Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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“Vitamin L”: Musically Nutritious

I remember fondly the 1970s soap opera spoof, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman – cited by Wikipedia as “one of the biggest cult television shows of all time” and so named because show creator, Norman Lear, and his writers believed that “everything that was said on a soap opera was said twice.”

Mary Kay Place recorded a Grammy-nominated album, Tonite! At the Capri Lounge, Loretta Haggers, on which she sang as her Mary Hartman character.   Columbia released two singles from that Top 10 country album, both written by Mary Kay Place:  “Baby Boy” – which went to #60 on Billboard’s pop charts and #3 on the country charts in 1976 – and “Vitamin L” which made the country charts (#72) but not pop in 1977:

Vitamin L – Mary Kay Place

[Pssst:  Click on the triangle above to play ”Vitamin L” by Mary Kay Place.]


Lyrical excerpt:

Mama made me eat carrots ‘n’ hominy grits
Though I really felt disinclined
But she said they was packed with vitamin A
And if I didn’t that I’d go blind

She said, “Your skin’ll break out ‘n’ you’ll get beri-beri
‘Less you eat all them black-eyed peas
‘Cause them and the greens ‘n’ the lima beans
They all got Vitamin B

‘N’ you’ll get scurvy ‘less you eat them prunes
‘Cause they got vitamin C
Well then, c’mon outside ‘n’ play in the sun
Or get rickets from no vitamin D”

Well, I did what she said ‘n’ I ate what she asked
‘N’ for a while I felt real swell
But I sure wish Mama had told me back then
All about Vitamin L
Yeah, I sure wish Mama had a mentioned to me
All about Vitamin L

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