Three Bad Habits is basically an advertising jingle for Simplex piston rings done up as a vaudeville blues/ragtime song with piano, guitar and either plectrum banjo or banjo mandolin (not sure, though I think the former). Date is given vaguely as 1920s in both B&GR and the Document Too Late Too Late Vol 10 disc on which it appears. Fun tune.

I make noisy motors, my name is piston slap!
Oh when you 'ccelerator then you will hear my rap!

When you want to stop me and make your motor sing (Just what should I do?)
Go to your repairman, get Simplex piston rings (Hallelujah!)

Rivers, here's an image for you, grabbed off eBay. You can even see the "Slap!"  :P

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on April 04, 2012, 06:15:13 PM
Good one!
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Shovel on April 05, 2012, 12:33:48 PM
If gasoline was whiskey, and I was a little Cadillac 8.
I'd drink up all my gas, man I'd forever be late.

Bo Carter - Whiskey Blues - 1938
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: uncle bud on June 26, 2012, 08:26:17 AM
Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon do a song called "IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance)" on the Delmark release, On 80 Highway.

"Check them out, check them out..."
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: frailer24 on July 21, 2012, 08:43:25 PM
Beverages, alcoholic:  Old Quaker whiskey

Ollie Shepard, Drunk Again:

You just keep on drinkin' Old Quaker in your Dixie Dew

Note:  Dixie Dew is a cocktail made up of Whiskey, triple sec, and white creme de menthe, but I could swear I heard the name in my youth used to describe a mixture of whiskey and milk.  Can anyone confirm or deny this?

My great-grandfather, born 1901, and a very good friend born around the same time, used to refer to Dixie Dew as "3 shots of Jack Daniels or Old Quaker, and a pint of milk thrown together". Hope it helps.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Gumbo on July 23, 2012, 03:10:33 PM
In Allen's Lyin' Blues by the Allen Brothers is the line

I'm smokin Golden Grain in a Chesterfield's place

signifying, I believe, that austere move from cigarettes to rolling tobacco


EDIT :typo
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: davet on August 19, 2012, 12:02:14 AM
just a couple of suggestions

St James Infirmary in one version starts  "It was down in Old Joe's barroom" and for those uncertain of its location continues with "On the corner by the square"

Mississippi John Hurt includes the following reference in Richland Woman Blues:
Now, I'm raring to go, got red shoes on my feet
My mind is sittin' right for a Tin Lizzie seat
Hurry down, sweet daddy, come blowin' you horn
If you come too late, sweet mama will be gone

I believe a Tin Lizzie was a Model T Ford.

I do have a reference for a Lamborghini. It is mentioned in a Dire Straits song called Millionaire Blue. It isn't really country blues, more country mansion blues.

Regards

Davet

Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on September 01, 2012, 08:20:55 PM
Another fridge, Washboard Sam ? We Gonna Move

Well the reason mama I don't want you to stay here,
I don't need me no iceman I'm gonna get me a Frigidaire
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Gumbo on November 02, 2012, 08:31:01 AM
The Gatling Gun should be here as well.

Robert Johnson's 32-20, Charlie Poole's Shootin' Creek and various Lucy Mae Blues.
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: harry on February 02, 2017, 01:45:04 PM
Found this while researching Mississippi John Hurt's Richland Woman Blues. That stuff is expensive!

https://www.dsanddurga.com/products/poppy-rouge (https://www.dsanddurga.com/products/poppy-rouge)
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Norfolk Slim on January 08, 2018, 11:48:17 AM
This thread has been quiet for a while- but I noticed today for the first time, a rather surprising reference by Leadbelly to the French herbal liqueur Benedictine. 

Its to be found in "Alberta": "Oh Alberta, won't you tell me what in the hell you mean.  Way you been acting baby, drinking Benedictine"

Not an obvious Bluesman's drink!

It struck me particularly as my Father used to stay with the family who owned the Benedictine company in France when he was 13/14.  Extraordinary to me in this day and age- but he used to go over alone on a fishing boat  organised by his Dad, and stay for 4 or 5 weeks during the summer...
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Prof Scratchy on January 08, 2018, 12:04:57 PM
For some reason, ?Benny? is a popular tipple in Colne and can be witnessed being consumed in large quantities by ladies of a certain age there. They take it in a short glass, topped up with hot water from the kettle, and with a teaspoon in the glass to prevent it cracking when the near boiling water is added. If you ever go to the R&B festival in August, you?ll see, not that I?d recommend it nowadays, as (like many former blues festivals) it?s very much a rock festival now, with little blues content.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Norfolk Slim on January 08, 2018, 12:17:46 PM
How odd.  Bar staff always used to look at me askance when I asked for it at last orders as a student but I have the excuse that its a family tradition!  When staying in France, my Dad would always be given a large glass of "B&B" after a meal... 
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Johnm on January 20, 2020, 01:54:11 PM
Hi all,
It's been a while since this thread has been posted to, so I'm sure there are more brand names in blues lyrics that have been found since the most recent posting, but I'll add a couple off the top of my head--Try Me, which was a Southern regional soft drink that Sonny Scott sang about in "Try Me Man Blues" and I. W. Harper, a brand of bourbon that Big Maceo mentions in "I'm so Worried".  Other brand names out there that have not been entered here yet?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Brand and product names in country blues
Post by: Rivers on January 21, 2020, 03:41:47 PM
This thread, like most on WC, will never die JM, since it allows us to imagine ourselves back to the times these musics were created. Thanks for reviving it.
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