Pistol Packin' Mama by Al Dexter, 1943

Drinkin' beer in a cabaret And I was havin' fun!
Until one night she caught me right, And now I'm on the run

Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.

She kicked out my windshield, She hit me over the head,
She cussed and cried, and said I lied, And I wished that I was dead.

Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.

Drinkin' beer in a cabaret, And dancing with a blonde,
Until one night she shot out the light, Bang! That blonde was gone.

Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.

I'll see you every night Babe, I'll woo you every day,
I'll be your regular Daddy, If you'll put that gun away.

Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.

Now down there was old Al Dexter, He always had his fun,
But with some lead. she shot him dead, His Honkin' days are done.

Recorded in 1943 by Al Dexter, an ol' East Texas boy from Troup.



AL DEXTER  (Clarence Albert Poindexter, 1902-1984).

Biography from countryworks.com: There cannot be many people who have not heard of the song, Pistol Packin' Mama. It was written in 1942 by Al Dexter, who recorded it in 1943. It sold three million singles in 22 months and after only seven months 200,000 copies of the sheet music were sold. Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters had a hit with it in September, 1943 and the song was ranked as one of the top three hits of WWII. Endless parodies of the song were sung in USO and camp shows. By February 1944, Al was playing in vaudeville theaters at a salary of $3,500 a week. In the turbulent and violent oilfield days, Al Dexter was the owner of a tavern in Texas. The idea for the song came when a gun-toting woman, chased her husband's girlfriend (one of Al's waitresses) through a barbed wire fence. Al wondered, "How would you talk to a woman with a gun? And I thought, 'lay that pistol down, babe, lay that pistol down.'" Al perfected his style in the oil boom towns of East Texas in the 1920's and early 30's. He started with square dances and local parties and went on to play with a mainly black band in the dance halls of Longview, Texas. During this time, Al was writing popular songs for local bands. When the Depression hit in the 30's, he became a house painter. He then formed his own group, the Texas Troopers, who toured and became popular in East Texas. Their first recordings were made in 1934 and Al managed to get them released on a small local label. Soon OKeh and Vocalion were interested in them and some of the recordings were of original compositions by Al. It is thought, that Al was the first artist to use the phrase 'Honky Tonk' in 1937 in his song, Honky Tonk Blues. This was a term used for beer-drinking music, often raucous and rollicking, although sometimes lonely and sad. Pistol Packin' Mama, as well as being a Country No.1, it was also a Pop chart topper in 1944 and was certified Gold. During 1944, Al and his Troopers again hit the No.1 spot on the Country chart with Rosalita (the top side of Pistol Packin' Mama and also a Pop Top 25 hit), So Long, Pal/Too Late To Worry, Too Blue To Cry (the latter also a Top 20 Pop hit). In 1945, I'm Losing My Mind Over You went to No.1 on the Country chart and stayed there for seven weeks with the flip-side, I'll Wait For You Dear going Top 3. Al's other single that year was also a major hit with Triflin' Gal going Top 3 and the flip-side, I'm Lost Without You, reaching the Top 5. Moving from OKeh to Columbia Records in 1946, Al topped the Country chart for 16 weeks with the instrumental, Guitar Polka, which crossed-over to the Pop Top 20. The flip, Honey Do You Think It's Wrong also reached the Top 3. He followed-up with Wine, Women and Song, which stayed at No. 1 for five weeks. The flip-side of this, It's Up To You, also reached the Top 3. Al Dexter and his Troopers were still represented on the charts in 1947, when Kokomono Island and Down At The Roadside Inn both went Top 5. The following year, Rock And Rye Rag and Calico Rag, both made the Top 15. Al received a Citation of Achievement for Pistol Packin' Mama in 1943/1944 and the Western Motion Picture Association Award in 1943. In 1946, he was voted "Leading Artist" by the Jukebox Operators Association and received an "Oscar" for Guitar Polka. He received 12 Gold Records for million sellers during 1943 through 1948. In the period 1940-1943, Al and the Troopers were heard on radio KFRO Longview, Texas and during 1940-1952, they appeared at theaters, nightclubs, fairs and rodeos. Then Al opened his own nightspot, the Bridgeport Club, in Dallas, where he performed, until he retired. He also had business interests in a motel in Lufkin, Texas and real estate in Dallas and a federal savings and loan operation. In 1971, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In a speech made at the ceremony, he recalled trying to find satisfactory recording arrangements in 1935, "and times were not so good. The record company said, they could not pay much royalty on records sold for 16 cents wholesale then, but I said I would take it, as I'm not doing much anyway now." Al Dexter died on January 28, 1984

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