Termagant Tuesday: “Big Noise from Winnetka,” Cozy Cole


A Western, a Tarantino film, a Dragnet episode, and a burlesque show walked into a bar.  Cozy the bartender put them in a blender, added some rum, and poured the results into some instruments and called it “Big Noise From Winnetka.”  This song makes me want to race out to the nearest store and get some leopard-print horn-rimmed sunglasses, cigarette pants, a pack of smokes, and a guy who calls me a “broad.”  This song sounds so raunchy – I mean the whistle sounds like a cat-call, for one thing.  But there’s a real disconnect between this song, written in 1962, and American culture at the time.  For one thing, fashion.

Oooh...how alluring.

Oh baby.

Does that woman look like this song sounds?  Correct!  Not even close.  That’s a Doris Day woman.  What does her family look like?

Oh stop - stop - you're driving me crazy.

Oh stop – stop – you’re driving me crazy.

Yep, like that.  What television shows do they watch?  The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Red Skelton, and Danny Thomas.

So there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on between saucy Cozy Cole’s jazz track and “normal” American life.  This is another reason, Tuners, why music is my favorite art medium.  It’s always ahead of the curve, carving out space for new ideas and feelings and emotions.  Without Cozy Cole, there could be no Prince.  Without Prince, there could be no Common.  I would also argue, without Cozy Cole there could be no feminist movement, but that’s another argument for another day.  People get so wrapped around the axle about time-travel when really, all you have to do is turn on your stereo.