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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security


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No, No Joe: Hank Williams [1950]

Hank Williams recorded this musical scolding of Soviet dictator Joe Stalin under the guise of his folksy alter ego Luke The Drifter (Williams recorded 14 Luke numbers). The lyrics seek to put 'Joe' in his place like a petulant child and warn him that other dictators who have dared to tangle with the U.S. are now sitting around a 'fire' and saving a place for their Russian counterpart.

This track serves as a prequel of sorts to the two harsher, post-death anti-Stalin songs, Stalin Kicked The Bucket by Ray Anderson and Death Of Joe Stalin (Good Riddance) by Buddy Hawks and His Buddies. Another couple of pre-death Stalin songs, Mr. Stalin, You're Eating Too High Off The Hog by Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith and Advice To Joe by Roy Acuff are also featured on the ATOMIC PLATTERS box set.

Hank Williams, the most influential country artist of all time, was born Hiram Williams in Mount Olive Community, near Garland, Alabama in 1923. His parents, Lon and Lilly, were farmers. Williams musical mentor was a black street musician named Rufus 'Tee-Tot' Payne whom he met in Georgiana and paid for lessons.

After his family moved to Montgomery, Williams began trying out for talent shows around town. In 1939 Williams quit school and formed the The Driftin' Cowboys. The band eventually began playing on WSFA and WCOV.

In 1946 Williams went to Nashville and met with Fred Rose of Acuff-Rose. He was soon sending the publishing company his songs. Williams' first recordings were for the Sterling label also in 1946 which led to his appearances on the Louisiana Hayride and an eventual leap to the MGM label where he recorded his first hit Move It On Over in 1947. In 1949 Williams had a very successful performance of Lovesick Blues, his first number 1 country hit, at the Grand Ole Opry which led to a contract with the venerable country showcase. During his short career Williams wrote approximately 125 songs and had 27 top ten hits. He also lived long enough to see quite a few of his songs become crossover hits for the likes of Tony Bennett (1951's Cold, Cold Heart went to number 1), and others.

Williams was an alcoholic and was addicted to painkillers (most likely due to the pain he suffered from an untreated birth defect, spina bifida). He was pronounced dead on January 1, 1953 in Oak Hill, West Virginia at the age of 29.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
No, No Joe: Hank Williams [1950]

Now look here Joe, quit acting smart
Stop being that old brazen sort
Don't you go sellin' this country short
No, no Joe

Just because you think you've found
The system that we know ain't sound
Don't you go throwin' your weight around
No, no Joe

'Cause the Kaiser tried it and Hitler tried it
Mussolini tried it, too
Now they're all sittin' around a fire and did you know something?
They're saving a place for you

Now Joe you ought to get it clear
You can't push folks around with fear
'Cause we don't scare easy over here
No, no Joe

What makes you do the things you do
You gettin' folks mad at you
Don't bite off more'n you can chew
No, no Joe

'Cause you want a scrap that can't win
You don't know what you're getting in
Don't go around leading with your chin
No, No Joe

Now you got tanks, some fair size tanks
But you're acting like a clown
'Cause man we've got yanks, a mess of yanks
And you might get caught with your tanks down

Don't go throwin' out your chest
You'll pop the buttons off your vest
You're playing with a hornets' nest
No, no Joe

You know, you think you're somebody we should dread
Just because you're seein' red
You better get that foolishness out of your head
No, no Joe

And you might be itchin' for a fight
Quit braggin' about how your bear can bite
'Cause you're sitting on a keg of dynamite
No, no Joe

Hank Williams [1950]
No, No Joe
(Fred Rose)
MGM 10 806

CATEGORY: SONGS: COLD WAR[ 0 | COMMENTS | - ]


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