Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Workin' For the Yankee Dollar

Lord Invader - Rum and Coca Cola (1943)

A controversial number here in both subject matter and it's tale of plagiarism by Yankees. A song about the explosion of prostitution in Trinidad due to new US Military bases on the island, Lord Invader wrote and started performing this song in 1943. In 1944, Morey Amsterdam from the Dick Van Dyke show stole the song without Invader even knowing and released a handful of 78s with altered lyrics, the most popular being close harmony group the Andrews Sisters' version. Fortunately, Morey lost the copyright suit but that didn't help the original much. I don't really know about recordings existing on vinyl back in the day, and the couple of recordings of Invaders original that I have are all live. There is a lot of great info and several versions of the tune over at Rum And Coca Cola Reader, as well as an interview with Morey Amsterdam where he lies throughout most of it!

Oh, and I kept thinking dude was saying "Honkeys", not Yankees. Heh.

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