Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not My Victrola: Stereotyping, Or The Way It Really Was?

This humorous Edison disc is one that falls into the category of what folks used to call 'coon songs'. Edison liked the genre, and recorded them long after other recording companies dropped them, and it's one reason Edison lost market share, and ultimately went out of the record business.  But, this razor business; is it an unfair stereotype or maybe even something like the dreaded 'profiling?'  I think there is a lot of truth in it from history that I have heard and read.  My dad often spoke of seeing men with scars from razor fights when he was a kid in Moline, Illinois.  One of my professors at Mizzou told me about a man he knew in his younger days who killed a man with a razor.  It's an incredible story, and the man wasn't prosecuted, because the man he killed was having a rendezvous with his wife.  The way I see it, it isn't any different than talking about gang-bangers today doing drive-by shootings, or holding their pistols sideways.  Whatever your feelings on the subject, have a listen to this oldtime, obscure classic (that I learned forty-five years ago) and have a few good laughs.  I especially like the verse about the insurance.

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