May 1

While I’m on the subject of regional pride…

What is it that instills this emotion? An athlete from the region makes the big show; a local teacher becomes an astronaut; a garage start-up becomes a multi-national success?

Maybe it’s just the sense that “if only” or “that could have been me!”

Whatever the case, I take pride in many regional accomplishments that I played absolutely no part in. Whenever the discussion of music turns to certain songs, I become Markipedia!

Case in point, the song Hot Rod Lincoln:

This song was an “answer song”, a song that was penned in response to a previous song. In the case of Hot Rod Lincoln, Spokane, Washington transplant Charlie Ryan was responding to a song called Hot Rod Race where Charlie was taking the point of view from the other car.

The 1955 Coeur d’Alene recorded Souvenir Records rockabilly arrangement was copied many times by varied artists such as Johnny Bond, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Other takes by Pat Travers, Asleep at the Wheel and Les Claypool stand tribute to the influence of the song.

Two points that many don’t know: #1 Charlie Ryan actually built a “Hot Rod Lincoln” out of a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr four-door. He shortened the wheelbase by 2 feet, adapted a 1930 Model A coupe body on it, painted it black and shoehorned a ’48 V-12 engine and overdrive tranny into the contraption.

#2 the referenced “grapevine hill” in the song was the old Lewiston, Idaho (my home town) grade on US 95 that took north-south traffic from >2700 feet to <900 feet, from the Palouse region into the Snake River Valley.

The only copy of the original Hot Rod Lincoln I’ve ever seen is my copy The Original (Pickwick/33 Records ‎– SPC 3311)

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