Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Aggie Song vs. the Tony Awards

If you've ever seen The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas--either the play or the movie--then you're likely to remember "The Aggie Song." This is the part of the show where the Texas A&M football team, having successfully vanquished their arch-rivals during the annual Thanksgiving Day showdown, celebrates in anticipation of an all-expense-paid trip to the legendary Chicken Ranch brothel. It's a funny scene, simply for the sheer absurdity of it. Texas A&M gave the film crew full access to the football locker rooms when they were making the 1982 film, but I have a sneaking suspicion they wouldn't be so cooperative today if approached about a remake.

But that's neither here nor there. Back in 1978, after some fits and starts, the play exploded on Broadway and became a major hit. In fact, it garnered a bunch of Tony Award nominations in 1979, including one for best musical (it lost out to Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which I suppose means that cannibalism is more socially acceptable than prostitution). Strangely enough, they picked "The Aggie Song" to represent the play. Out of all the songs, I'd have thought they'd choose "Little Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place" or maybe "The Sidestep." But no, they choose the song where a bunch of men wax poetic about visiting a brothel. All I can figure is that somebody decided Tommy Tune's creative choreography would look good on TV... and it does. But the censors went absolutely nuts with the bleeping out of words, making the song sound far dirtier than it actually is. And instead of simple bleeps, they use a xylophone, which makes the whole thing that much more surreal. And is it possible for poor Henry Fonda to look any more uncomfortable during his introduction? This is one of those "You've got to see it to believe it" things. Enjoy!

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is now listed on both and for pre-order.

Title: Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse
Author: Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
ISBN: 978.1.46713.563.4

Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch is still available:

Now Playing: The Police Message in a Box
Chicken Ranch Central

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