Blind Lemon Pledge

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Joke name for a bluesman, a portmanteau of the name of real bluesman Lemon Henry "Blind Lemon" Jefferson (1893-1929), and Lemon Pledge, a furniture polish made by S. C. Johnson & Son, and introduced in 1958.

1973

The name has been used by multiple sources at different times; the earliest use in print appears to be in the "Jazz" column of Michael Cuscuna, appearing in the May 5, 1973 issue of Record World magazine:

The DUJ label, run by Bones Monroe Constantine, is expanding with the signing of veteran saxophonist Zoot Finster's group with Miles Cosnat, the blues duo of Blind Orange Julius and Blind Lemon Pledge and the English rock band Stiggy Topes & the Turds. A reissue "Buddy Bolden's Greatest Hits" is also in the works. Constantine is working on Finster's new album, which will include strings and brass in the DUJ tradition. Finster will debut as a producer for the label working with The New Thing Quintet. Constantine said that he is bullish on sacchrine [sic] black music and expects his operation to expand very quickly.

Comedian Martin Mull used the name in his stage shows when performing the song "Ukulele Blues," but the name did not make it onto the version used on his 1973 album Martin Mull And His Fabulous Furniture In Your Living Room. 1


2001

Used in the 2001 novel Red Hook by Gabriel Cohen:

He gave up on his list and sat staring at the phone, willing it to ring. The room was so quiet he could hear the clock plunking away the seconds. I got a phone that doesn't ring—it would make a good line for a blues song, some old Mississippi Delta singer rocking on his porch. Blind Lemon Pledge.

2007

The man who invented the air guitar in the 2007 humor book Better Living Through Air Guitar by George Mole and Stephen Appleby:

"We wuh so po', I couldn' affor' no instrumen'. So I done invented de Air Guitar. Dat was my ideah. And now dey done stole mу ideah. Now I ain't even got my own Air Guitar."

2009

Used in the 2009 novel Down in the Flood by Kenneth Abel:

Danny climbed out, stood there for a moment listening. He could hear singing. Ain't I goin down to New Orleans, an old man's voice growled. Ain't I gonna see my baby? It sounded like something you'd hear on a scratchy old record, some guy they found in a bus station slapping his guitar when he couldn't find the chords. The guy's name would be Tupelo Slim or Blind Lemon Pledge, and white men from the Upper West Side of Manhattan with law degrees and cardiology practices would argue at dinner parties about whether he did his time at Angola or Parchman, while their expensive wives stood gazing down into their wineglasses.


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