Honeydripper (1946); Jonathan Green's "The Hawk" (1930s)

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Thu Feb 10 19:34:08 UTC 2005

"The Honeydripper" was the name of a tune written by Joe Liggins and
recorded by him with his band on the long-since defunct Exclusive
Records, the first black-owned label, in 1945. After the record
reputedly (back in the day, Downbeat pretty much didn't track black
music unless it crossed over) sold 2 million copies, Liggins made the
song his theme song and changed the name of the band to "Joe Liggins
and The Honeydrippers.

Liggins himself was a pianist, but the tune featured the blowing of two
saxophonists, Willie Jackson on the soprano and the baritone gator
tails and James Jackson, Jr. (no relation) on the tenor gator tail.
(These Jacksons should not be confused with Willis "Gator Tail"
Jackson, who also played the tenor gator tail and was married to Ruth
Brown.) These two were _The_ Honeydrippers.

Very likely, the Downbeat cartoon refers to this tune.

-Wilson Gray

On Feb 10, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bapopik at AOL.COM
> Subject:      Honeydripper (1946); Jonathan Green's "The Hawk" (1930s)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> HDAS? A cartoon in DOWN BEAT, 14 January 1946, pg. 10, col. 3, has
> someone shouting "Honeydripper!" to an orchestra.

> JONATHAN GREEN'S "THE HAWK"--The Cassell Dictionary of Slang has
> "1930s+" for "hawk" and "Hawkins." This would rule out Coleman Hawkins
> and Erskine Hawkins, as I've said. Cites?

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