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October 1999


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Emily Leonard <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Oct 1999 23:15:45 +0100
text/plain (45 lines)
>From John Rathbone at [log in to unmask]
>G'Day, Ian!
>I do not have first-hand experience with Vaudeville, but my father (who did)
>used to do a "bit" in which he told of two men from New York City who were
>planning a trip to the races at Schenectady.  They went to Grand Central
>Station to get their Pullman tickets.  The ticket agent asked them to spell
>their proposed destination.  After several failed attempts, one man said,
>"Oh, H***, give us a couple of tickets to Troy."  End of joke.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ian McGiver <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Tuesday, October 19, 1999 10:28 AM
>Subject: Spell Schenectady
>>A number of years ago (in the late 1960s or early 1970s) I heard a song on
>>a Capital District Radio Station (possibly WGY). At that time the song
>>was already quite old. The title and/or main refrain of the song was "I
>>Spell Schenectady." There  were references to all sorts of things that the
>>narrator could do--except to spell Schenectady.
>>        I have presumed that the song had roots in Vaudeville days, but
>>perhaps there were reasons for Schenectady being on the nation's
>>mental/cultural map at the time song was written?
>>        Is anyone on the list familiar with this song? Do you know
>>where I could  (relatively easily) get a recording?
>>        Thanks
>>Ian McGiver
>>[log in to unmask]

Ian McGiver:

As a one-time Schenectadian, I learned it stood for the ultimate Hicksville
in the minds of many. James' Daisy Miller came from Schenectady as did Mary
in George M. Cohan's song  "So Long, Mary".

For Schenectadians, the ultimate Hicksville was Cohose.

Emily Leonard