I was originally going to title this post HIDE THE CHILDREN but then it occurred to me that my caution was excessive. No actual obscenities are uttered on these sides and the children of 2015 often know and use casually what 1936 listeners would have called “bad words.”
But these records were startling discoveries to me, and they swung — with a cast of characters not renowned in jazz lore. The records also weren’t under-the-counter “party records,” but issued in 1936 on a major label (Decca’s race series, but note the absence of “Sepia Series” on the label).
DON’T COME OVER:
and the reverse, more familiar, praise of the humble tuber on the commodities market:
HOT NUTS SWING:
Happily, I found the personnel as reported in Storyville 144, courtesy of the National Jazz Archive (UK) here —
STELLA JOHNSON Vocal, acc, by Dorothy Scott’s Rhythm Boys: Randolph Scott or Jimmy Strange, t; Bob Fagin, as; Dorothy Scott or Henry Gordon, p; Bob Tinsley, g, *Bassie* sb; Pete Peterson, d. Chicago, Thursday, 10 Sept.1936:
90868-A Don’t Come Over De 7217
90869-A Hot Nuts Swing De 7217.
I offer no moral here, except to point out how good the band sounds, how adept the unheralded Bob Fagin is in the pre-Bird style, how effective the overall swing sounds.
On DON’T COME OVER, the device of creating a rhyme where the second rhyming word, unspoken, is clearly vulgar, must go back several centuries in vernacular folk music. It is particularly intriguing because it requires listeners to reach into their personal word-hoards and come up, perhaps involuntarily, with the naughty word, the obscene punchline to the joke. We become participants in the naughty playlet. Consider that.
May your happiness increase!