Tox Tunes #94: Cocaine Blues (David Bromberg)

March 22, 2015, 9:12 pm

Along comes Sally with her nose all tore
The doctor says she can’t sniff no more
He says that cocaine’s for horses, it’s not for men
He says it’s gonna kill me but he don’t say when

During the American folk music revival that started in the 1930s and continued into the 1960s and 70s, many musicians rediscovered the rich vein of drug themes that ran through the history of blues and country songs. I first heard Luke Jordan’s “Cocaine Blues” through David Bromberg’s excellent cover version.

Jordan (1882-1952) made several recordings for Victor Records in Charlotte NC and New York City. “Cocaine Blues” was recorded in 1927.

Related posts:

Tox Tunes #76: Cocaine Blues (Dave van Ronk)

Tox Tunes #25: Cocaine Blues (Luke Jordan 1927)

Tox Tunes #20: Cocaine Habit Blues (Memphis Jug Band)

Tox Tunes #1: Cocaine Blues (Keith Richards)


  1. Guy Weinberg Says:

    Thanks, Leon for posting a wonderful cut by David Bromberg! it brought me back 40 some years when i was a regular at the original Amazing Grace in Evanston (NWU, really) and he played there often. He would offer to play ANY stringed instrument the audience could bring and play he did…very well, and some really strange instruments at that.
    Ill post again soon, when our next paper is officially published: whole animal, isolated heart showing benefit of ILE in cardiac toxicity from cocaine and cocaethylene. We also show that cocaine and CE share with other local anesthetics the ability to inhibit mitochondrial carnitine exchange.

  2. Leon Says:


    At about that same time I would see Bromberg at Richard Harding’s club, The Quiet Knight, on Belmont. At that time he had a band member who played mouth trumpet — producing a great jazz trumpet sound but without a horn, using only his mouth and hands. It was quite amazing. A quick Google search reveals that the musician was Bob Gurland, who in the early 60s was a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, with Maria Mudaur and John Sebastian (later of the Lovin’ Spoonful.)

    Looking forward to the paper.