Risque Business

This is a post about the winding roads down which the internet takes us.

A while back, I was ripping some of my CDs to iTunes so that I could put them on my iPod. One of the CDs was Aerosmith's Toys In the Attic. I've found that one of the best places to go to find the cover art for the CD is Wikipedia. Most artists have a discography link, with separate pages for each album, and many times, the cover art is there.

Sometimes the page for the album will give interesting information about the album as well. This was one of those times: Wikipedia mentioned that Aerosmith's version of the risque classic song "Big Ten Inch Record" was a remake, and that the original version had been recorded back in 1953 by a rhythm and blues singer and saxophonist named Bull Moose Jackson, who also has a Wikipedia page.

It turned out that ol' Bull Moose and I shared a birthday, and that he was one of the singers known for singing "dirty blues" songs back in the day. Many of them would be rather tame today, compared to the X-rated lyrics of some of today's rappers, but at the time, they were rather controversial.

I went to Amazon.com and found that they had some compilations of his music, including A Proper Introduction to Bull Moose Jackson. It had 26 songs for the low price of $10.98, so I said, "Hey, why not?" The booklet was quite informative and the music was entertaining. The songs were recorded in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and had a Big Band sound to them. "Big Ten Inch Record" wasn't the only suggestive song; others included "Nosey Joe" and "I Want A Bowlegged Woman." Another favorite of mine from this CD is "Big Fat Mamas Are Back In Style Again."

A few weeks later, I was on a web site looking for song lyrics, and I found out that the site had information about various songs. One of the songs listed was "Big Ten Inch Record," and someone in the comments noted that he liked Dana Gillespie's version from her 1982 album Blue Job. Back to Amazon.com I went. A little searching found the compilation CD Blues It Up, which has 23 songs, mostly covers but also some originals by Gillespie, and was available new for $21.98. The songs come from three albums she recorded in 1982, 1985 and 1989. This is good stuff! You can listen to samples on the Amazon.com page linked above if you like. I've listened to it several times over the past three weeks. I think it was well worth the money.