Harry "The Hipster" Gibson: Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Harry "The Hipster" Gibson (vocals, piano)
Boogie Woogie in Blue (Musicraft MVSCD-63)
Tiny Brown (bass), Zutty Singleton (drums).
Composed by Harry Gibson.
Recorded: Los Angeles, February 8, 1946
Rating: 75/100 (learn more)
In 1946 Time magazine identified Harry the Hipster Gibson as "the bigwig of be-bop." Absurdly conflating bop and hipsters, Time latched onto Harry because he was a zany, zoot-suited caricature. Yet, unlike his occasional sidekick Slim Gaillard, Gibson was no good-natured naïf. Rather, Harry made it hip to get high. His song about spiking a popular children's drink with amphetamine might be some fool's idea of good clean fun, but by the mid-1940s public health officials were warning that such drug abuse wasn't hip, it was dangerous. Even so, it might've been a good thing if Harry had been the bigwig of bebop. As Gene Wilder demonstrated in Young Frankenstein, it's easier to Just Say No to Ovaltine than to the lethal junk the true Bigwig of Bebop was hooked on.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz