Friday, August 14, 2009

Shock Radio – 1950s Style

Back in the old days, just the utterance of the curse word “damn” from a teen’s mouth brought the wrath of every adult in earshot. Talk of you-know-what among groups of teens, despite their rampant hormones, was strictly taboo.

Don’t know about the boys, but among teen girls information about “that” was a popular subject discussed endlessly behind closed doors and accompanied by giggles and sighs.

When one of the local radio stations burst forth on a bright sunny morn with Daddy Rabbit, teens all over the city spread the word faster than a teen today can Twitter.

Daddy Rabbit began his morning patter with, “Hello, boys and girls, it’s your ol’ Daddy Rabbit with the gotta-have-it-habit.” Although it was a time of innocence, most of us got the message.

For the ‘50s, that was a suggestively scandalous statement and the talk got even racier from there. We teens loved it! Those among us lucky enough to have radios in our rooms memorized every word of Daddy Rabbit’s titillating patter to share with non-radio friends before school’s first bell.

One of the most popular of Daddy Rabbit’s platters was the 1954 song “Work With Me, Annie” written and recorded by Hank Ballard. The FCC went nuts and banned the song for its overly suggestive lyrics. Too late. We knew EVERY word.

Nationwide, the song sold over a million copies and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks. The answer songs, “Annie Had A Baby ” and "Annies's Aunt Fanny" soon followed, sold a million copies and were also banned.

Daddy Rabbit, despite having the number one morning show, and his choice of music, was too soon and sadly banned from the airwaves. His fame, however, lives on among us old folks with young memories and if asked, a few of us can still sing a few bars of “Annie had a baby, can’t work no more.”

P.S. Amazon. com has several Hank Ballard and the Midnighters albums. Click the link and scroll down to hear snippets of the famous oldies.

© Copyright 2009 Suzzwords


  1. Thats really shocking stuff Suzz, I'm surprised that you have brought it up.... not.

  2. Although I never heard of Daddy Rabbit, the Annie songs were big in my crowd too. I haven't thought of them in years. So glad you mentined them. What a different time we grew up in...

  3. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Gosh, you must be MUCH older than me (ha ha). I have never heard of Daddy Rabbit, although we did listen to the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry on the radio in the early '50s. I think the station was WSN in Nashville, Tennessee.

  4. Betty8:12 PM

    This really brought back a flood of memories. Oh, do I ever remember Daddy Rabbit and what a fun time it was to be in high school. Such great music we had to "bop" to.

  5. Anonymous10:25 PM

    I don't remember Daddy Rabbitt. But DO I remember Miss Debbie. She was a local children's show hostess in the Atlanta market. My four old daughter watched Miss debbie everyday and was especially thrilled when Miss D looked in her magic mirror and looking straight at the camera said....I see little Mary and Sammy and Joyce and Betty.

    Oh how Jan my little girl yearned for Miss D to speak directly to her thru the "magic mirror.

    Well what do you know. Hubby and I went to a New Year's Eve party at a business associate's house. Lo and behold who should be there but Miss Debbie in PERSON. Nice attractive gal. Early in the evening I spoke with Debbie and asked her to look for Jan in the magic mirror on tomorrow's show. she graciously said yes she would.

    A good time was had by all and around eleven pm we missed Miss Debbie and we heard crying and moaning in the kitchen.

    There sat MISS DEBBIE DRUNK AS A SKUNK and slobbering all over her date.

    I told hubby on the way home Miss Debbie won't even make it to her show tomorrow she will be so hung over

    The next morning we. (Jan hubby and I) turned on the TV to Miss Debbie. There she was chipper, and perky and looking great as she held up her "magic Mirror" and said I see JAN.

    I guess

    "The show must go on"


  6. I found you delightful blog via Time Goes By.

    I don't remember that song, but will go follow your link. I married at 16 in 1959, guess I learned about such things in person.