60FlatTop

Hot Rod Lincoln Song

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I wonder how many people here know that Commander Cody's hit song was a rebuttal to an earlier song that charted in 1951, by Arkie Shibley called "Hot Rod Race"? If you hear the first song, Commander Cody's song makes a little more sense. 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, GregLaR said:

I wonder how many people here know that Commander Cody's hit song was a rebuttal to an earlier song that charted in 1951, by Arkie Shibley called "Hot Rod Race"? If you hear the first song, Commander Cody's song makes a little more sense. 

 

 

 

I actually have the 1951 Hot Rod Race in my playlist of MP3s.  "Rebuttal" is not the word I'd use.  Sequel is probably more appropriate.  Hot Rod Lincoln picks up where the original left off.  The original version of Hot Rod Lincoln was recorded in 1954 by Charlie Ryan and actually has the lyrics "it's got TWELVE cylinders and uses them all...".  All the remakes were only V8s; the original at least used the V12 flathead motor.

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I remember seeing the original V12 Model A coupe in an article years ago.

 

The thing I like is coming across some good editing on these Youtube vids.

Here's a good one.

 

Sometimes the good ones jog your memory. It wasn't Tina Louis in 1971. It was Juanita in 1974, my memory is not that bad!

 

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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3 minutes ago, rowan782 said:

4:11 gears - you can really get lost, doesn;t sound like highway ratio?

Street dragging ratio, of course, "but it's got overdrive and it just won't stall..."  (We all wondered in the 1950s what the OD had to do with it not stalling.)  Given the OD ratio of 0.705, the final drive ratio in OD would have been 2.898.

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Maybe 6 months out of the Navy in early 1972 I bought a black '58 Chevy wagon with a later 283, WCFB 4 barrel, '64 Impala bucket seats, and a floor shifter between them attached to a close ratio 3 speed. I bought a set of 4.11 gears for that car, mainly because the song said so. Other guys were going 4.88 and some into the 5's. Now the story goes to those "experts" and blowhards who told me they were mechanics. Since it was a delicate job, needing dial indicators, blueing, and all the stuff Hot Rod Magazine said (from some article a guy who needed groceries wrote), I took it to a mechanic who did side jobs at his home.

Now, that is a ten bolt rearend that has 10 bolts to hold the ring gear on. Later, guys started counting the number of bolts holding the cover on. I always. still do, think that shows a shallow understanding of the mechanics of the car. But that's what they do.

Anyway, the 4.11 ring gear required a spacer and longer bolts. I took them to him with all the parts. After a couple of months (he never missed a night in the bar), I went to his house to pick it up, done or not.

He was bewildered at my urgency. It was assembled, without the spacer and very sloppy. When I asked for the ring he said "Oh, you don't need that. Just turn one bearing in and the other out." "Give me the parts. I don't need you or your advice."

I took the third member into my parent's cellar and put it in my Great Grandfather's big old vice. I put it together correctly by feel. Tighten a little, loosen a little, in the end, yeah, that feels good.

They were great gears! I even tossed the rear half of the driveshaft out on Canal Rd. near a garage where they knew me. We towed it home at night and I was walking along the ditch looking for it the next day. One of the guys from the garage came out and asked if I was looking for my driveshaft. He said "We found it and thought it might be yours."

 

I used to drive with the rear seat folded down. Once my Girlfriend's younger, like 9 or 10,year old, niece was sitting between the buckets in the flat seat. I took off and she slid back, pulling herself up to the front, until I caught second, then she was back by the gate again, she got up just in time for third. Boy would that car pull in high. She just stayed back by the gate until we got her home.

 

Yep, 4.11 gears are good and make memories.

 

I sold that car to a member of one of the wildest families living up south of town. They pounded that car to death and may have gone through two more engines. Last time I saw the car it had no engine and was in front of their shop. As rough as they were, it still had my adjusted by feel rear end in it.

 

My formative years.

Bernie

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1 hour ago, Grimy said:

(We all wondered in the 1950s what the OD had to do with it not stalling.)

 

Song writers are not necessarily car-savvy.  Ask Bruce Springsteen how he got "fuelie heads" on that 396... :D

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1 minute ago, joe_padavano said:

Song writers are not necessarily car-savvy.  Ask Bruce Springsteen how he got "fuelie heads" on that 396... :D

We didn't "wonder" about it so much as laugh at it. knowing the songwriter had to stretch to make a rhyme...  -)

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1 hour ago, Grimy said:

We didn't "wonder" about it so much as laugh at it.

 

Song writer's reality then.

 

TV producer's reality today.

 

Anything for a bag of groceries.

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Commander Cody was a regular at the Saratoga Car Museum in upstate Ny, nice guy and also paints.

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Well the engine might stall without overdrive,  if you pushed it too hard for too long or ran out of gas because you were burning what you could have saved with the OD. 

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Commander Cody (George Frayne) formed his band Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bill Kirchner and I believe one other band member were from Ann Arbor. When I moved to Ann Arbor in the mid-1990s, CC and the Airmen played regularly at places like The Ark and The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor as well as some of the Detroit spots like The Magic Bag in Ferndale and St. Andrews downtown. If you wanted CC to perform a request, all you had to do was buy him a shot of whiskey and place it on the stage floor in front of him.  Commander Cody and his band were playing Rock-a-Billy before it was cool and before it had a name.  Last time I saw CC he wasn't looking very healthy. These guys were certainly a great group of musicians.They were instrumental in the whole retro-rock/rock-a-billy genre that has become popular (again!) today.

