Friday, June 23, 2006

"Cocaine Blues" by Roy Hogsed

Roy Hogsed (1919-1978) forged one of the most original sounds in postwar country music, a tight and exciting small group sound that often anticipated the energy and drive of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. He is best remembered for his hit version of the notorious Cocaine Blues and most identified with the accordion and guitar lead and slapped-bass rhythm of his original Rainbow Riders Trio.

The Arkansas-born, San Diego-based Hogsed's recording career was relatively brief, spanning 1947-54, and his greater impact may have been limited by his largely local orientation, but he left an uncommonly enjoyable legacy. “Cocaine Blues” was recorded later by many artists including Johnny Cash, George Thorogood and Hank III. Some of Hogsed’s other songs are “Snake Dance Boogie”, “Babies and Bacon”, “Shuffleboard Shuffle”, “The Red We Want Is the Red We've Got (in the Old Red, White and Blue)” and “Put Some Sugar In Your Shoes”.


Cocaine Blues
(Roy Hogsed)

Early one morning while making the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I shot her down and then I went to bed
I stuck that loving Forty-Four beneath my head

Got up next morning and I grabbed that gun
I took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I ran too slow
They overtook me down in Juarez, Mexico

Laid in the hop joint, taking the pill,
In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill
Said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty hop that shot your woman down

Said yes, oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got the warrant just a-read it to me
Shot her down because she made me sore
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more

When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they hauled me back
I had no friends for to go my bail
They slapped my dried up carcass in that county jail

Early next morning bout a half past nine
I spied the sheriff coming down the line
Smiled and coughed as he cleared his throat
He said come on you dirty hop into that district court

Into the courtroom my trial began
Where I was tried by twelve honest men
Just before the jury started out
I saw the little judge commence to look about

In about five minutes in walked the man
Holding the verdict in his right hand
It read murder in the first degree
I hollered Lord or Lordy, have a mercy on me

The judge he smiled as he picked up his pen
99 years in the Folsom pen
99 years underneath that ground
I can't forget the day I shot that Woman down

Come on you hopheads and listen to me
Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be

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