Our guest conductor Mary B has chosen a theme: “songs with beverages in the title.” Good choice!
One advantage of waiting until Monday to do my M4 post is that I get to see what a few people chose so that, if I chose the same songs, I can change them out. You know me. In this case, Alana had put Doris Day’s “Tea For Two” on her list, and Mary B had selected Tom T. Hall’s “I Like Beer,” so I changed those out for a couple new ones. Here are eleven (I’ll explain as we go along) songs with beverages in the title.
- Spike Jones & His City Slickers, “Cocktails For Two” What kind of cocktails? Who cares? Spike and his gang (who were all tremendous musicians, by the way) would take nice songs and “jazz ’em up” a little, turning them into some excellent comedy.
- Manhattan Transfer, “Java Jive” I still have yet to read John Dos Passos’s novel Manhattan Transfer, from which the group took its name. If you have, let me know if it’s worth reading. Anyway, the first time I saw MT, on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson back in the mid-’70’s, they did this one. Made me a fan for life.
- Grandpa Jones, “Good Ol’ Mountain Dew” Rest assured, this isn’t the hyper-caffeinated soft drink Mountain Dew that he sings about. Although you might get the sense that he had a little of that before he put on this show. “Grandpa” was in his mid-40’s when he did this, by the way: he had gotten that sobriquet (how’s that for a word?) when he was a young man who complained about his aches and pains.
- Tin Tin, “Toast And Marmalade For Tea” I talked about this one recently, and if you were paying attention (didn’t know there’d be a quiz, did you?) you would know that Tin Tin was an Australian band that Barry Gibb was promoting. He wrote and produced this song, in fact. It’s a simple little ditty that buries itself in your heart.
- Neil Diamond, “Red Red Wine” Mary B had UB40’s faux-reggae version in her list, so I thought I’d play the original from 1968, when Neil was still more of a songwriter than a performer.
- NRBQ, “RC Cola And A Moon Pie” The New Rhythm & Blues Quintet (or Quartet, depending on how many members they had at the time) has been remarkably successful and long-lived for a band that has never had a Top 40 single. I haven’t seen RC (Royal Crown) cola since I moved from Chicago, where I once applied for a job at the RC bottling plant on 47th and California. Here, it’s Coke, even if it’s Dr Pepper or 7up. It’s a Southern thing, you wouldn’t understand. Wikipedia says “A moon pie or stylized as MoonPie is an American confection, popular across much of the United States, which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. The snack is often associated with the cuisine of the American South where they are traditionally accompanied by an RC Cola.” Breakfast of Champions!
- Marty Robbins, “Cool Water” A Country classic sung by a Country classic. He did a whole album of songs like this, 1959’s Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, on which you can also hear his most-popular song, “El Paso.”
- Muddy Waters, “Whiskey Ain’t No Good” From Muddy’s 1973 album Can’t Get No Grindin’, which came out right around the time I was getting heavily into blues.
- The Grasshoppers, “Pink Champagne” An obscure song from an equally-obscure band. Way back in the ’60’s, we had one of those cheapo records by a “band” called The Grasshoppers (essentially a ripoff of Alvin and The Chipmunks, with the same sort of mechanically-altered voices), attempting (and failing miserably at) songs by The Beatles (as well as a cover of “The Chipmunk Song”). You’ll be happy to know that “Pink Champagne” was not done by them…
- & 11. Johnny Fosdick and His Orchestra with vocals by Anita Boyer, “Swinging The Jingle” and “Get Hep” Another obscurity, these are two sides of a 78 rpm record from the late ’30’s. Technically, these songs don’t belong, as they don’t have beverage namees in the titles. HOWEVER, I’m including them because the jingle they swing on Side 1 is an old Pepsi-Cola jingle, and it’s reprised on Side 2.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 27, 2018.