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And to the performers: You know, this show wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be - Steve Cheseborough, Port Townsend 98, emcee at participants concert

Author Topic: Brand and product names in country blues  (Read 35994 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Brand and product names in country blues
« 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
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 04:05:47 AM by Rivers »

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 04:34:44 AM »
John Hurt gave a massive plug to Maxwell house... ;)

Offline waxwing

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #2 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.
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Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline dj

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #3 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?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 07:54:25 AM »
Palmer's Skin Success in Ishmon Bracey's Saturday Blues.

Offline Richard

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2007, 01:38:45 PM »
This ones for Ari.... "Winter Green" a brand of chewing gum from Charlie Poole.
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 01:50:58 PM by uncle bud »

Offline dj

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #7 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!

Offline Great Bear

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #9 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

Offline banjochris

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #10 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."


Offline Richard

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #11 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 ?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 01:31:39 AM by Richard »
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Stuart

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 01:14:46 PM »
RJ--"Good Gulf Gas"

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #13 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
















« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 04:53:29 PM by GhostRider »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #14 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

 


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