Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

No subject has ever made such a popular subject for song as love. As long as humans have been making music, love’s far and away the top choice of lyricists to write about. Writing and discussing Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch, however, got me to thinking. Amid all that blissful romance, the darker flipside beckoned, and prostitution served as the inspiration for more than a few memorable songs. The Greeks and Romans sang about prostitutes, and minstrels in the middle-ages were more than a little bawdy. Cowboys of the American West favored songs so scandalous they could strip the needles from a cactus. It’s no wonder, then, that popular music of the modern era has produced countless songs about prostitution as well.

What follows in the coming weeks is a countdown of the top 10 songs (as compiled by yours truly) about prostitution of the modern era that were not inspired by the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel of La Grange, Texas. Between The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas soundtrack and ZZ Top’s “La Grange” (not to mention works by Willis Alan Ramsey, Billy Joe Shaver, the Austin Lounge Lizards and numerous others), the Chicken Ranch would simply have an unfair advantage.

3. “Fancy” – Bobbie Gentry
Bobbie Gentry courted controversy in 1970 with ”Fancy,” an unlikely feminist anthem. Raised in squalid poverty, Fancy’s mother sees prostitution as the only way out for her teenage daughter. Using the last of the family’s scant resources, the mother gives Fancy a slinky red dress and a heartbreaking piece of advice: "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy, and they'll be nice to you." After that, the suffering family falls completely apart in the worst way possible, but Fancy indeed survives, climbing the social ladder as a call girl to the point where she carves out her own niche amidst high society, yet she continues to hold on to her humble, tragic roots like a defiant badge of honor. Reba McEntire’s 1991 cover became a top 10 hit, and remains one of McEntire’s most popular songs.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Billie Holiday.

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is now available from both and It's also available as an ebook in the following formats: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

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