Supermarkets in Popular Music

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Dave
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Supermarkets in Popular Music

Post by Dave » 16 Mar 2007 21:48

I somehow doubt that there are quite as many references to supermarkets in popular music as there are in the movies and television, but I thought it might make for an interesting topic.

I'll start off with "Billy the Mountain" by The Mothers of Invention ("Just Another Band from L.A.", recorded live at Pauley Pavilion, released 1972). There are several references to markets - Ralphs on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and notably Ralphs on Sunset (where Studebacher Hoch buys "some Aunt Jemima syrup, some Kaiser broiler foil and a pair of blunt scissors"). There's also a reference to "Boney's Market" which some say was in Ontario, CA and others say was in Studio City (as "Boni's Market").

Interestingly, The Mothers changed the supermaket references depending on where they were playing - they used Gristedes in New York, A&P in Boston and Toronto, Safeway in Chicago and Kansas City, etc. A website showing differences in the song lyrics by performance location is here:
http://members.shaw.ca/fz-pomd/vaudeville/btm.html, and the song has it's own Wikipedia article as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_the_Mountain

Anyone have other songs?

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 16 Mar 2007 22:27

The one that definitely comes to mind is Neil Young's "Safeway Cart" from 1993. (He grew up in Winnipeg and currently lives in the Bay Area, both Safeway strongholds.)
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runchadrun
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Re: Supermarkets in Popular Music

Post by runchadrun » 16 Mar 2007 23:21

Dave wrote:I'll start off with "Billy the Mountain" by The Mothers of Invention ("Just Another Band from L.A.", recorded live at Pauley Pavilion, released 1972). There are several references to markets - Ralphs on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and notably Ralphs on Sunset (where Studebacher Hoch buys "some Aunt Jemima syrup, some Kaiser broiler foil and a pair of blunt scissors").
I wonder which Ralphs on Laurel Canyon they are talking about. The Vons at Laurel Canyon and Ventura is a former Ralphs, but was a Food Giant/Smith's Food King in the 1970s. The one at Valley Plaza is a former McDaniels/Hughes. There's another one way up in Sun Valley but it wasn't built until 1980.

The one on Sunset is no doubt the Rock n Roll Ralphs, which was torn down and rebuilt 10 years ago or so.

As for songs, there's "Lost in the Supermarket" by The Clash, recently covered by Ben Folds, but it doesn't mention any stores. And there's "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses with the line "A&P has provided me with the world's smallest turkey."

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Post by runchadrun » 12 Jun 2007 11:36

I completely forgot about this song until it just came up in my iTunes library. Glen Phillips, the lead singer from Toad the Wet Sprocket, had a solo album called Abulum with a song called Fred Meyers, though it seems to be about a local mom and pop store instead of the chain of (almost) the same name. You can find the lyrics at http://www.endor.org/glen/lyrics.asp?Su ... &SongID=56

WalgreensDude
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Supermarket reference

Post by WalgreensDude » 14 Jun 2007 20:34

From "The Beat Goes On" by Sonny & Cher:

"The grocery store's a super-mart, uh-huh..."

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Post by Toby Radloff » 07 Dec 2007 10:40

From The Kinks' "Come Dancing":

"They put a parking lot on a piece of land, where the supermarket used to stand, before that they put up a bowling alley, on the site that used to be the local Pali"

In the song, I am guessing that "the local Pali" was a ballroom or nightclub.

TW-Upstate NY
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Post by TW-Upstate NY » 07 Dec 2007 20:16

Just thought of another one and it's in keeping with the season:
"Met my old lover in the grocery store. The snow was falling Christmas Eve."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the title is "Another Auld Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg.

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Daniel
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Post by Daniel » 08 Dec 2007 03:03

close... it's "Same Old Lang Syne"

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shane
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Post by shane » 08 Dec 2007 12:27

I just remembered a country music song by Diamond Rio called Bubba Hyde. It mentions something about Barney working down at the A&P and if you do a quick google search you can find the lyrics.

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Post by Dean » 14 Dec 2007 21:09


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