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March 16, 2005 5:16 AM   Subscribe

The country music of the atom bomb. Via 3 Quarks Daily
posted by Tlogmer (12 comments total)

 
Git Er Done!
posted by HTuttle at 5:21 AM on March 16, 2005


Uncle Tupelo recorded a cover version of the Louvin Brothers' Atomic Power back in 1992.

do you fear this man's invention
that they call atomic power
are we all in great confusion
do we know the time or hour

when a terrible explosion
may rain down upon our land
leaving horrible destruction
blotting out the works of man

are you, are you ready
for that great atomic power
will you rise and meet your savior in the air
will you shout or will you cry
when the fire rains from on high
are you ready for that great atomic power...

posted by mountainmambo at 5:48 AM on March 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


Oops. Uh, ignore the title bar; it was for a different link.
posted by Tlogmer at 6:00 AM on March 16, 2005


Back when I was collecting 78's, I found one by Hawkshaw Hawkins called 'When They Found the Atomic Power.' It was released in 1947. I never realized it was part of an entire genre until I read that NY Times article yesterday.

Here is a site dedicated to 'atomic music'.
posted by wadefranklin at 6:06 AM on March 16, 2005


Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- here's my text
Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- Lordy, who'll be next.

The science guys, from every clime,
They all pitched in with overtime.
Before they knew it, the job was done;
They'd hitched up the power of the gosh-darn sun,
They put a harness on Old Sol,
Splittin' atoms, while the diplomats was splittin' hairs . . .


Sam Hinton
Old Man Atom, 1945
posted by sourwookie at 7:00 AM on March 16, 2005


Oops. I didn't know that Old Man Atom was only performed by Sam Hinton. It was written by Vern Partlow already mentioned in the article. Guess I had nothing new.
posted by sourwookie at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2005


In his own contribution to the collection, he cites what may be the first nuclear country song, "Atomic Power," released in 1946 by a well-established cowboy-country singer by the name of Fred Kirby.

I stepped in Fred Kirby's horse's poo once.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2005


The great 1980s documentary, Atomic Cafe, had tons of this stuff in the soundtrack. "When Jesus comes / Great God Almighty / Like an Atom bomb." Really cool, but the soundtrack got into some kind of copyright trouble and is no longer available, except on Ebay for outrageous amounts. The Atomic Platters section of the great Cold War site Conelrad.com has a streaming radio station (via 365.com) of atomic songs, not all folk.
posted by LarryC at 7:26 AM on March 16, 2005


Oh man, I'm listening to "Crawl Out through the Fallout / To my lovin' arms..."
posted by LarryC at 7:28 AM on March 16, 2005


awesome...thanks...
posted by es_de_bah at 7:51 AM on March 16, 2005


The great 1980s documentary, Atomic Cafe, had tons of this stuff in the soundtrack.

Damn straight and, now that I read the rest of your comment, Larry C, I am so glad I still have my vinyl copy.

Hmm, upon further Googlification, I see the movie is out on DVD and Jayne Loader, one of the makers of Atomic Cafe, has Public Shelter, among other pages, which is a site about a CD-ROM that expands upon the movie and, also, the very cool Cold War culture site Conelrad has a cool Atomic Cafe page with additional Atomic Bomb songlists. Get or rent that movie, folks, it's harrowing at times but well worth watching.
posted by y2karl at 10:17 AM on March 16, 2005


I got a CD from a MeFi Swap last year called Arizona Highways Explained that had some great atomic bomb songs.
My favorite is "Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb" by Lowell Blanchard:

Everybody's worried 'bout the Atomic Bomb
But nobody's worried 'bout the day my Lord will come
When He'll hit—Great God Almighty—like an Atom Bomb
When He comes, when He comes

posted by rhapsodie at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2005


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