Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One: One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer (and One More)

Amos Milburn: One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer


There’s been a lot of sweetness and light around here lately. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’ve posted some of it myself. But sometimes it feels good to get down and dirty. And that often implies having a drink in there somewhere.

One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer is a classic drinking song. Most people know the George Thorogood version, but, to me, Amos Milburn’s version rings truer. Is this the original version?

That turns out to be an interesting question. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer was written by Rudy Toombs, who was not a performer himself. Toombs wrote the song for Amos Milburn, but, before Milburn had a chance to record it, John Lee Hooker came out with a version of his own. As a result, many people think that Hooker wrote the song. For my money, this is the original, or should have been.

Milburn puts over the story of a man who has been unlucky in love, and wants drown his sorrows with alcohol. This was one of a series of drinking songs that Amos Milburn recorded and took up the R & B charts in the 1950s. It is interesting to note that Milburn wasn’t much of a drinker himself.

The Clovers: One Mint Julep


When I decided to post One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer, I couldn’t resist pairing it with One Mint Julep. Here is a morality tale of a man who had one too many. Imagine my surprise, in researching this post, when I learned that One Mint Julep was also written by Rudy Toombs.

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