Just Another Guy with a Hit Record
Frank and my sister used to snicker and laugh and so taught me to snigger and larf at certain white musicians (Pat Boone, obviously, Paul McCartney once he appeared trying to "WOO!" like Little Richard) but earlier on ....
Like this guy (which Scott Woods nudged me towards).
He sure doesn't sound like he's singing the blues, does he?
So of course I learned to play and sing this song as it was a major comedy piece for me, as this had a fairly simple ukulele kind of strum and I was struggling then, although I couldn't whistle and sing the lyrics at the same time. Now that would have been something to really boast about.
Before I forget, I had a friend in Claremont when I was a teenager, the one who loaned me the first Robert Johnson record I had ever heard, who told me Ezra Pound was "a fascist!
" and I shouldn't read his poetry. I could hardly believe my ears when she said that! Here it was, 1962 or 1963, and she was saying we should somehow censor if not actually erase a poet just because of his political beliefs from two decades prior and across an ocean at that, without too much consideration for the intervening span of history. Kind of the same attitude that developed in Algeria about Camus, though I admit that's stretching a point.
If she had said something like (as we hippy types phrased it later) "I just don't want him in my head, I won't listen to him" (think Rush Limbaugh or something) I might have understood her comment better, but she wasn't advising me to change the channel.
And right about this time, some Quaker girls I knew at school (maybe because they knew I was trying to become a Unitarian) started giving me the cold shoulder and otherwise more forcefully telling me to get lost. Who knows what that was about, certainly not me. Religious warfare of some kind? Did I tell you that in their meetings, though they spoke perfectly good and proper English, these neighbors would suddenly speak a bit differently and actually say "thee" and "thou"? That seemed as contrived as Esperanto.
All this kind of stuff was very confusing to a teenager like me. Except for "shunning". I understood the concept of "shunning" from the Quakers. I could effectively say when Rumsfeld was in power, "I shun thee, Rumsfeld." And give the mandatory list of reasons why he was being "shunned" by me.