The butterfly effect: the birth of a sausage roll-themed Xmas hit
In DG #41 we looked at how 16th-century royal headaches led to a 21st-century sausage-roll themed Christmas hit for LadBaby
Jean Nicot, the French ambassador in Lisbon, sends Catherine de Medici, queen consort of France, a gift of ground tobacco to treat her persistent headaches. Medici is delighted with it, and the fashion for taking snuff spreads throughout the French court and across Europe. The drug nicotine will later be named after Nicot.
The first snuff mills are constructed in the British colony of Virginia on the east coast of North America and later spread across the continent.
British soldiers destroy a snuff mill in New Egypt, New Jersey, in the war of 1812. Mill owner Christopher Foulks moves to St Louis, Missouri, and sets up a new tobacco business. In the late 1860s it creates the first ever blended cigarettes from a combination of Virginia and Turkish tobacco.
The company, now called Liggett & Myers, begins to produce Chesterfield cigarettes in a factory in North Carolina. The Turkish-Virginia blend, whose logo gives a nod to Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, will go on to become the second biggest US cigarette brand, endorsed by the likes of Lauren Bacall and Ronald Reagan under the slogan “They Satisfy”.
Talent agent Doug Storer hears Perry Como on a CBS radio show and thinks he would be perfect for a new radio programme that is being planned. Como agrees to record a trial version of the show, which Storer takes to the advertising company that runs the Chesterfield cigarettes account. After initial doubts about Como, Chesterfield agrees to sponsor the production.
Como is the launch host of The Chesterfield Supper Club radio show. It is a great success and moves to television in 1948. Como will go on to host TV shows and specials for almost 50 years, becoming one of America’s best-loved entertainers.
Record producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore discover a woman that they think is going to be a star in the background of one of Perry Como’s TV shows. Excitedly they ask singer-songwriter Sam Cooke to write a song for her, but after hearing the woman sing the result, ‘Cupid’, they decide that Cooke should record it himself.
Cooke’s version is a hit.
Twelve-year-old Californian Steve Perry is being driven in his mother’s Thunderbird in Pismo Beach when ‘Cupid’ comes on the radio. “I was just captivated with every single thing that I was hearing,” he would later tell Rolling Stone. “It was tunnel vision, and tunnel listening, on that song. Sam Cooke just completely captivated me.” He decides he has to become a singer.
After forming a series of bands that fail to get record deals, Perry decides to end his singing career and return home to work on his stepfather’s turkey ranch. But Herbie Herbert, manager of prog rock band Journey, hears one of Perry’s demos and auditions him to replace singer Robert Fleischmann. Perry gets the gig and with its new frontman, Journey becomes a hugely successful arena rock band.
Journey releases Escape, which goes on to become its biggest studio album, selling more than 12 million copies and topping the US Billboard 200 chart. It contains four hit singles: ‘Open Arms,’ ‘Who’s Crying Now’, ‘Still They Ride’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’, which goes on to become the most downloaded song from the 20th century.
24th December 2020
‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’, a cover of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by LadBaby, goes to number 1 in the UK charts. The new version’s lyrics are about the consumption of sausage rolls (‘Just a pastry treat, And when my family finally meet, We share a foot-long through a plastic sheet’) and funds raised by the single are given to food bank charity the Trussell Trust. The track is LadBaby’s third consecutive number 1 Christmas single.
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