Friday, March 04, 2005


It agrees with my throat

Stick McGhee, Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee.
Harry (the Hipster) Gibson, Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?

Uppers and downers for the weekend.

The struggling independent label Atlantic finally hit paydirt. A New Orleans DJ in late 1948 started playing an old single on Harlem Records that had flopped when it had been first released the year before. Suddenly, listeners were going crazy for it. Atlantic's Ahmet Ertegun heard about the demand, and went to buy the master recording so Atlantic could re-release it nationwide. He couldn't get the masters, so he did the next best thing--found the artist, Granville "Stick" McGhee, and asked him to re-record the song.

"Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee", which the Rev. first featured back in December, was a song McGhee had written in the army, though "spo-dee-o-dee" replaced a more colorful phrase. Recorded on Valentine's Day, 1949. You can find it here.

As a bonus, here's Harry the Hipster's ode to benzedrine (James Bond's drug of choice), from 1947.

We're wrapping up 1949 next week with some jazzbos from Sweden and the bluegrass civil war. Steel yourself for the 1950s.

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