Daily Download: “Gasoline Gus and His Jitney Bus,” Billy Murray

What the heck is a jitney bus?

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Philadelphia-born Billy Murray was one of the biggest stars of the early recording industry, doing well with romantic ballads as well as comedy and novelty records. Today’s song, taken from a 1915 cylinder recording (Edison Blue Amberol #2684, in case you were wondering), is of the latter variety. To save you some Googling time, a jitney bus is a small vehicle that offered rides for nickels back in the day. You wouldn’t want to get on Gus’ bus, though, as this lighthearted song reveals him to be kind of a skeevy dude.

– D.M.

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