Around 1952-53 there was a recording called "It's in the Book". Side
one was a hilarious (to my 10-11 year-old ears) parody of a revival
preacher using as the text of his sermon "Mary Had a Little Lamb".
(Sample line: And they'll come home, a-waggin' their tails behind
them. Well, tell me this, where else *could* they wag them?
On the other side of the record the audience was invited to sing along
with a gospel-type song called, I believe, "Grandma's Lye Soap". One
Mrs. O'Malley, out the valley,
Suffered from ulcers, I understand.
Swallowed a cake of Grandma's lye soap --
Has the cleanest ulcers in the land!
It was definitely a hit of at least modest proportions, at least on
the pop charts. I can't find any mention of it in Whitburn's Top
Country Singles 1944-1993 so it couldn't have made the country charts,
which is surprising since it's so obviously a country-type novelty
song. Whitburn's Pop Singles book only goes back to 1955 (or at least
my copy does), so there's no mention of it there either.
Does anyone else remember this recording and can you give me the name
of the artist?
Yes, I've heard both recordings but I'll swear, I couldn't tell you who
did them. I first heard them in Arkansas in 1958 or 59. To this day, I
hear them occasionally on folk type FM radio shows (heard Mary had a
little Lamb) just the other day). I'd say, try to get in touch with a
local radio station folk show DJ. They may know.
John Stanley is the artist. My dad has the record.