Friday, June 08, 2007

Remembering Root Boy Slim

Root Boy Slim, AKA the Lenny Bruce of the Blues, died on this day in 1993. I didn't know much about the man. He was another oddball in a stable of unique performers that had albums in the stacks at KJHK. Learn more about him at his Wikipedia entry. He and his band did a novelty blues song called "My Inflatable Doll" that garnered air play, especially from Rob Leichter and Mike Chitwood during their "What's Your Problem" show in 1984. It was a collegiate favorite with lines like "She whispered, 'your the first', just before she burst". Good clean fun.

I'm not sure where Root Boy will be remembered in the cavernous Pantheon of alternative music. Somebody edited his page to associate his Wikipedia entry with "Frat Rock", and that's a bummer. Oddly, the Frat Rock link doesn't have a wikipedia page associated with it. Cowards!

When I think of Frat Rock I think of Hootie and the Blowfish and The Smithereens. Then again I didn't spend much time in fraternity houses so I don't know what groups characterized their listening preferences more than other bands , but I'll bet it included Spin Doctors and Jesus Jones. I visted a friend at the SAE house once in 1982 and one of the brothers walked around with an inflatable doll. There's probably a connection.

I purchased an inflatable doll in 1995 - strictly for business purposes (Hey, I got a receipt!). We did a radio gag at KFKF in the aftermath of Hugh Grant's prostitution arrest where I parked myself in a station van (with the inflated love doll) and gave clues to my location during the morning show (I was in parked behind the Ranchmart Theatres here in Johnson County, KS). The first person who found me got a prize pack that may have included the doll. If not, I'm sure we donated it to charity.