Friday, May 25, 2007

'50s music, censorship, etc.

I was off on one of my weird tangents at work about '50s songs that altered the lyrics. "My Babe" by Little Walter was playing and I made note of the lyrical change to Rick Nelson's vocally stellar but lyrically awkward version. The original goes, "My baby don't stand no cheatin', my babe... She don't stand none of that midnight creepin'..." and Rick Nelson's goes, "Well, my babe, don't stand no kissin', my babe... 'cept when I'm the one she's kissin'..."

Now, I suspect this one has to do with his dad's control over his records at that point more than any act of outside censorship.

I have to confess, though, I've never figured out how Little Richard got away with all the balling he does in his songs... "Good golly, Miss Molly, sure likes to ball...", "I'm gonna rock it up, and ball tonight." Now, you're not likely to convince me that Little Richard meant something different than I would if I were to speak those sentences, but did someone at record companies or radio stations think he meant something else or tell other people he meant something else or what?

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