Aimee Semple McPherson
- I started searching for an old Pete Seeger song about Aimee
and got this reply from S L Hinton over at the Sing Out! Magazine
group. It was quite a story back in it's time and is still a GREAT
I hope you all enjoy it!
Thanks Again Sam....
Aimee was last seen swimming at Ocean Beach (near Santa
Monica) in 1926. She reappeared in northern Mexico a month
later, and said she had walked for 13 hours after escaping from
her kidnappers. The grand Jury called her in to learn more about
the kidnappers, but found a number of inconsistencies in her
story; her shoes showed no sing of her having walked for 13
hours, and she was fully clad, although having been last seen in
a bathing suit.
The Grand Jury was headed by a preacher named Robert
Shuler; he and another member of the Jury, Clifford Clinton, had
been using the Jury as a means of cleaning up a very corrupt city
-- Los Angeles. The preacher's name was Bob Shuler, and he
was the father of a now well-known evangelist by the same
The\ Grand Jury found out a lot of information, and had Aimee
arrested for having tried to deceive them. The song was
apparently written before the wealthy William Randolph Hearst
convinced the Grand Jury that she should be pardoned, which
she was, but she never regained her popularity with the press.
She died of an overdose of barbiturates in 1944. So here are the
words to the song, which was cast in the form of a popular song
of that time--"Minnie the Moocher,"
sung by Cab Callaway.
Have you heard the story of Aimee McPherson?
Aimee McPherson, that wonderful person.
She weighed a hundred-eighty and her hair was red
And she preached a wicked sermon so the papers all said.
CHORUS: Hi de hi de hi
Ho de ho de ho.
Aimee built herself a radio station
To broadcast her preaching all over the nation.
She found a man named Armstead* who knew enough
To run the radio while Aimee did her stuff.
The had a camp-meeting down at Ocean Park,
Preached from early morning till after dark.
Said the benediction and folded up the tent,
And nobody knew where Aimee went.
After twenty-nine days she returned from her journey,
And told her story to the District Attorney.
She said that she'd been kidnapped on a lonely trail,
And in spite of a lot of questions, she stuck to her tale.
So the Grand Jury started an investigation-
Uncovered all sorts of juicy information.
Found out about a love-nest up in Carmel-By-the-Sea,
Where the liquor is expensive and the loving is free.
They found a little cottage with a breakfast nook,
And the folding bed had a worn-out look.
The slats was busted and the springs was loose,
And the dents in the mattress fitted Aimee's caboose.
So they took poor Aimee and put her in jail;
The last I heard, she was out on bail.
They'll send her up for a stretch, I guess,
'Cause she's worked herself into an awful mess.
Now Radio Ray is a going hound;
They looked for him, but he hasn't been found.
They sent out his picture, but it came too late,
Because since they took it he's gained a lot of weight.
So I'll end my story in the usual way,
About a lady preacher's holiday.
If you don't get the moral then you're the gal for me,
"Cause there's still a lot cottages up at Carmel-By-the-Sea!
*His real name was Kenneth Ormiston, but the song calls him