Friday, July 1, 2011

MISCHIEF: How Musical Studies Led Me To Goat Balls

I knew if I stayed up late enough, I could find some mischief to enjoy…

My never-ending musical studies took me this night to a most interesting find (they always do): One Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, a radio personality who broadcasted from the most powerful station in the western hemisphere in the late 30s (Oh how I wish I’d lived through the days of Mexican border radio).

Dr. Brinkley was a quack and sold all types of snake oil, but the most popular were those that promised to cure male impotence. And you thought Viagra was a new racket! His most extreme service involved grafting goat testicles onto a man's testicles. Said procedure cost between $750 and $2,000.

During the Great Depression, Dr. Brinkley became a multi-millionaire and owned mansions, airplanes, limousines, and a yacht once used by presidents.

And, with this unexpected education complete, I shall retire for the evening, dear friends. I don’t expect tonight can get much better than that…

I discovered John R. Brinkley’s story in the music biography “Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone: The Carter Family& Their Legacy In American Music”. (The authors, Mark Zwonitzer and Charles Hirshberg, were discussing the power of radio in the late 1930s)

You can learn more on his surprisingly detailed Wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Brinkley


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