Tox Tunes #31: Junker’s Blues (Champion Jack Dupree)

October 24, 2010, 9:31 am

This influential song — recorded by the great boogie-woogie piano player Champion Jack Dupree in the early 1940s — describes a junkie in denial about his habit despite pleas from his family to give it up:

My brother, my brother used a needle
and my sister sniffed cocaine
I don’t use no junk, I’m the nicest boy you ever seen

My mother, my mother she told me
and my father told me too
That that junk is a bad habit, why don’t you leave it too?

My sister she even told me
And my grandma told me too
That using junk partner was going to be the death of you

in the early 1950s, Fats Domino rewrote the song, removed all drug references, and called it “The Fat Man”.  That release is often cited as the first rock ‘n’ roll record to sell over a million copies:

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