About The Group
Note: This is one of a series of biographies on the site that came about from doing research on Appendix A - The Opry Roster 1925 - 1935 from Charles K. Wolfe's "A Good Natured Riot." Our research was done to identify the people / performers he did not. For the Hot Cops entry, Wolfe wrote:
CKW: No Information, but possibly a group associated with veteran singer Ed McConnell. 1929: 4/6, 4/13.
This appears to be one of the first sponsored portions of the Grand Ole Opry. In April 1929, the Nashville newspapers were running a series of press release type blurbs touting a new product. No evidence was found that there was an actual 'group' called Hot Cops.
The publicity barrage began on March 20, 1929. The Jacobs Packing Company, led by George S. Jacobs was featured in what was a bit of a plug for the new product. George had spent 30 years of his life in the manufacture of meat products. That may be the first hint at what this 'product' was.
The product would 'simply prove a sensation'. The company had secured the distribution rights for the product and was said to '…satisfy the most exacting taste, no matter when used.'
Mr. Jacobs felt the product had such a wonderful flavor that once a consumer sampled a Hot Cop, that consumer would become a regular and also promote it to others.
The article indicates that Mr. Jacobs said the product was an "…accidental discovery by a resident of Nashville, and they have been delayed in putting it on the market on account of delay experienced in securing patent and copyright on the shape which will prevent imitation or substitution."
Another clue was provided. Hot Cops is a meat product with a unique shape, so much so it had to be patented.
Mr. Jacobs further enthused, "…the article of food which we say will be the greatest seller ever placed before the American people."
We learn that the editor of the Firing Line column had probably interviewed Mr. Jacobs and probably ate two or three Hot Cops that enabled him to state he was in a "…position to appreciate the enthusiasm of the manufacturer."
Two weeks later, Mr. Jacob was again visiting the newspaper to provide an 'update'. He likened it to a 'war' between the consumers and the company's factory taxed to keep up with demand of the product. He was touting the success as proof as his previous prediction two weeks prior.
He called it a "choice select article of food…for a hastily prepared, tasty, lunch." He noted the product had "choice selected ingredients of highest quality" and noted that the ads in the Tennessean brought results of "gratifying and beyond expectations."
That same issue, The Tennessean reported they had over 200 sandwiches given to the midnight shift employees in the editorial, composing, mailing room and press room.
The Hot Cops sales guy, Harry Williams (also noted as a Hot Cops "inventor") was mentioned in a story by writer Blinkey Horn about the Tennessee Volunteers routing Canton 22-4 in a baseball game. Mr. Williams suggested that first base coach could get a commission if he offered a Hot Copy to 'sell' the product to the Vols. It was a sure thing that it would stop them as they ate it and then be tagged out. But it appears the supply of Hot Cops ran out and the Vols won anyhow.
In April, another article is seen to promote the product. But this time it is noting that "…other products of like character have been sold as Hot Cops, and at a lower price than the manufacturing cost of our product."
Mr. Jacobs goes on to state that "…every ingredient that goes into the manufacture of Hot Cops is of the best obtainable." He was trying to convince readers that once they tried it they would agree.
In a late April ad, the company stated "Hot Cops is a select article of food for select people. Give them a trial and be convinced."
That ad also indicated that the Jacobs Packing Co. "also manufactured the Preferred Brand of boneless Boiled Hams, Bacon, Lard and other delightful meat products."
In the newspapers, they would insert little one or two line jingles to promote the product.
Credits & Sources
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