There’s a famous story Mike Bloomfield used to tell about his natural confusion when he heard the Hoochie Coochie Man Muddy Waters proclaim his love for sucking cock. What young Mike didn’t realize was that the term “cock,” in early 20th Century southern black communities, referred to female genitalia. Mike was probably thinking of the what they called the “cock opener.” The term seems to have popped up from the verb “to cock,” which a lot of 17th Century English colonists used to refer to intercourse. As their slaves learned English, they of course learned the slang along with it. 150 years later, Muddy Waters is regaling his young white acolyte with tales of sucking cock. Thus we erect this week’s Hump Day installment. We dedicate the following blues licks to the ladies.
Louise Johnson was Charley Patton’s girlfriend and a barrelhouse pianist. At one point, Louise went with Charley, Son House, and Willie Brown to Grafton, Wisconsin to make records for Paramount. During those sessions, she cut her total recorded legacy: four sides. One of those four sides was a celebration of “cocking it on the wall” which was slang for sex against a wall outside a juke joint.
Her song “On The Wall” has this stanza:
Well, I’m goin’ to Memphis, stop at Church’s Hall
I’m gonna show you women how to cock it on the wall
I’m goin’ to Memphis, stop at Church’s Hall
I’m goin’ to show them womens, honey, how to cock it on a wall
Sometime in the mid 50’s, The Clovers, who brought you “Love Potion #9,” recorded a parody of Dixieland jazz standard “Darktown Strutters’ Ball.” They called their version “Rotten Cocksucker’s Ball.” We may never know if they meant it like Muddy, but it sure seems like it. I really hope they had a good time, they seemed to be looking forward to it.
Lastly, we have The Rolling Stones final kiss off to their record label Decca at a time the Stones wanted to start their own label. Decca was demanding a final song and the band was being bratty and indignant. The Stones turned in a low-key, mostly boring tune called “Cocksucker Blues.” Decca refused to release it and realized they weren’t getting a marketable song so they let the band go.
Hey, they got their name from a Muddy Waters tune and named a song after one of his favorite activities. It had to be included.
Louise Johnson On The Wall
The Clovers Rotten Cocksuckers’ Ball
The Rolling Stones Cocksucker Blues