   Somewhere in my photos I have a picture of my 1928 A roadster hotrod in front of The Blind Pig's marquee with Commander Cody's name on it. I'll try to find it.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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36 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Well the engine might stall without overdrive,  if you pushed it too hard for too long or ran out of gas because you were burning what you could have saved with the OD. 

 

I did think it was an odd choice of words, but it was a bit before my time. There was no doubt in my mind that he meant engine failure from being pushed too hard too long.

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Guy, Bill Kirchner is one talented guitar player.  I am surprised he isn't better known outside rockabilly and trucker circles.  You tube this guy, he's worth checking out if one appreciates a guitar master.  Makes you wonder how some of these guys play to packed arenas for years and others are available for local gigs of 50...

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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If you put three of these on top of an engine it will stall during the fire. As they say, not a matter if IF.

0804sr_01_zstromberg_97_carburetor.jpg

 

 

And I'm trying to figure how you can request a song without a shot of whiskey.

 

My most favorited request was "Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" but at the Garland Hotel they never said "cowboys", same syllables and sure fit right in.

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Steve- Agreed. I am certainly a big fan of Bill Kirchner. Being that he is a "local" Ann Arborite, Bill used to play in town quite often with a number of bands, especially back when Ann Arbor had dive bars that had music. Another great local was George Bedard of George Bedard and the Kingpins. Kirchner often played with this group as well.

 

60FlatTop-I watched Commander Cody play many gigs. He had a bad leg yet he would play the entire set standing at his keyboard-most keyboard players sit. He could drink enough shots to drown an elephant but it never seemed to affect his performance or his ability to stand on one leg. Lots to be said about practice and experience!!!

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One of the features of a Commander concert that regulars would look forward to was, obviously, the Hot Rod Lincoln song. What made it so special live was to see how long of a version the Commander would play. Sometimes he would play it straight through-like the mix in the Youtube video above-other times he would greatly extend the song adding lots of different elements. Of course, cover bands would try to do the same when they played the song.

 

Speaking of Bill Kirchen, here is his 9 minute version of Hot Rod Lincoln:

 

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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I saw the Hot Rod Lincoln in a small car museum outside of Spokane, Wa. Pretty wild looking chop of the Lincoln frame and Model A coupe on it. I wonder if anyone else on here has seen the car? Unfortunately I’ve got no photo to show.

Edited by Steve9
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Hot rods. Lincolns. Commander Cody. Mamas. Truckers. Anybody remember "Mama hated diesels"  ? 

 

And Steve9 : Were you in Seattle several years ago when CC played the Tripple Door ? I was there with a plan that had somethin' t' do with "Mama hated diesels". How did that one go ?  More or less : "Mama hated diesels so bad. 'Till I guesst it musta had somethin' t' do with m' dad. Fust I ever knowed her to cry ; after one of them thangs went by. Mama hated diesels so bad".  Or at least that is my best recollection. The plan was scrapped after a surprising chat with George. My thumbs are acting up at the moment , so the astonishing revelation will have to await dexterity recovery. 

 

Anyway , does anyone remember that one ? Can you sing it in its entirety ? If so are you a passable singer ? Opportunity awaits. - C Carl 

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On 12/1/2017 at 8:31 AM, joe_padavano said:

 

I actually have the 1951 Hot Rod Race in my playlist of MP3s.  "Rebuttal" is not the word I'd use.  Sequel is probably more appropriate.  Hot Rod Lincoln picks up where the original left off.  The original version of Hot Rod Lincoln was recorded in 1954 by Charlie Ryan and actually has the lyrics "it's got TWELVE cylinders and uses them all...".  All the remakes were only V8s; the original at least used the V12 flathead motor.

 

 

Arkie Shibley made at least four sequels to Hot Rod Race (they're all on YouTube):

 

1.  The original about the race between Arkie's Ford and a Mercury

 

2.  Arkie bemoans the poor condition of his Ford after the race

 

3.  Arkie gets arrested for street racing

 

4.  The Mercury driver tells his side of the story

 

5.  The kid in the hopped-up Model A tells his side

 

Charlie Ryan recorded two versions of Hot Rod Lincoln (1955 and 1959).  There have been covers by Johnny Bond, Commander Cody, Asleep At The Wheel, Jim Varney, and several others.  Some sources say Ryan wrote the song about his own car.  Others say he wrote it as a rebuttal/sequel to Hot Rod Race and built the car only after the song became popular.

 

5a23a5b2aa0c9_HotRodLincoln.jpg.b03438ba3ea9b3d94aab67b79ade80e9.jpg

Edited by CHuDWah (see edit history)
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On 12/1/2017 at 10:52 AM, Grimy said:

Street dragging ratio, of course, "but it's got overdrive and it just won't stall..."  (We all wondered in the 1950s what the OD had to do with it not stalling.)  Given the OD ratio of 0.705, the final drive ratio in OD would have been 2.898.

 

 

Rhymes with the preceding lyric, "it's got twelve cylinders and uses 'em all"

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