The Sniffing Song by Reta Ray aka The Naughty Nightingale – Comedy 45

Posted by Robert Rodriguez on: September 29 2011

The Sniffing Song b/w Mr. Babbitt by Reta Ray - Comedy 45 on Par-Dee Records #6 Music has been about money/fame, love, sex or drugs for a long time. I have heard of drug songs being recorded as early as the 1920's and of course until present day. It was all about getting airplay for your records, so song writers would use clever ways to describe sex or drugs without using words that would raise red flags. Even today, certain words automatically ban records from being played over the airwaves. Song writers also carried that practice into the naming of songs as well, "The Sniffing Song", it sounds innocent enough, until you hear the lyrics. This record was originally recorded and released around 1949 on 78's first then probably pressed on 45 in the early 1950's. I had never heard a song of this era be so blatant about drug use. Within the first 25 seconds Reta Ray says cocaine 5 times! I can't pass up this pun opportunity, this record is from "Holy" Toledo, Ohio. Trippy is an understatement for this tune!


A special thank you to Angie, Reta Ray's daughter for allowing me to add her mother's pictures to my post.
She lived a night club/night life filled career, where musicians and drugs went hand in hand, and yet she never even smoked and lived to be 97! Enjoy the pictures!