White rap is a centuries-old tradition; the original white rappers were square-dance callers improvising rhymes for Saturday-night barn parties in America's rural bckwaters. Like today's rappers, they were seen as debauchers, imperiling the morals of the young. The fiddle was "the instrument of the devil"; church leaders banned it. The callers' freestyle rhymes teased with erotic innuendoes ("Duck for the oyster/Dig for the clam/Knock a hole in the old tin can").
Heh heh. The above is from Irwin Chusid's liner notes to this 1994 various-artists Rhino Records comp purporting to be the history of white rap. The presentation may be tongue-in-cheek, but the music is for real: an entertaining assortment of talking-blues, celebrity recitations-with-music, and oddball novelties from the 1950's to the '80s, many of which were actual hit singles. Fun stuff, from a grim Jack "Sgt. Friday" Webb attempting to be romantic, to all the country/western songs that were clearly laying the groundwork for such contemporary 'hick-hop' stars as Cowboy Troy and Colt Ford. And listening to "They're Coming to Take Me Away" again reminded me of what a truly deranged record that really was.
1. They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!-Napoleon XIV
2. Ringo-Lorne Greene ("The original white gangsta rap track")
3. Try A Little Tenderness-Jack Webb (from the 1958 album "You're My Girl: Romantic Reflections by Jack Webb")
4. Hot Rod Lincoln-Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
5. Psychopathia Sexualis-Lenny Bruce (the famed 'sick' comic does a Beat jazz/poetry kinda thing about beastiality)
6. Big Bad John-Jimmy Dean
7. Full Metal Jacket-Abigail Mead & Nigel Goulding (Featuring the drill inspector from Kubrick's 1987 film)
8. Convoy-C.W. McCall
9. It Ain't Me Babe-Sebastian Cabot (from an entire album of the portly actor's Dylan interpretations)
10. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)-Phil Harris
11. The Rain In Spain-Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Robert Coote
12. Deck Of Cards-Tex Ritter