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Uranium Rock: Warren Smith [Recorded 1958]

Warren Smith's Uranium Rock is an infectious rockabilly celebration of uranium prospecting, a short lived fad of the '50s that became so well publicized that it inspired a number of songs (Uranium by The Commodores, Uranium Fever by Elton Britt and others, several of which are heard in this set), movies (1956s Uranium Boom and Dig That Uranium) and even a 1958 episode of 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' entitled 'Lucy Hunts Uranium' in which the wacky redhead competes with a shifty Fred MacMurray (playing himself) for a big uranium score. Note: See entry for Fred MacMurray's civil defense PSA which is included on this set.

Rockabilly pioneer Warren Smith was born in Humphreys County near Yazoo, Mississippi in 1932 and was raised in Louise, Mississippi. In 1955 Smith moved to West Memphis, Arkansas where a local bandleader helped the young musician launch his recording career at Sun in Memphis, Tennessee. Smith recorded five released singles at the studio including Ubangi Stomp. None of these singles was very successful, but in retrospect, Smith's Sun recordings are representative of classic rockabilly.

In 1959 Smith moved to California and recorded briefly for Warner Brothers and then recorded for Liberty until 1964. Smith's tenure at Liberty yielded the country hits I Don't Believe I'll Fall In Love Today and Odds And Ends. In 1965 Smith, who had been abusing prescription drugs, caused a car accident which resulted in a jail term. He recorded on smaller labels such as Skill and Jubal before moving to Texas where he worked in a field other than music. In the late '70s Smith toured Europe on the wave of renewed interest in rockabilly. He died of a heart attack in 1980 while preparing for another European tour.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Uranium Rock: Warren Smith [Recorded 1958]

Well I'm gettin' tired workin' hard every day
Workin' every day and not a-gettin' much pay
I got a big Geiger counter, it's a pretty good rig
When the needle starts clickin' it's where I'm gonna dig
Money-money honey, the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away

Well, I can see me now in my long Cadillac
Hinges in the middle, spare wheel on the back
Man, don't you know I'd be hard to stop
When I find that big uranium rock
Money-money honey, the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away

Yes, that's me in my long Cadillac
Headin' down the road and I ain't comin' back
Ain't no red light gonna make me stop
When I find that big uranium rock
Money-money honey, the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away

Warren Smith [Recorded 1958]
Uranium Rock
(Al Hopson)
Sun unissued
Bear Family BCD 15514 'Classic Recordings'

CATEGORY: SONGS: URANIUM[ 1 | COMMENTS | May 10, 06 | 4:09 am ]

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Uranium
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