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.
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