Hello Mrs. Johnson, You Old Self-Righteous Biddy

I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while. O.B. McClinton was a minor figure in the country world. This might have had something to do with being on Enterprise Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records. Enterprise released Isaac Hayes first record, and was meant to be Stax’s jazz label. However, Enterprise releases ended up being quite diverse–  blues harmonica, dirty funk, straight-up country– it had it all. Besides Isaac Hayes releases, the label was never that successful financially, and it folded in 1973.

Randy’s Rodeo was a country-western  dancehall in San Antonio, TX. The Sex Pistols famously played there in 1978. It is now known as Randy’s Ballroom, a popular Tejano club. You can read more about Randy’s at this interesting site.

My favorite track off the live record is this cover of a Bill Anderson tune made famous by Cal Smith, “The Lord Know’s I’m Drinking.” Smith’s version was the #1 single for March 3, 1973, preceded by “Rated X” by Loretta Lynn, which is about the predicament and stigma of being a divorced woman. Both songs are about small-minded, small-town folks passing judgement on others. The gist of “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking” is : Hey, the Lord knows I get loose, he doesn’t care, and in fact we have a pretty good relationship, so leave us the hell alone and go back to your Bible club.

O.B. McClinton penned a couple of sungs sung by James Carr, “A Man Needs A Woman,” and “You Got My Mind Messed Up” before veering into country music. His studio recordings seem pretty generic to me, but on the live album (and “live” is questionable, as parts of the audience response sound pretty canned), his personality really shines through. I hope you dig it.

The Lord Know’s I’m Drinking- O.B. McClinton (live at Randy’s Rodeo)

And here’s Cal Smith singing his hit on what appears to be the Porter Wagoner Show, from 1973.

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2 responses to “Hello Mrs. Johnson, You Old Self-Righteous Biddy

  1. Oh, great post. The whole black country singer scene is terribly overlooked.

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