[Ads-l] The truth about _boogie-joogie_

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 21 14:15:46 EST 2017

I've read:

That Clarence "Pine Top" Smith recorded the first song with the term
"Boogie Woogie" in it, "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie"
in 1928. Pretty clear (to me) from the way he uses it in the song that he
didn't invent the term.
I want all of you all to know this is Pine Top's Boogie Woogie
I want everybody to dance 'em just like I tell you
And when I say "Hold yourself" I want all of you to get ready to stop
And when I've said "Stop", don't move
And when I say "Get it", I want all of you all to do a boogie woogie
Hold it now
Boogie woogie
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

On Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 10:01 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> According to HDAS, _boogie-joogie_ dates from 1957 - cited from _Corner
> Boy_, a novel by fellow-St. Louisan and fraternity-brother Herbert Simmons
> - and is a BE alt-term for _boogie-woogie_. There is a further cite, with a
> different meaning, from 1974, about which I have no comment. According to
> Green's, in addition to the cite from Simmons, defined as "boogie-Woogie
> music," there is also another cite from 1957, the title of an instrumental
> recording by another fellow-St. Louisan, the R&B saxophonist, Talmadge
> "Tab" Smith. Green's also supplies the 1974 cite.
> Jesse Dillon "Spider" Burk/Burke/Burks - a native of The Lou who was a
> graduate of Virginia's Hampton Institute, BTW, Margaret - was the first
> black DJ in Saint Louis, beginning ca. 1946, and possibly the first in the
> entire state of Missouri. He specialized in be-bop, music which, as he
> characterized it in his patter, comprised "the cooler and the goner things"
> that "took the ship out of the bottle and made it stand for a brand-new
> sound!"
> Unfortunately, teen-agers, the backbone of any DJ's success, going back to
> Darrell "Downbeat" Turner, a.k.a. "DDT," who introduced me to the term,
> "d[isk-]j[ockey], were not particularly interested in what was cool, much
> to Spider's chagrin. He had to dedicate a portion of his show specifically
> to what he called "gut-bucket music," for which he felt nothing but
> contempt. In those days, the standard school-day went from 9:00a.m. to
> 3:00p.m.
> So, at 3;30, Spider began the portion of his show that he called, "The
> After-School Swing Session," which he always introduced with the following
> patter:
> "Let's take a stroll, down the alley behind my house! For *these* are the
> _boogie-joogie_ sounds!"
> That is to say, _boogie-joogie_ originated as Spider Burks's contemptuous
> adjective for the kind of "sounds" that, in those days, had no particular
> name, but which, today, are called "rhythm and blues," "R&B," "doo-wop,"
> "soul," "city blues," "urban blues," "golden oldies," "oldies but goodies,"
> etc., and, especially, country blues. The etymon is clearly _boogie-woogie_
> crossed with, possibly, _joog_, unused in StL, but, as noted, Spider went
> to college out of town.
> Needless to say, both Herbert Simmons and Tab Smith, and any other black
> St. Louisan from back in the day, would have long since been familiar with
> "boogie-joogie" and been aware of its origin.
> In the '50's, there was a term of opprobrium: "off-the-wall, boogie-joogie
> Santa Claus." I didn't understand its point and I was too cool to ask. It
> didn't catch on, in any case.
> All night long blowin' be-bop sounds
> And that jive ain't moved a soul
> Then somebody put on the low-down blues
> And the joint jumped ready to roll!
> - "Talk About a Party"
> Boogaloo & His Gallant Crew
> 1956
> AFAIK, the use of "Boogaloo" as his stage-name by Kent Harris predates all
> other uses of the word.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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