On the subject of songs about motherhood, an interesting piece of history is that Pappy O’Daniel, then a radio host in Texas in the 1930s, wrote songs like ‘Mother you fashioned me, Bore me and rationed me’ and ‘The Boy Who Never Grew Too Old to Comb His Mother’s Hair’ and had his hillbilly band play them on the air.
O’Daniel went on to become Governor of Texas, defeated Lyndon Johnson for a Senate seat in the special election of 1941, and served as the model for the corrupt Governor of Mississippi in ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’.
Pappy O’Daniel’s date with music destiny was as part of a band called The Light Crust Dough Boys, in which Bob Wills also played. Bob Wills went on to become a huge country star, founding the country swing style and bridging the 1920s explosion of jazz (as pop for black audiences) and hillbilly (as pop for poor rural whites). The idea of street cred was so foreign to Bob Wills and Pappy O’Daniel that their band was named after the sponsor of their radio show, Light Crust Dough.
Because Bob Wills is such a big deal, the music he made with Pappy O’Daniel is still in circulation, and though I didn’t find either of the songs that Spiegs mentioned I did find another mother song by the Boys, called “I’m Taking Care Of Mother (While Daddy’s Gone Away).” It’s the kind of Oedipal weirdness that people used to do with a straight face.
Here’s the song, plus the another Light Crust Dough Boys number that I love, their theme song for the radio show.