The Hillbillies in this 1930's show originating in New York City were not as crazy as their Sponsor.
The residents of Mineral Wells, Texas, had long appreciated the laxative effects of the minerals in their local drinking water. There had been a significant "Health Spa Boom" in the early years of the twentieth century, and Mineral Wells had a healthy economy attracting tourists to partake in their curative waters. The "Crazy Well" got its name when two women suffering from "hysterical mania peculiar to their sex" were cured after drinking the waters.
A pair of investors from Dallas, Carr P. Collins and his brother Hal, built the Crazy Hotel to take advantage of the boom. Hoping to expand this market, they began buying radio time on a Dallas radio station; their first broadcast was in Feb, 1930. They featured the Old Timey music that would become a Crazy staple. One of Hal's early commercials went: "When I was a kid, I used to have a shotgun, and when that shotgun got clogged up, I used to take a ramrod and give it a good cleaning. Now Crazy Water does the same for you. When you get clogged up, Crazy Water is just like that ramrod."
The Collins boys got involved with pirate "Border Blaster" radio stations, and were able to sing the praises of their wonderful water using an incredibly powerful transmitter just across the Mexican Border. There have been reports of Crazy Water Crystal ads heard as far away as Hawaii. By the time the Border Blaster station was shut down, Crazy Water Crystals were being hyped on a number of other country music outlets throughout the Eastern and Southern States. The Crazy Hillbilly Show originated in New York City.
When the depression curtailed travel to health spas Crazy Water was boiled down so that its mineral salts could be cheaply shipped and reconstituted using tap water. Although the claims made by the Collins brothers were not as blatant as those of other patent medicine salesmen, they were lumped into the same category when the Federal Government began to enact Pure Food and Medicine regulations. This is how the company went from Hal Collins' Ram-rod to helping with maladies related to "False Elimination" described by Colonel Jack on the Crazy Hillbilly Show.
The music featured on the Crazy Hillbilly show has been called "Pre-Bluegrass". Bluegrass finds its roots in "Old time" music, a melting pot of folk music from the British Isles and Europe as well as Africa. These styles fused into a dance-hall sound that was played on stringed instruments and sometimes harmonica. Old Time Music usually features one instrument playing the melody with the others in accompaniment; Bluegrass features more improvisation with each instrument giving treatment to the melody in turn. Bluegrass became popular in urban areas with the advent of the post-war recording industry.