Friday, January 5, 2018

Amos Milburn – "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" (1953)

One scotch
One bourbon
One beer

On average, Americans consume 2.3 gallons of alcohol per year.

That translates to about 500 drinks annually, or ten per week – one or two a day.  (By “drink,” I mean a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a mixed drink made with a jigger of 80-proof booze – each of which contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.)

New Hampshire residents appear to consume 4.6 gallons a year, more than any other state – although that number is likely misleading.  (New Hampshire is one of only two states that doesn’t levy excise taxes on alcohol, and a lot of folks from neighboring states buy their booze in New Hampshire.)

DC has the second-highest per capita alcohol consumption, which is to be expected given the number of Senators and Congressmen here.

Delaware, North Dakota, and Nevada round out the top five.  It’s no surprise that people drink a lot in North Dakota and Nevada – although for very different reasons – but I can’t explain why residents of Delaware drink so much.

Residents of Utah drink only 1.4 gallons of alcohol annually, which is significantly less than residents of any other state.  

Surprisingly, the next most abstemious states are West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.  You’d think that people who live in those states would be trying to drown their misery, but apparently not.

Here’s a shocking fact: women drink less than men!  (Or at least women claim to drink less than men.)

Two hundred years ago, the average American consumed 7.1 gallons of alcohol per year – or more than three times as much booze as we drink today.  (That’s 30 drinks a week instead of ten – which is quite a difference.)

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According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some 30% of Americans don’t drink at all, while another 30% drink only rarely – they average less than one drink per week.  

(She might be one of those in the top 10%)
The top 10% of American drinkers average an astonishing 74 drinks per week.  That works out to over four bottles of whiskey, 15 bottles of wine, or three cases of beer of week.

That’s ten shots of whiskey . . . or two bottles of wine . . . or almost two six-packs of beer . . . each and every day (including Sundays and holidays).

Keep in mind that 10% of the adult population translates to 24 million Americans – two of which are in the above photo.

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President Trump is one those 30% of Americans who never drink.  

Trump’s older brother died of alcoholism at age 43.  He recently talked about how his brother’s addiction affected his own attitude toward drinking:

I had a brother Fred, great guy, best looking guy, best personality, much better than mine, but he had a problem.  He had a problem with alcohol.  And he would tell me don't drink.  Don't drink.

He was substantially older, and I listened to him and respected [him].  But he would constantly tell me don't drink. . . . [H]e would say it over and over and over again.  And to this day I've never had a drink.  And I have no longing for it.  I have no interest in it.    

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“One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” was a hit for Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers in 1953.  (The record was released on the Aladdin label, and Milburn’s first hit single was titled “Chicken Shack Boogie.”)  

Amos Milburn
Milburn, a Houston rhythm-and-blues pianist and singer who recorded a number of booze-themed songs, was a great influence on Fats Domino.

John Lee Hooker and George Thorogood released very different covers of the song in 1966 and 1977, respectively.  Both titled their versions “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

Here’s Amos Milburn’s “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”:

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

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