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October 30

Song that Sounds Dirty, “Rub It In” By Billy Crash Craddock

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Song that Sounds Dirty, “Rub It In” By Billy Crash Craddock 1

Billy Craddock’s nickname “Crash” has often been misinterpreted. It is because of his interest in auto racing. The truth is, he first picked up the name as a running back on his high school football team in Greensboro, North Carolina. He would dart for a hole on the line and try to shimmy through it to avoid being tackled by the larger defensive players. By avoiding collisions, he became known as “Crash.”

The song “Rub It In” had been cut by three other artists with absolutely no success before Craddock took it. He thought it was “cute” and took it into the studio. After the song was released, Billy was surprised to discover that many radio stations across the country refused to play it. He personally called many disc jockeys and program directors to find out why and was told that the song was “too risqué.” He asked them to listen to it again, more closely this time, and they would find out that he was talking about suntan lotion, and that’s all. Eventually, Craddock knew that they didn’t listen to it at all until he called. They had just assumed it was dirty because of the title. The radio programmers jumped on the record after that, and “Rub It In” reached the summit of the Billboard chart on August 3, 1974 and remained at the top for two weeks. The song also brought Craddock back to the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in a much more spectacular way than his first release on Columbia all those years ago. “Rub It In” peaked at a very respectable #16 on that survey. The song’s upbeat tempo and lyrics also provided a sharp contrast to the news of the day, since “Rub It In” resided at the top of the country charts the same week that Richard Nixon announced his resignation as President of the United States. The song made a bit of a comeback in 1986 when Absorbine Jr. hired Craddock to cut the song for a television commercial.


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