Thursday, April 30, 2009
For some reason, an old song from the '40s popped into my mind today. When I was 11 years old, in 1943 a song came out on the country/western amd pop music stations called "Pistol Packin' Mama". I remember when we would listen to this song on the radio on the farm in Wilson County Texas. It was about the same time the REA brought us electricity. But we already had a battery radio we listened to. The song was written by a man from East Texas name Al Dexter. In 1939 there was a shootout in Cherokee County when the sheriff Bill Brunt was killed by a bootlegger Red Creel. This happened near Rusk. Creel also died. Brunt's wife, Mary was appointed sheriff. Mary put on her pistol and took over her husband's duties. That's when Dexter wrote "Pistol Packin' Mama" and recorded the song with Gene Autry's band as backup.
The song was released in June 1943 and though controversial because of the lyrics, went straight to #1 on county and western juke boxes and #2 on the pop charts. Billboard rated it #1 for three weeks in 1944 and it sold a million copies the first six months.. People never got tired of the song.
I listened to the Hit Parade on Saturday Nights back in the 1940's, and I can still remember this recording from those days - Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters singing it on the Hit Parade. I loved the Grand Ole Opry and the Hit Parade on Saturday nights. Things were so simple back then. Now this song would be called "politically incorrect, and Al Dexter might be sued for talking bad about women carrying guns. Here is the song on Youtube!