Just in case you dozed off and you missed it, Rex and Debbie recently threw down the gauntlet and posted a series of scathing country 45's that were notable for their extremely rancorous rantings about hippies. OK, they did not actually throw down a gauntlet, but I figured as long as they were spreading good old-fashioned hippie hatred, it would be ungracious of me if I neglected to help out the cause.
In any case, the post was an eye-opening reminder not only of how fast things were changing in American society in the late 1960's, but also of the fact that it's difficult, if not impossible, to imagine two groups more radically opposed to each other than socially conservative small town southerners and the dope smoking flower children of the Now Generation.
It's probably worth noting that quite a few country artists cut hippie-themed 45's that took an approach that was more bemused than confrontational. Maybe I'll do a follow-up post with some of those. Today's effort, though, is all about condescension and contempt.
Guy Drake was not one to mince words. Check it out as he goes straight for the jugular:
"Now I asked this one big hippie what that sign was on his back
He said "Peace" but the darn thing looked to me like just like some American chicken track."
Drake is probably best known for recording Welfare Cadillac, a #6 hit in 1970. He can be seen here, via youtube, doing Welfare Cadillac live on the Porter Wagoner Show.
Smokey sings about returning to the states after an Army hitch overseas and finding himself more than a little disenchanted with what he finds back home. Sample lyric:
"They can carry their signs go marching in the streets, all that's good and well - But to my way of thinking if they don't like our country, there's a place for them called hell."
Smokey's actually a pretty nice guy, though. Despite all the hostility in the air he generously offers the hippies and yippies free baths and haircuts.
More hippie-hatin' fun after the jump:
Chesley Carroll's version is the original and was mentioned here a few months back in an exploration of country records using fuzztone guitar, which can be heard blaring as the record comes to a close.
Rusty Adams' version, released on the Plantation label, maintains a bit more of the melody from Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogee, which was obviously the inspiration for Hippie From Mississippi. .
Bowman was a parodist / satirist who first hit the charts in 1964 with Chit Atkins Made Me A Star. He appeared in the movies Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966) and Hillbillys In A Haunted House (1967) and was the original host of the syndicated American Country Countdown radio program. He currently resides in Tarzana, California and has just released a new album, according to his Myspace page, which is exceedingly difficult to read due to font colors and background graphics. Seriously, if you spend more than a minute or two there you may well go blind.
Somehow I felt compelled to include this Don Jarrells record because, believe it or not, I bought it back in 1997 or 1998 on my one and only visit to the fabled WFMU Record Fair.
Don's son is a militant protester with a job on campus where his work duties apparently do not interfere with his hobby of "tearing down the USA."
This one was a late arrival on the hippie hater scene, having been released in 1981. Joe Richie recorded this song in San Jose, California and it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that his close proximity to hippie haven San Francisco finally pushed him over the edge. Richie gets bonus points for mentioning Ernest Tubb as part of his hippie removal plan, though his Tinkerbell references make him unlikely to win any awards for sensitivity.
It's worth noting that the production team for this tune included Gradie O'Neal, famed for his 1958 recording The Turkeyneck Stretch, released on San Jose's Bella record label. Gradie's still in San Jose and since 1967, he and his wife Jeannine have run Tiki Studios.