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Dr. West 's Medicine Show & Junk Band

Odder than the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and more aligned with the straight folk/jug band tradition than the Holy Modal Rounders were, Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band were among the more notable 1960s groups that updated the old-timey/jug band spirit with a modern attitude and rock influences. Most known as the starting point for leader and chief songwriter Norman Greenbaum (there was no "Dr. West"), who would have a huge rock hit in 1970 with "Spirit in the Sky," they didn't achieve even the modest profile of Kweskin or the Holy Modal Rounders. Greenbaum once described himself as "a cross between Captain Beefheart and Spike Jones," and while Dr. West sounded much more like Jones than Beefheart, Greenbaum and his cohorts certainly had a knack for witty, often absurd modern-day jug band-style tunes. On-stage, Dr. West would go through medicine show routines between songs, a shtick which even drew the praise of Frank Zappa. Dr. West's sole album, The Eggplant That Ate Chicago, was chock-full of tunes embedded with blasé weirdness, like the title track, which would be tailor-made for airplay on Dr. Demento's show a few years later. A few post-album singles saw Dr. West filling out their sound with more rock-flavored arrangements that dovetailed with folk-rock and mild psychedelia, although the lyrical focus remained off the beaten track, with songs about a New York Hooker ("Bullet La Verne") and "Gondoliers, Shakespeares, Overseers, Playboys, and Bums." ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
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Comments

Since I was a little girl, I have often wondered why Christians (baptists) are so offended by this song.
mjacobs5062
This song is awesome
Awesome song. Back when rock and Jesus were ok together on secular radio.
16likes:(
lsdecker7
love it!

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