All In Down and Out Blues
DESCRIPTION: "Hippity-hop to the bucket shop...." Singer has lost all his money in the stock market. He says this "certainly exposes/Wall Street's proposition was not all roses." Cho: "It's hard times, ain't it poor boy...when you're down and out"
AUTHOR: Uncle Dave Macon
EARLIEST DATE: 1937 (recording, Uncle Dave Macon)
LONG DESCRIPTION: "Hippity-hop to the bucket shop...." Singer has lost all his money in the stock market and is now down and out. He says this "certainly exposes/Wall Street's proposition was not all roses." He notes "If they catch you with whiskey in your car/You're handicapped, and there you are", and that if you have money you can get off but if you have none you'll go to jail.
"I used to have money to throw away, But now I haven't a place to say, It's hard times, Billy Po' boy, It's hard times when you're down and out." The singer loses his money at the bucket shop. He talks of the life of a poor man, and how the law treats him.
KEYWORDS: poverty crime prison punishment commerce money hardtimes judge floatingverses
1929 - Stock market crashes, then continues to sink
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Boswell/Wolfe 99, pp. 152-153, "Billy Po' Boy" (1 text plus an excerpt of another Dave Macon version, 1 tune)
Richard Brooks & Reuben Puckett, "All In, Down and Out" (Brunswick 317, 1928) [tentative]
Uncle Dave Macon, "All In Down and Out Blues" ((Bluebird B-7350/Montgomery Ward M-7347, 1938; rec. 1937)
NOTES: "Bucket shops" were crooked brokerage firms; they fleeced many customers in the 1920s stock market bubble. They would delay executing a customer's trade if they thought they could buy at a lower price or sell at a higher price a day later, then pocket the difference.
There is another song with a very similar title, "All In, Down and Out," written by Chris Smith and performed in minstrel dialect by Arthur Collins on a Victor record in 1907 (Victor 5027, 1907; Victor 16211, 1909). Bert Williams also recorded it (Williams: Columbia A5031, 1908; rec. 1906). The composer credits goes to R. C. McPherson & [?] Smith, Elmer Bowman & [?] Johnson; it would later be recorded by, among others, Richard Brooks & Riley Puckett. The two should not be confused. My guess is that Uncle Dave used it as the basis of his topical parody. -PJS
Though this song would have been most topical in 1929, no Uncle Dave Macon recording is listed before 1937 in Russell's discography. It is unclear whether the 1928 recording by Brooks & Puckett is this song or Chris Smith's song; for the moment I'm assuming the latter. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.6
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.