Wasn’t sure what I was going to do this week, so I went out to YouTube and started playing random videos, one of which was “Scotch and Soda,” and before I knew it, I had a playlist. Here are ten of the many songs with alcoholic beverages in the title.
- Ray Price, “Scotch and Soda” The earliest popular version was done by The Kingston Trio in 1958, but the song goes back much further than that. Problem is, no one actually knows who wrote it or when. Dave Guard of The Trio got it from the parents of a girl he was dating, who said they heard it on their honeymoon back in 1932. It’s been covered so much, including this one by country singer Ray Price, that it will probably show up as a Battle of the Bands in the not-too-distant future.
- John Lee Hooker, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” The cover by George Thorogood is probably best-known, but it was first done by Amos Milburn as a “jump blues” song in 1953 and John Lee covered this in 1966.
- The Dubliners, “Whiskey in the Jar” There are the rock versions by Metallica and Thin Lizzy, but I first heard it this way, in a pub after a couple of pints of Guinness.
- Jimmy Buffett, “Margaritaville” Buffett’s Parrothead anthem was released in 1977 and reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart, #8 on the Hot 100, and #13 on the Country Singles chart.
- Neil Diamond, “Red Red Wine” I heard UB40’s reggae version first and had no idea Neil had recorded it in 1967. It went to #69 for him in 1968. It was issued by Bang! Records shortly after his contract with them expired and he left the label.
- Peter Sellers with The Muppets, “Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild Wild Women” I remember watching this episode of The Muppet Show and laughing through most of it, because, you know, Peter Sellers.
- Rupert Holmes, “The Piña Colada Song” Was actually titled “Escape,” but most people know it by this name. It was the lead single from his 1979 album Partners In Crime and was #1 in December 1979 and January 1980, making it the last #1 in the 1970’s and first #1 in the 1980’s.
- Muddy Waters, “Champagne and Reefer” From Muddy’s 1979 live album Muddy “Mississippi” Waters. There are also versions by Buddy Guy and The Rolling Stones.
- Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs, “Bottle Of Wine” Jimmy Gilmer had recorded “Sugar Shack” in 1963 and it reached #1. This song, a rock version of the folk song, was released in 1967 and peaked at #9.
- Julie London, “Hot Toddy” From the 1958 album Julie Is Her Name, Volume II, about which Nick Dedina said on AllMusic.com, “You can almost see the cigar-smoking executives at Liberty Records planning this one out — ‘Hey, if the public loved it the first time, they’re bound to love it again, right?'” This time through, she’s accompanied by Howard Roberts on guitar and Red Mitchell on bass. Judging from the album cover, Liberty still saw her as a pinup, although by this time her jazz chops were well-established.
Well, that oughta get you started. Come up with your selections, I’ll play them next Friday. That’s your Friday 5×2 for April 20, 2018.