This amazing compilation released on Detroit’s Fortune Records features a song that probably only Michigan natives would recognize, let alone would be able to pronounce. It’s a song from The York Brothers called Hamtramck Mama. Say it with me, ham-‘tramik. Hamtramck’s population was, at one time 90% Polish, so the song probably could have been called Polish Mama. But I guess Hamtramck has a better ring to it.

Found at a neighborhood thrift store here in LA, the cover is graced by a dame with tattoos, hence the name of the title track The Tattooed Lady by Skeets McDonald…. and don’t forget about the ELEVEN OTHER SIZZLERS!

Fortune Records started in the mid 40’s in Detroit and recorded many R&B, country, jazz and rockabilly artists like Andre Williams, Nolan Strong & The Diablos, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Bucket and more. Most of the risque tunes on this are dirty, gritty sounding rockabilly/country gems that are way out of print and sound like they were recorded using two cans and some twine. If you ever find this you better pick it up! If not for the songs, then at least for the cover art.

Listen: Hamtramck Mama



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