Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Alligator Wine (1963?)

 |   |  <1 min read

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Alligator Wine (1963?)

When Oasis celebrated cigarettes and alcohol on their debut album Definitely Maybe, they were onto something.

These twin poles of working people are traditionally the escape from the drudgery of life (if these days much frowned upon)  . . . although we'd have to concede for an increasing number of young people they seem to be de rigueur for a lifestyle with not a lot of back-breaking work to escape from.

Still, Oasis were part of a very long tradition celebrating liquor and smokes and the blues has always had a long lineage of songs about one bourbon, one scotch, one beer, or whiskey and women (John Lee Hooker offering a deadly combination), food and booze (Nina Simone called in for Give Me a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer) and any number of songs about cigarettes.

Jeez, kd lang did a whole album about smoking. (And I don't think she does.)

So let's be clear: a song is a song is a song and we aren't here to moralise. Just to enjoy the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins taking on the Leiber-Stoller downhome celebration of a drink not many know of, or would ever want to become overly familiar with.

Nice to have the recipe though. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Savage Rose: A Girl I Knew (1968)

The Savage Rose: A Girl I Knew (1968)

Since Richie Unterberger wrote Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Genuises, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks and More in 1998, many of the artists he unearthed (Wanda Jackson,... > Read more

Patrice Holloway: Those DJ Shows (2005)

Patrice Holloway: Those DJ Shows (2005)

Ridiculous to observe, but there was once a time when radio people weren't "shock jocks" (and ain't that the second easiest job in the world?) or "taking callers now." Once... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Essaouira, Morocco: The world according to Muhammed

Essaouira, Morocco: The world according to Muhammed

The words most travelers hear in certain countries, and understandably shy away from, come from street people or those with something to sell who ask, “Where you from?” But in... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more