It’s night time in the big city

A man’s wife confronts his mistress

There’s a low cloud cover

Two runaways sleep in a doorway


“This week we’ve got kind of a controversial subject…Something you’re not allowed to do inside a restaurant, or even a bowling alley. It didn’t used to be that way. It was something you used to be able to do right out in public. You didn’t have to hide in your own house doing it. Today’s show is all about smoking. We’re not here to encourage it or to glorify it. You’re smart enough to look up all the facts…So sit back, smoke em if you got em, and enjoy the next 60 minutes as we blow a few musical smoke rings your way.”

(background intro music is Smoke Gets in Your Eyes/Coleman Hawkins)

Singers and Songs

  • Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)
  • The O’Jays
    Lipstick Traces on a Cigarette

    “…can get you in trouble or can remind you of the wonders of the night before”

  • Joe Maphis and Rose Lee
    Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, and Loud, Loud Music
  • Reefer Man

    “You know some people don’t smoke tobacco. They’re smoking some other stuff. Perhaps you’re familiar with it. Some people call it pot, weed, grass, marijuana, loco weed, ganja, reefer, chiba, sensimilla, chronic, mary jane, or dope. Whatever you call it, you smoke it and you get high. Here’s a song all about it. It was written in 1927, though this version’s from a few years later...You gotta be smokin’ something to be calling watermelons pickles!”

  • Steve Purdy and the Studs
    The Weed

    “Here’s the crazy part of this record – it’s a band of 15 year olds! Imagine a group of 15 year olds singing about smoking now days…the mind boggles!”

  • More Cigarettes
  • Smoking Woman in the Street
  • Sam Cooke
    Smoke Rings
  • Chew Tobacco Rag I & II
  • Paul Champlain and the Emeralds

    “The thing I like about bands that put out only one record is that sometimes both sides of it are amazing. I turned over 'Shortnin’ Bread' and I found this!”

  • Brownsville Station
    Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room
  • Red Ingle and the Natural Seven
    Cigareets, Whuskey, and Wild, Wild Women
  • The Visions

    “It’s one of the great mysteries of life that I know more about Spud cigarettes than I do about our next artists, but that’s not gonna stop me from playing ‘em.”

  • Tobacco Road

Other People and Players

The Places

  • Texas
  • Ramsey, IL
  • LA
  • Europe
  • France
  • Walworth, England
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Palmer House
  • Chicago
  • Webster, MA
  • Georgia
  • Durham, NC

    “I’m pretty sure that’s tobacco country.”

Other Songs and Albums

The Guests

  • T Bone Burnett

    “Thanks for calling, Bone…enjoy the Weed!”

  • John Cusack

Cigarette Brands and Advertisement

Slang for Cigarettes

  • Smokes
  • Butts
  • Ciggies
  • Stogies
  • Bogies
  • Straights
  • Jacks
  • Fags
  • Cancer Sticks
  • Coffin Nails
  • Doogies and Rollies (Australia)

     “Whatever you call ‘em, light ‘em up!”

“Well that’s it; we’ve covered the pros and cons of smoking. I’m gonna empty out the ashtrays, air the room, and get ready for next week, cause you know there’s another theme just around the corner, and I hope you’ll be there when we hold it up to the light.”