Friday, November 26, 2010

The Old Time Atheist Hour - Stickin' Jesus Up

Here is a lost clip from the American television variety show, "The Old Time Atheist Hour". A half hour program of country & western music and comedy which was canceled on the same day that it debuted during the spring of 1962, making it the longest running American atheist TV program to that time. The cast included such well known God-denying country artists as Slappy McGee and The All Star Atheist Jug Band, featuring Roy "Stumpy" Wagonears on triangle; and the incomparable Little Danny Stinky, who ironically and somewhat tragically years later, converted his car to run on hobos. This clip features the song stylings of Cracker Darrel (aka The Pittsburg Pagan), singing his classic hit "Stickin' Jesus Up".

Although this song never made the American Billboard charts, it did gain notoriety in Britain in early 1969 when it peaked at number 26 on the UK charts. It had achieved a certain infamy after it was performed by Jethro Tull, in front of a somewhat unruly and mostly intoxicated audience during a live 1968 Christmas Day broadcast of the much maligned Rolling Stones' BBC special, "Rock and Roll Farm Report and County Fair".

Jethro Tull performs Stickin' Jesus Up, Christmas Day 1968
on The Rolling Stones special, Rock and Roll Farm Report and County Fair.

This festive fiasco had the Rolling Stones dressed up as five Lincolnshire auctioneers in a county fair setting, with the musical acts being "rock auctioned" to a mock panel of record executives, who would then choose which song the bands would play. In an interview for Rubby-dub magazine in 1973, Bill Wyman referred to this Christmas Day catastrophe as, "One of the worst ideas the Rolling Stones ever had...a bigger disaster than Altamont."


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