Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Thighs, Wings, Legs & Breasts

Considering the wealth of music that's been made about chickens I'm a little surprised that Bob Dylan hasn't yet devoted a Theme Time Radio Hour to them. I've now emailed XM Radio with my suggested playlist so maybe we'll hear a rockin' rooster show in the next series. All of these songs would be perfect for the programme.

MP3: Big Joe Turner - The Chicken and the Hawk

Theme Time Radio Hour introduced me to the wonders of Big Joe Turner and Dylan did actually play this on the More Birds edition of his show. This is a love story that highlights the dangers of the food chain.
More Big Joe Turner: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: The Hill Billies - Cluck Old Hen

I found this gem on an incredible compilation I bought recently called Music from the Lost Provinces: Old-Time Stringbands from Ashe County, North Carolina & Vicinity 1927-1931. Two fiddles, a banjo and a ukulele. What more could you want?
More Hill Billies: Wikipedia | Amazon

MP3: Dr Alimantado - The Best Dressed Chicken in Town

No Theme Time is complete without some reggae and this is probably the biggest chicken related hit to come out of Jamaica. Alimantado is apparently the "doctor who was born for a purpose" in the Clash classic Rudie Can't Fail.
More Dr Alimantado: MySpace | Amazon

MP3: Cab Calloway - A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird

A recent discovery for me but it's evidently a classic of the genre and takes in celebrity chicken enthusiasts (Caesar, Henry III) as well as cooking advice ("you can boil it, roast it, broil it" etc). Calloway fans and fellow 'hepsters' are advised to investigate the great man's Jive Dictionary.
More Cab Calloway: official site | Amazon | 7digital

I hope you enjoyed those as much as me. As I said in my previous chicken song post this has become an obsession so I'm sure I'll be sharing even more tracks about hens and roosters in the future.

More Chicken Song Posts

Chicken Songs For The Soul - Joe Ely, Hayes Carll, Hellwood, McGee Bros, Bill Thomas
Chicken: Anyone For Seconds? - Sean Hayes, Charles Mingus, The Magnetic Fields, Howlin' Wolf
Clucking Brilliant - The Meters, Rufus Thomas, Uncle Dave Macon, Link Wray


Peter said...

apologies nige but isn't the dr alimantado tune be 'the best dressed chicken in toen' ? dunno what kind of dressing he means - probably something with alot of er, herbs in t? :-)

Peter said...

oops, sorry for the typos. it's been a long day.

Nigel Smith said...

Thanks Pete. I've corrected the Alimantado title.

Nora Flood said...

It's been a while since your last chicken related post, but I recently stumbled onto your blog while compiling my own chicken songs list. Thanks for the great lists! Here are a few great ones from my collection that you may enjoy:

"Banty Rooster," Blind Pete, from the collection Deep River of Song: Black Appalachia.

"Chicken," Pink Anderson, Medicine Show Man (also know as "Chicken Can't Roost Too High for Me" and done by Mississippi John Hurt.

"Chicken and Gravy" Richard Johnston, Foot Hill Stomp (with vocals by Jessie Mae Hemphill)

"Chicken Licken," Louisiana Red, Blues for Ida B.

"Don't Want My Rooster Crowin'" Memphis Slim, The Essential Masters

"It Takes an Old Hen to Deliver the Goods," Cliff Carlisle, A Country Legacy.

"Tired Chicken Blues" Cannon's Jug Stompers, Gus Cannon & Noah Lewis

"The Whole Damn Thing" Those Darlins, Self Titled.

The last one's recent, and damn good! Thanks again, and by the way, I have a radio show on an internet community radio station in Utah. My show's called "Shootin' Creek" on Fridays 3-6 pm MST. You listen through the internet at From your taste in music reflected in chicken songs, you may like our show.

Nigel Smith said...

@Nora Flood - thanks for you suggestions. I'll check them out. You're right - it has been a while since my last chicken song post. I'll try to listen to your radio show too (the time is not ideal for a Brit).

Nora Flood said...

Right...forgot to mention that we archive the last three shows, so you can listen to them at any more convenient time from the website. If you listen to the show, I'm Kate and my partner is Molly. Love the music you talk about on this blog. Thanks!

Nigel Smith said...

@ Nora Flood - cheers Kate. I've now bought all of the songs on your list so expect another chicken song post relatively soon. Unfortunately the archive streams of your radio show don't seem to be working for me.

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