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You can't make no money layin' straight these days - Bo Carter, Doubled Up In a Knot

Author Topic: Brand and product names in country blues  (Read 36468 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 02:05:53 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #31 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?

Offline dj

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #32 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. 

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #33 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]
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 04:54:14 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #34 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?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #35 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.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #36 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.

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #37 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?

Online Johnm

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #38 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

Offline banjochris

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #39 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

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #40 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.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #41 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.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #42 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
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 04:08:10 PM by Rivers »

Online Johnm

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #43 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

Offline Rivers

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Re: Brand and product names in country blues
« Reply #44 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]
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 05:04:39 AM by Rivers »

 


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