Line Out Music & the City at Night

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sanford & Son: "The Blind Mellow Jelly Collection"

Posted by on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I had an iguana in the 9th grade that I kept in an old department store glass display case with sticks, rocks, and lights. On a school night at 2am, the iguana somehow wedged its claw in an upper corner of the cage between two pieces of glass. It was hanging by its arm and seemed to be uncomfortable. I pressed on one side of the glass to free the iguana, causing my thumb to go through the glass. The glass cut my thumb into the bone, severing some major blood tubes that sent the red stuff shooting all over the place.

I was alone in the house and dizzily walked myself two miles to a hospital. I didn't have insurance, but I feigned confusion about forms and payments while holding a sopping bloody washcloth in my hand. My thumb was stitched up and I was sent on my way two hours later.

It was obvious that I wasn't going to school the next day, so I stayed up the rest of the night watching TV. There was a Sanford & Son marathon happening, and the episode The Blind Mellow Jelly Collection (a.k.a.) The Chameleon had just started. It will be forever etched in my brain.

From what I remember, Fred comes across a bunch of old 78s in a closet. The episode begins with Fred dancing in the living room to "Shake That Thing," which is actually a track by Maxwell Street Market busker Papa Charlie Jackson. Lamont suggests donating the records to a library as a tax write off. After donating the records, Fred learns that they're rather valuable and decides that he wants them back so he can collect the cash. He recruits the help of his friend Bubba, who pretends that he's Blind Mellow Jelly's relative and that he wants the records returned. From which comes Bubba's classic repeated line, "I want my daddy's records."

You'll have to watch the episode to see the laugh-tastic ending.

In the immortal words of Redd Foxx, "You gotta wash your ass."


Comments (2) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I need to just sit on the couch for a week and watch every single episode.

Hey, speaking of Maxwell Street Flea buskers--do you know or could you find out who this ancient black couple who busked at said flea market circa 1992 when I went there. It was totally bizarre old-people cawntry blues. Some young guy was twirling around House-dancing to them. Loved that junt.
Posted by KristinY on November 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM · Report this
derek_erdman 2
My first trip to the market was in 1998, but I'm sure somebody knows who they are.
Posted by derek_erdman on November 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM · Report this

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