Tox Tunes #5 – Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine (Harry “The Hipster” Gibson)

February 1, 2010, 12:34 am

This is one of the great novelty songs from the 1930s and 40s.  Harry “The Hipster” Gibson (1915-1991) studied at Juilliard, played in jazz bands in Harlem, was discovered by Fats Waller, and played himself in the 1946 film Junior Prom. His career tanked after his song  “Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine” made him persona-non-grata in the industry.  Although the advent of rock ‘n’roll in the 1950s overshadowed his style of music, some say that his energized, speeded-up boogie-woogie playing paved the way for later rockers.  His career was revived in the 1970s when some of his novelty songs, including this one, were rediscovered by Dr. Demento.

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