Ongoing History Daily: Dirty records through the ages

Some may complain about the lyrical content of today’s music, but this is nothing new. Almost from the moment we had the technology to record audio, we’ve had dirty and risqué records.

Starting in the 1920s, there was hysteria over something called “hokum blues,” which were songs filled with humorous and suggestive lyrics. They had titles like “I Want a Hot Dog for My Roll,” which was so raunchy that the label refused to release it. Another song that caused people to faint with indignation was “It’s Tight Like That,” a track from 1928 by Thomas A. Dorsey and Tampa Red.

It set off the “hokum blues craze,” which lasted well into the 1950s. Other songs in the genre include “Lollipop Mama,” “60 Minute Man,” and “Long John Blues.” And get this: Dorsey is also considered to be the father of American gospel music.

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