Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How did THAT get by the censors?


whitefang

Recommended Posts

There's been plenty of debate on my "What! Cleveland?" thread about early rock'n'roll and such. Somebody brought up Little Richard. And one song of his that made it big back then makes me wonder how IT ever got past the stern censorship of the times it was released.

 

GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY

 

With lines like, "Sure like to ball"

 

and...

 

"When you're rockin' and-a rollin' "

 

Now, there's been mention that the term "rock and roll" was long before used as a slang term for the sex act. But then again....

 

So was the term "ball", or "ballin' "

 

It got picked back up by hippies in the later '60's. Remember the Zeppelin tune in which Robert Plant complains, "I got a woman likes to BALL all day.." So....

 

MISS MOLLY "Sure likes to BALL"

 

And when SHE'S "rockin' and a-rollin' " CAN she hear her mama call? And she does this all in the "house of blue light"!

 

Now, I've heard this song on the radio when I was a kid, and over time saw and heard film of Little Richard singing it in those ALAN FREED movies that came out in the mid '50's. So....

 

What DID they think Richard WAS singin' about?

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

IIRC...Rock and Roll was 1st used in musical lyrics to describe the rocking and rolling of a ship as opposed to a bed...

 

The term ball was used to refer to going dancing at the sock hop ball. Probably due to old ball rooms being used (nope, the sock hops took place at the high school gyms!)

 

But, I wouldn't put it past the old rock and rollers to be referring to bedroom activities either LOL! :cool:

Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alvin Lees version of good morning little school girl .

" i want to ball you all night long" .

I never thought he wanted to dance at a sock hop. I think the old fogeys at the censor board never really listened to something unless somebody filed a complaint. There were more obvious targets back then like the hippy bands sliding in drug references that kept the censors busy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Radio stations have the fcc which can issue punitive fines for obcenity. Also local advertisers would cancel sales accounts if people complained to be offended by radio programming. Radio stations would catch the hysteria about a racy song lyric and join in on bans of songs and artists. It happened alot. Whats more interesting is some songs like Pink Floyds Money seemed to get a pass. Steve Millers Jet Airliner sometimes got played, sometimes the alternative funky kicks version.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a while-when the debate over labeling records for explicit lyrics was getting heated-when I got fed up, and wrote a song about it. I thought it was pretty catchy, especially the ending riff. So what happened-records got labeled, and it ended up with the opposite effect. Hip hop came along with more explicit content than ever, and the whole issue of censorship sounded almost as dated as discussing it.

So much for my song, it now sits in the archives. One of these days maybe I`ll rewrite the lyrics.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, I know the word "ball" was long used to refer to a fancy social gathering at which there would also be dancing. Like Cinderella going to the "ball" or "Th annual Policeman's Ball" and such.

 

But, I don't (personally) remember anyone using the word INSTEAD of just saying "dance". After all, CHRIS MONTEZ didn't put the invitation as, "Let's BALL" did he?

 

Remember, professor Henry Higgins put Eliza Doolittle to the test by taking her to an Embassy BALL at which Eliza later claimed, "I could have DANCED all night." ;)

 

I've never heard of them referred to as "Sock hop BALLS".

 

But I'm not surprised that many of y'all "balled" the pooch ;) by bringing up explicit lyrics in songs made TWENTY YEARS after the song originally mentioned in the thread. :D

 

But I'm pretty sure too, that probably people back when GGMM was released thought Richard WAS referring to dancing to rock'n'roll music. But I hold to my conviction that he probably laughed up his sleeve when he realized it WAS what some people thought!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Radio stations have the fcc which can issue punitive fines for obcenity.

 

Yes, & for consistency's sake, obscenity came to be defined as the '7 curse words'. Euphemism & suggestion fall outside that strict determination of obscene, so they got a pass.

 

Songs mentioning getting high or other possible drug references didnt trigger an fcc responce but radio stations self regulated bans on many songs. So there might not have been official censor boards but there were conservative program directors of radio stations unwilling to cause controversy and risk their jobs by playing records they found offensive. Parents of 60s teenagers who bought Little Richard 45s didnt listen to their kids music, couldnt understand the rough screaming style of LR and werent hip to slang like ball. Probably not an accident pat boone covered tutti frutti and not good golly. I had freinds say ball all the time in the early 70s. ie "Sherie , i balled her last week". If i would have said "oh you took her to a sock hop?" I would have been laughed out of the neighborhood and would have had to live it down for years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of them referred to as "Sock hop BALLS".

 

But I'm pretty sure too, that probably people back when GGMM was released thought Richard WAS referring to dancing to rock'n'roll music. But I hold to my conviction that he probably laughed up his sleeve when he realized it WAS what some people thought!

Whitefang

 

You can hear it now by clicking the link I provided above as sung by Little Richard. The song was also covered by Elvis and you'll hear the term again, it is a classic and denotes a little history of the term being used to describe a dance. but, +1 Little Richard used the [ball] term both ways and it got by the censors while he was "laughing up his sleeve" LOL! :cop::w00t::keynana::D

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC3IP5pjr-M <---here's the Elvis version where you'll hear it again...

 

<---here's Elvis going to the social hall to ball it up and I don't think he means doing the [ball word] in front of the people at the party tonight. I'm pretty sure we're talking dancing here... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had freinds say ball all the time in the early 70s. ie "Sherie , i balled her last week". If i would have said "oh you took her to a sock hop?" I would have been laughed out of the neighborhood and would have had to live it down for years.

