6: “You’ve Got A Booger Bear Under There” by Ollie Nightingale
July 31, 2010 Leave a comment
I lived in Memphis for a while, and was introduced to the music of Ollie Nightingale, who was still alive at the time. He was part of what was still called “The Chitlin’ Circuit” by folks I knew, and which I took to apply to a certain style of performers touring the Southeast US, namely, “off-color” (woefully under-descriptive!) African-American musicians/comedians playing to largely African-American audiences. I saw Bobby Rush, another musician I’d considered part of that scene, at a great show at the New Daisy Theater. Some consider the term “Chitlin’ Circuit” applied to modern musicians to be derogatory, but I certainly mean no offense by it. I enjoyed several “Chitlin’ Circuit” artists very much, and spent money on them, so I care where it counts.
Here’s a quintessential example of the type of song that would be heard on the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” as we called it: “You’ve Got A Booger Bear Under There,” by Ollie Nightingale. No matter how you might judge the poetic content of the lyrics, it’s a soundly-written song and was often covered by the illustrious Alex Chilton.