Saturday, November 02, 2013

Country Club 22 Tulsa Twist



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No, that's not Django and the Hot Club of France. It may not be country.  And it might or might not a dance tune.

The video has some fascinating film that seems to be from Tulsa in the 1930s or 1940's, including an Africa-American adults and children entering a department store. (Actually some of the video could have been from the 1950s.)


Dickie McBride, who according to Allmusic.com was "a member of Cliff Bruner and His Texas Wanderers. In late 1939, he formed Dickie McBride and the Village Boys with Grady Hester playing fiddle, Russell "Hezzie" Bryant on bass and himself on guitar. They were later joined by musicians such as former Port Arthur Jubileer Dickie Jones, Floyd Tillman, J.D. Standlee, Mancel Tierney and Millard Kelso, among others. The Village Boys disbanded in late 1943. McBride continued to be active with the Music Macs, Laura Lee Owens, and the Ranch Hands, keeping busy into the '60s".

It's music made by professional musicians who played in country bands for country artists. But it sounds closer to jazz to me. There is, of course, lots of others "country" music that is closer to jazz than what most people think of as country. That's something worth a future post, but lets note that both country musicians and country audiences are more sophisticated than our stereotypes allow.

Now about the song title. "Twist" had the slang meaning of "broad" or low-class woman. So that's one possibility. But, don't discount the possibility that it's a dance.  The "twist" became a world-wide dance craze with Chubby Checker's 1960, but the dance goes back to at least 1890.

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