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Monday, August 27, 2012

Hello! Ma Baby

By Joseph E. Howard & Ida Emerson
1899

We all know it today from the classic 1955 Chuck Jones cartoon, "One Froggy Evening", but this song came into being nearly a half-century earlier. It was what was then known as a "coon song", meant to be sung in a stereotypically "black" style by white singers. The first to record it was pioneering recording artist Arthur Collins, and you can hear that right here. The lyric concerns a man whose only contact with his girlfriend is through the then-novel invention known as the telephone...

Lyrics:

Hello! ma baby
Hello! ma honey
Hello! ma ragtime gal
Send me a kiss by wire
Baby, ma heart's on fire!
If you refuse me
Honey, you'll lose me
Then you'll be left alone
Oh, baby, telephone
And tell me I'm your own!

Recorded By:

Arthur Collins
Joan Morris & William Bolcom
Beatrice Kay
Michigan J. Frog
Chet Atkins

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