Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Amos Milburn

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

First recorded (as “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”) by Amos Milburn (R&B #2 1953).
Other popular versions by John Lee Hooker (1966), John Lee Hooker & the Muddy Waters Band (1967), George Thorogood & the Destroyers (1977).

From the wiki: “‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ (or ‘One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer’ as it was originally titled) was written by Rudy Toombs and first recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953 – one of several ‘drinking’ songs recorded by Milburn in the early 1950s that placed in the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B chart.

“John Lee Hooker recorded the song as ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ in 1966. Hooker transformed Milburn’s song, using the storyline and chorus but altering the order. According to historian and critic Charles Shaar Murray, Hooker ‘edited the verse down to its essentials, filled in the gaps with narrative and dialogue, and set the whole thing to a rocking cross between South Side shuffle and signature boogie.’ The song was released on Hooker’s 1966 The Real Folk Blues album. In 1967, a live performance by Hooker with Muddy Waters’ band was recorded at the CafĂ© Au Go Go in 1967 has been described by Murray as ‘dark, slow, swampy-deep, and the degree of emotional rapport between Hooker and the band (particularly Otis Spann, on piano) [is] nothing less than extraordinary.’