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Furry Lewis, a 77 year old, wooden-legged street sweeper from Memphis, told the audience that when he got married he had 15 cents and his wife had 25. "Then the next day she left me flat, sayin' I had got her just for the money" - Michael Lydon, New York Times, April 1970, Oh, What a Beautiful City

Author Topic: chicago defender blues ads  (Read 1823 times)

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Offline unezrider

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chicago defender blues ads
« on: October 16, 2007, 01:51:01 PM »
hello everyone,
i don't know if this has been discussed on here or not, but it seems i heard some time ago that there was a collection, or was going to be a collection, of the old blues ads from the chicago defender paper. does anyone have any information about this?
i just love those images, & to have a lot in one collection would be great!
(i'm aware of those cool calanders, i just want a big collection of them)
thanks
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 11:54:01 PM »
The only thing that comes to mind with me is the basic alphabetical list that Elijah Wald started creating in 2004:

http://www.elijahwald.com/chidef.html

Offline Great Bear

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 05:45:17 AM »
Perhaps you mean John Tefteller's proposed coffee table book Sellin' The Blues that was due in 2006.

Offline unezrider

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 03:16:49 PM »
hey great bear,
that's exactly what i thought i remembered hearing about. does anyone have any updates on whether it is still in the works or not?
thanks,
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline unezrider

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 01:56:10 PM »
hello friend,
does anyone know if all of the ad's that appear above the 'events calender' on the home page here are originals, or are they new interpretations of defender ad's? i've wondered this before, but i seen one for the sheik's 'he calls that religion' & they threw in the ' but i know he's going to hell when he dies.' i didn't know if they'd use that kinda language in an ad that long ago.
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline mr mando

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 03:08:23 AM »
From the BluesImages homepage:

With a few exceptions, the images and photographs used in our calendars have not been seen by the public since they were first created back in the 1920?s. These images are but a small part of a huge stash of promotional material created over 70 years ago to promote the latest record releases of now legendary Blues singers.

.....

In 2002, Blues ImagesTM became aware of their existence and quickly purchased the entire hoard. We will be sharing all of the artwork with the world in the coming years. The calendar you have so kindly purchased is the first of many projects that will showcase these beautiful images.

http://bluesimages.com/html/product_html/history_of_calendar1_new.html

Offline waxwing

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2007, 07:35:02 AM »
However, I believe, in many cases, BluesImages have incorporated existing photos of the artists into the original artwork. So these ads do not appear exactly as they did in the Defender. However, the wording is all from the original ads.

Yep, they said "hell" in their ad (OMG!).

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline uncle bud

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2007, 08:01:50 AM »
Yep, they said "hell" in their ad (OMG!).

Why the "OMG"? I was a little surprised when I saw this ad as well, not so much because of the use of the word 'hell', but because of the whole sentiment: the certainty that this hypocrite preacher is going to hell. To use that in an advertisement is pretty strong stuff and were it to appear today, I'd imagine it would generate some ruffled feathers among the religious class in the US.

Offline waxwing

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2007, 08:29:24 AM »
Well, the Hayes Code, bringing "morality" to motion pictures was written in 1930 and trickle down from that into other industries may have occurred through the following years. Before that, I believe we had a much more open use of the English language in American pop culture. Remember the "Roaring Twenties" were a response to the prudishness and repressiveness of the Victorian era.

But, yeah, ridicule of religion was a big issue in the Hayes Code, which could imply that it was rather rampant in the movies, and likely in the rest of pop culture, before that time.

I guess I think it deserves a little, jestful "OMG" when someone seems to assume that all of society was so prudish in "the old days" and that swearing and other baser human behaviors only became rampant in the '60s or something. I think there not only were ups and downs to the "stylishness" of swearing in cultures through out history, but also that there was always a lag before the religious right would get hold of a new medium, such as records, usually in reaction to what they might see as abuses, and decide to lobby for regulation.

Clearly there was also a double standard in place. You may recall that it wasn't until black music began to influence the early white performers of what became rock and roll that there was a hue and cry from the religious right to ban such music. See one of our "quotes".

Are you saying the humor didn't come across in my post, Andrew?

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 08:37:24 AM by waxwing »
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Slack

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 09:37:17 AM »
Quote
To use that in an advertisement is pretty strong stuff and were it to appear today, I'd imagine it would generate some ruffled feathers among the religious class in the US.

Some things never change.  Marketing and the almighty dollar trumps all. Madonna, as one modern example, comes to mind.

Offline banjochris

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 11:21:28 AM »
I don't think "hell" was ever particularly problematic when describing the place, rather than being used as an expletive or direct curse (e.g. "Go to hell"). Wasn't there an F.W. McGee or J.M. Gates or someone like that record called "Black Diamond Express to Hell"?
Chris

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2007, 11:59:13 AM »
Quote
I don't think "hell" was ever particularly problematic when describing the place, rather than being used as an expletive or direct curse (e.g. "Go to hell"). Wasn't there an F.W. McGee or J.M. Gates or someone like that record called "Black Diamond Express to Hell"?
Yeah, great two parter by Rev A W Nix. From memory it commences with him telling his congregation something like, "sin is the engineer, pleasure is the headlight, devil is the conductor and I see the Black Diamond as she starts off for Hell". Fire and brimstone stuff. Must give it a spin.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 12:01:52 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: chicago defender blues ads
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2007, 01:47:04 PM »
Are you saying the humor didn't come across in my post, Andrew?

No, I got it, but I thought it may have been a little caustic. :)

Anyway, as Chris notes, 'hell' as an expletive or direct curse is different than the description of the place, although in the Sheiks' tune, it seems to me it's also playing with/teetering on the edge of being a "go to hell" type curse. (Other non-cursing 'hell' songs that come to mind: Lonnie Johnson's classic "She's Making Whoopee in Hell Tonight".)

And while swearing in society has obviously been around forever, the acceptance of it in pop culture on record, in print or on film would surely be far greater now than it would have been in the 20s or 30s, no? Actual swearing on record in the blues the 20s and 30s (aside from things never intended for release like Lucille Bogan's Shave 'Em Dry) seems pretty rare to me. I can vaguely recall Tampa Red swearing (mildly) on one of his tunes. I'm sure there's some more examples, but still. In print advertising, I imagine it would be even more rare. Double or single entendres don't count, suggestiveness or wordplay ain't really swearing, no matter how obvious. I don't think it's a question of prudishness, just what is publicly acceptable in a given medium at a given time. There's a lot of very suggestive material from the 20s, much that would be a surprise to an unsuspecting denizen of the two-thousand oughts, no doubt. But I do think 'hell' as an expletive could have caused some trouble back then in a print ad.

Anyway, the 20s may have been roaring, but for swearing but just watch an episode of South Park or better yet, Deadwood.  :D

 


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