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I'd jump 'em from other writers, but I'd 'range 'em up my way - Willie McTell, intro to Beedle Um Bum, Last Sessions

Author Topic: Brand and product names in country blues  (Read 36202 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #105 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

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #106 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

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #107 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.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 09:39:40 PM by Bricktown Bob »

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #108 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.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 05:02:18 AM by Bricktown Bob »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #109 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]
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 05:37:55 AM by Rivers »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #110 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.

Offline dj

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #111 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. 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #112 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).

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #113 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.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #114 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.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #115 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

Offline waxwing

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #116 on: November 16, 2007, 03:30:12 AM »
I googled Mobile Alabama Flagstaff and/or Banner looking for variations. No luck.

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Offline dj

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #117 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?

 

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #118 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.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #119 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...

 


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