 

I had friends in the early 70's who used the [ball] term that way too. But sock hop ball was a real term used in the 50's by LR and EP and many others to denote going out dancing. Not saying they didn't use the term both ways when the mood and the moon were just right after the dance... :cool:

Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have thought the same about Uncle Ted's song 'Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang'.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My vote would go for You're Breaking My Heart by Harry Nilsson...hard to believe a Grammy winner for Everybody's Talken (Midnight Cowboy) or from the lime in the Coconut would write you're breaking my heart, you're tearing it apart so F-You...and the record company would record/sell it with other pretty good tunes. Not really a bad song even though it contains the F-bomb on the Nilsson Schmilsson album... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, like I said, this WASN'T supposed to be about "double entendres" throughout rock'n'roll history, NOR what slipped by in more recent times. But it does get interesting.

 

I've NEVER heard them called ANYthing else but "sock hops". But no matter...

 

While some songs snuck past the crusading sensors, others got unwarrented scrutiny.

 

In the movie "American Hot Wax", there's a scene in which some anti rock'n'roll cusaders are denouncing the Chuck Berry tune that had the lyric, "I boogied in the kitchen/I boogied in the hall/I boogied on my fingers and/I wiped it on the wall" as being about masturbating. Maybe. Maybe not, but "boogie" at that point in time, in African-American parlance could ALSO heve gone both ways. ;)

 

But in the Canned Heat tune "Boogie Music", they were referring to nothing else but a MUSIC VIBE. Like in their tune "Fried Hockey Boogie". And also possibly John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillun' "

 

By the time many of the tunes mentioned DID come out, NObody was trying to get ANYthing past the censors! ;)

 

I mean, listen to the lyrics in Thin Lizzies "Showdown". THAT tune ain't about NOTHIN' else! ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of sick freak would see boogie on my fingers so i wiped it on the wall more than a reference to nose picking. The only sexually sugestive lyric i can recall from chuck is him and his ding a ling , which was described as a bell on a string. Maybe there are more, im not a chuck berry musicologist. Chuck seemed more about seatbelts that wouldnt unhook and clean dating fun than raw sex like richard .
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The song is Reelin and Rocken and it had nothing to do with masturbating...the words are "we" boogied not "I" boogied. He may have been sexually involved with his girl friend all night, but he definitely was not alone...I still think they were dancing and the something in the kitchen could have been chicken grease for all we know. Live adult shows do get a bit more risqué...In the recorded version, he made it clear that they were dancing! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of sick freak would see boogie on my fingers so i wiped it on the wall more than a reference to nose picking. The only sexually sugestive lyric i can recall from chuck is him and his ding a ling , which was described as a bell on a string. Maybe there are more, im not a chuck berry musicologist. Chuck seemed more about seatbelts that wouldnt unhook and clean dating fun than raw sex like richard .

 

I really don't think NOSE PICKING had anything to do with it, Baldwin. :rolleyes:

 

That seatbelt referrence comes from "No Particular Place To Go", and if you LISTEN to it, it's obvious "clean dating fun" was NOT Chuck's intent. ;) But then, Chuck was always good at word play, and nobody at the time thought twice about it.

 

In the movie I mentioned, Chuck made an appearance supposedly doing a live appearance and DID sing "I" instead of "we", probably to do the referrence made by the crusaders in the flick some justice. But, you may recall, when reading about the problems the previous generation had with rock'n'roll in those days, that they, like others did later in the '60's, heard what they WANTED to, and NOT to what was actually SAID. In the '50's, it was SEX they worried about. In the '60's, it was DRUGS. How many tunes in the '60's got needlessly condemned because some ninny with a constricted sphincter THOUGHT some song was promoting drug use when it actually WASN'T? ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit off track here, but what you posted reminded me----

 

My ex mother-in-law went to her grave convinced it was the HIPPIES in THE '60's that "invented" marijuana and it's use. She refused to believe it when I told her about Louis Armstrong's continuing to smoke it until the day he died. OR that most of the '30's and '40's "hep cats" that made the music she held so near and dear were known to partake frequently. I knew a lot of this due to my Mom once telling me about a friend of hers who tried to "fix her up" with a date with a guy who was known around her high school as the guy who was selling a lot of "gauge". ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While we're on the subject---

 

I stopped at a local gas station to pick up a Mounds candy bar for my wife, and on the counter was a display of some ceramic or some similar material items that were designed to look like filter cigarettes. They supposedly work like pipes. You stuff your tobacco(or whatever ;) ) in one end and light up. I joked with the guy behind the counter, "I sure could have made use of THESE back in THE DAY!" :D

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of these days it will be in that Mounds candy bar and you won't even need that gadget LOL! :cool:

 

Since along with Elvis AND Dylan, you're also a YouTube "freak", you might want to see if they carry anything of a comedy album from '70 or '71 called "A Child's Garden Of Grass" on which there was a comic bit about buying marijuana. It involves a scenario of a guy checking out at a convenience store counter and ordering pot the same way one would ask for a pack of cigarettes! The guy at the counter asks, "Soft pack, Flip top or bulk?" :D That WHOLE ALBUM is a riot! :D

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was always tickled by the segment about "Meditation". How the mantra "Oon Yallymon" morphs into "SIEG HEIL!" :D

 

A not so subtle comment on how to mesmerize huge masses of disillusioned people. Sort of like a lot of our modern day political slogans( like "BUILD THAT WALL!" ;) )

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...