Saturday, October 01, 2011
Herbi Hardt (lower r.) with Herr Louie, the Weasel, and the Original Hungry Five--Chicago, 1930s (image swiped from eBay)
We start Halloween 2011 with 16 Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory, which is better known (by those who know it) in the version called 7 Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory. Some identify it as an old Irish drinking song, and that sounds about right. Oscar Brand is often cited as the author, though he isn't. The lyrics have a turn-of-the-century feel, though I'm not sure pay-bathrooms go back that far, not being an authority on that topic.
An on line "blue" discography gives 1951 as the year for the version we're about to hear, based on the matrix numbers--again, that sounds about right. My copy cost me $5.00, which is probably a good buy, and it yielded a fine rip. Best of all, we have tons of information on the artist, Herbi Hardt, courtesy of this 2010 piece by Patty Williamson, Ph.D: Part 1, Part 2. An amazing life, which began in Stuttgart, Germany in 1912.
16 Old Ladies (Google for some of the many versions thereof) is a "bawdy" number by pre-SNL standards, but of course it's way tamer than most of today's family-movie moments. From a 78 just added to my collection, and the perfect start to a MY(P)WHAE Halloween.
16 Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory
Herbi Hardt and the Jesters (Herbi Hardt U.B. 9913/14) (c. 1951)