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Asleep At the Wheel: Hot Rod Lincoln

Weekend Music

I was having trouble finding what I wanted on YouTube (maybe next week) and this appeared in the sidebar. I like it better than what I was looking for.

 

The Wheel, as their fans call them, as you may or may not know, are a Western swing (sort of country-jazz hybrid)  group who have been deservedly popular for most of the past forty years. It's not the kind of music I listen to on record very much, but I saw them once, at a local music festival, and enjoyed it as much as I've ever enjoyed any popular music performance. That was a good fifteen years ago. They're still touring to enthusiastic audiences, so probably worth seeing if they come your way.

Here's a surprise: Ray Benson, the imposing (6'4", I think) frontman, who seems pure Texas cowboy, is...a Jewish guy from Philadelphia.

The Wheel has pretty much made this song their own, but people of my age may remember hearing it on the radio in the late '50s or early '60s. I think that must have been this version:

 

But that, apparently, is still not the original, which dates back to 1955. 

 

The attentive listener will have noticed that the original car has not a mere eight but twelve cylinders, a configuration that I think was pretty much gone from the automobile market by the 1950s (and I suppose had always been rare). Surprisingly, the song is based on a real car and a real race and the description is accurate.

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