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By Jack Hackley
In this day and age it’s hard to imaging how in the late 1940s and early ‘50s everybody in the country knew about Hadacol, which was a foul tasting mixture of vitamins and alcohol that was supposed to cure anything that ailed you.
After my previous articles about Hadacol, I have heard from readers and received many letters. One was from Bob Sergeant from New London that said from 1949 to the 1970s, his family lived in Cabool. “I can remember the town drunks sitting in front of the Rexall Drug Store on Main Street drinking the stuff, then reclining on the sidewalk to sleep it off.”
He said he had an unopened bottle in the original box. “I look at the box occasionally and laugh to myself. I can still see those drunks on the sidewalk.” Bob made a copy of the box and sent it to me.
Orval and Inez Johnson from Oak Grove, who celebrated their 70th anniversary last month, told me they also attended the Hadacol Caravan Show at Riverside. When I asked who they remembered seeing there, Orval replied, “Jimmy Durante and Carmen Miranda.” Although there were 14 other acts in the show, including Hank Williams, the only ones any of us can remember is Jimmy Durante and Carmen Miranda.
Here’s an email from Brian Bevins.
Dear Mr. Hackley, I work as a reader for a newspaper clipping service in Columbia. I read newspapers from all over the state and I read your column fairly often. I was especially interested in your recent ones about Hadacol. Several years ago I got the compact disc of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Last Man Standing,” which contains he and Buddy Guy singing “Hadacol Boogie.” I’d always wondered what the song was about, but never researched it. Your columns satisfied by curiosity. I wondered if you’d heard the song. Yours truly, Brian Bevins.