Friday, March 26, 2010

friday's blast from the past: the jug and bottle band.

those of you not familiar with jug and bottle bands might also not be familiar with the hit television program HEE-HAW, so i will start there and back into it. hee-haw was a variety show that focused on aspects of country (kountry) life. a celebrity guest host joined the cast every week to perform funny songs and skits in fictional Kornfield Kounty, where there was no shortage of cleavage, calico, overalls, banjos or missing teeth. in a nutshell, hee-haw was like a hillbilly saturday night live. as a child, we weren't allowed to watch a lot of tv, but we NEVER missed an episode of hee-haw.
one of our favorite recurring skits was called Hee-Haw's All Jug Band, which featured large-breasted women (get it? hee-haw!), singing a funny song while alternately blowing on moonshine jugs. somehow, my mother got the idea that this (considerably inappropriate) skit would be even more amazing if performed by her six children. (and i say SOMEHOW sarcastically, because my mother enjoyed nothing more than to have us kids dress up and entertain her.) {the culhanes, a hee-haw family}

fortunately, we were already members of an agricultural youth program called 4-H. each year, all 4-H clubs in the county were able to participate in something called CLUB DAYS, which is equivalent to a highly-competitive talent show for huge nerds. demonstrations, speeches, skits, music and dance were judged by a local panel and awarded ribbons based on skill level. yes, you read that correctly-the prize for participating was a piece of RIBBON. for the record, if the prize had been a sack of chicken bones, my mother would have STILL entered our jug and bottle band in the competition. now, my parents have always kept a dry house, but magically, my mom came up with an assortment of empty liquor bottles. LARGE ONES. she then coaxed the school music teacher over to our house to tune the bottles (done by adding various levels of water, fyi). this way, we could all play a certain note during our musical masterpiece. so what, pray tell, was the song these two settled on? POLLY WOLLY DOODLE. ever heard this tune? i'll break it down for you: it has a very fast pace. there are also some questionable southern undertones, but i just want to concentrate on the speed of the song. which is FAST. we each had a different note-bottle, mind you, so as the song got going, you really had to huff and puff to make it happen. although we managed to learn the song, we really, really didn't want to perform it for anyone, especially for the general populous of douglas county. my mother assured us that everyone was going to think it was spectacular and that we would probably be invited to be on star search, and ps-we didn't have a choice. we got a blue ribbon. technically, it is what i like to call a PITY RIBBON, because NOBODY in the audience (including the judges) thought it was entertaining, or funny, except for my mom, who laughed so hard she cried AND peed in her pants a little. the good news is that due to my mother's meticulous record-keeping skills, i've got proof. here's a close-up of the back of the ribbon. so this one goes out to cheryl. thanks for retaining your sanity by making us do the craziest things anyone has ever heard of, because i'd be lying if i said those experiences didn't help shape me into the glamorous lady that i am today.

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Anonymous said...

I nearly died reading this. I don't know how Mom ever talked us into this (or any of the other ridiculous things we did), but it's no wonder we're all so opinionated now. To be fair, the band consisted of the 6 of us and a very naive Mikey Moore, so we better give him a little credit.

If only we had it on video...


kristina said...

TALKED US INTO IT? when were we ever given a choice? did you have the same childhood i had?

also, please comment on my blog more.

your sister