Last night on the KCCK Big Mo Blues Show I listened to something I haven’t heard since the mid-1970s. It was a radio commercial for the Green Beetle and Frank’s Liquor Store. It ran right after the song, “Memphis Women and Fried Chicken.”
I think I first heard this radio ad while I was a student at Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Texas in the mid-1970s.
I heard it early on in the evening in my sweltering college dorm room. Later on, I heard a stirring rendition of the opening song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” for another radio program, the name of which I can’t recall. I don’t know who sang it, but her voice was breathtaking. I have not heard a better version of it since.
The contrast between the “Old Crow Boogie” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was striking. No matter what race, culture, gender we are, we struggle to reconcile these opposites.