G is for GOOGLE

                                                             A – Z

I’m proud to be a part of a wonderful organization called the Writers of Kern. They are having a “Blog Challenge” and I’m participating. I’m writing my normal two blogs per week but challenging myself to be prompted by the alphabet. Hope you can read all twenty six from A-Z. For more good reading check out the Writers of Kern’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/95572300558/

G is for GOOGLE

So many people laughed at the word “google” when the Stanford room-mates incorporated that company in 1988. The name is now a popular noun and even more popular verb. (I know because I googled it)

But that wasn’t such a peculiar name, at least not in my family.

When my father was seven years old, 1919, he loved to read the new comic strip called, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. It became so popular that it was in 900 newspapers in 21 countries.
Barney Google 2

In 1923 the great song writer, Billy Rose, wrote a hit record. Here is the first chorus:

Barney Google with his Goo-Goo-Goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google had a wife three times his size.
She sued Barney for divorce,
now he’s living with his horse.
Barney Google with his Goo-Goo-Goo-ga-ly eyes.

Thirty years later my dad was still singing it. I heard it often.
Here is the original 1923 record featuring the Ernest Hare and Billy Jones Orchestra.


I didn’t want to go off on a tangent about Ernest Hare and Billy Jones, but this song started them on a career of novelty hits. They called themselves the “Happiness Boys” (their sponsor was a chain store called Happiness Candy)and they had their own radio show. By 1928 they were the highest paid singers in radio – each earning $1250 a week (a dollar then is $13.50 today…do the math and you won’t believe your answer).

They had the funniest songs you can imagine. Songs like:
Does the Spearmint lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight
Don’t Bring Lulu
Oh Gee, oh Gosh, oh Golly
She Knows Her Onions
Since Henry Ford Apologized to Me

When you have a few spare minutes, check out these goofy tunes. They are all archived at:}


Let’s get back to GOOGLE

London, 1913, Vincent Cartwright Vickers published a children’s book called “The Google Book.” It had strange imaginary birds with stories about each of them. One was called the Swank, another the Poggle.
But, the strangest creature of all was called the Google. Here is his picture illustrated in the book.
Google 2

For whatever reason, the book was re-released in 1979. This might have been the inspiration for today’s “google.”

In 1923 another children’s book, “Circus Days Again,” was a popular read. It featured young Jimmy and his performing dog, Lucky along with little Lotta and her performing horse Black Beauty. The circus clown, another main character, was “Google the Clown.”

Whatever the reason, we are now connected by fingers and thumbs to Google. This incredible company, recently restructured as “Alphabet”  owns YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Android, GV(Google Ventures), Verily (Google Life Sciences), Calico, Google Nexus, Nest Labs, X, Google Capital, and Google Fiber. I may have missed a couple.

Forbes list of most valuable brand names lists Google in third place behind Apple and Microsoft, with a brand value of $56.6 billion dollars, just ahead of Coca Cola.

I know all these things because I googled them.

About bakoheat

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3 Responses to G is for GOOGLE

  1. John says:

    Fascinating. I didn’t realize Google had such a long and illustrious history. Fun read.

  2. Jenny Estes says:

    What a fun and interesting post. I recognize quite a few of the songs you mentioned. I always assumed the creators made the word “Google” up. Thank you for enlightening me.

  3. khotisarque says:

    Yes, my chewing gum lost its flavor and I was permanently in a forlorn search for Lulu; thanks for the memories. The rest of our research was new and fascinating. Like all the other nerds in town, I believed that ‘google’ was an adoption for the large number 1 followed by a million zeroes; your origins are much more enjoyable and reassuring. Great post!

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