A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 23, 2008
Wish Sandwich

A “wish sandwich” was explained in the song “Rubber Biscuit,” originally by The Chips in 1956, but popularized by the Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi) on the New York-based television show Saturday Night Live (1979) and the Chicago-based movie Blues Brothers (1980). A song lyric:

“Have you ever heard of a wish sandwich? A wish sandwich is the kind of a sandwich where you have two slices of bread and you, hee hee hee, wish you had some meat.”

“Wish sandwich” was printed in the New York (NY) Herald Tribune on August 17, 1960, and the Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer Public Ledger on May 26, 1968 (when it was also called a “slam sandwich"). Pittsburgh Pirates baseball slugger Willie Stargell (1940-2001) often spoke about the “wish sandwiches” of his upbringing in interviews in the 1970s.

Wikipedia: Rubber Biscuit
“Rubber Biscuit” is a novelty doo-wop song performed by the vocals-only team The Chips, who recorded it in 1956. It was famously covered by The Blues Brothers, on their debut album, Briefcase Full of Blues, among many other artists, as well as being featured in the 1973 film Mean Streets.
Lyrics content
Few of the lyrics can actually be understood, as they are sung in the scat manner. The scat is interrupted every few bars for short one-liners, most of which are implicit references to the singer’s poverty and the low-grade food he eats: a “wish sandwich” (where one has two slices of bread and wishes for meat in between the slices of bread), ...

17 August 1960, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “Fresh Air and Sunshine,” pg. 23, col. 5:
Wish Sandwich
New London, Conn.—A Fresh Air counselor, lately returned from a camp, reported her most vivid experience was to overhear campers saying that in their homes, when they finished a meal and were still hungry, they would make a “wish sandwich.” When there was nothing else to be had, they put two slices of bread together, closed their eyes and filled the sandwich with imagination and recollection. Delicious, they asserted, just delicious.

26 May 1968, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer Public Ledger, “Nose Diving On Skid Row” by Rose DeWolf, pg. 1, col. 1:
“You got to yell ‘I’m saved’ to get you a wish sandwich,” Chafey complains.


“Two slices of bread and you wish there was something between them.”

On the Row that is also known as the “slam sandwich.” You slam the slices together and pray something will appear between them. However, the taste is the same.

4 May 1971, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Playing Games” by Charley Feeney, pg. 21, col. 1:
It wasn’t that way with some of (Pittsburgh Pirate baseball star Willie—ed.) Stargell’s buddies. Jesse Gonder was one of them and Jesse used to talk about a wish sandwich.

“What’s a wish sandwich?” Stargell asked Gonder one day.

‘That’s when you have two slices of bread and wish you had some meat to put in between,” Gonder said.

14 September 1971, Titusville (PA) Herald, “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 4:
WILLIE STARGELL, slugging outfield star of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is living high on the hog these days, but has no trouble recalling how poor he and his family were in his youth.

“My ma reminds me,” he says, “that I never stopped talking about a ‘wish’ sandwich, and when she asked me what a ‘wish’ sandwich was, I explained that that’s when you have only two pieces of bread and you wish you had some meat to go in between.”
(An illustration of the “wish sandwich” is here.—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Briefcase full of blues
by John Belushi; Dan Aykroyd; Paul Shaffer; Steve Cropper; Matt Murphy, guitarist.; Donald Dunn; Steve Jordan; Lou Marini; Alan Rubin; Tom Scott; Tom Malone, musician.; Blues Brothers.
Type:  Musical LP : Blues : Multiple forms : Popular music; English
Publisher: New York : Atlantic, 1978.
Material Type: Music
Document Type: Sound Recording
Music Type: Blues; Popular music
Notes: Blues and popular songs. Program notes by Miami Mitch Glazer on container.
Description: 1 sound disc (35 min., 52 sec.) : analog, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.
Contents: Opening: I can’t turn you loose (1:17) - - Hey bartender (2:46) - - Messin’ with the kid (2:46) - - (I got everything I need) Almost (2:36) - - Rubber biscuit (2:41) - - Shot gun blues (5:13) - - Groove me (3:32) - - I don’t know (4:07) - - Soul man (2:54) - - “B” movie box car blues (3:57) - - Flip, flop & fly (3:35) - - Closing: I can’t turn you loose (:28). 

Google News Archive
4 March 1982, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “An ace no more, Stargell remains one of a kind” by Phil Musick, pg. 22, cols. 4-5:
Willie Stargell Day, Three Rivers, 1980. An arm around his mother. Weeping. And, perhaps, remembering.

“When I was a kid, we used to talk a lot about wish sandwiches,” he had always said. “A wish sandwich? That’s when you have two pieces of bread and you wish you had something to put between them.”

29 January 1985, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, section 2, pg. 3, col. 5
“And there were the days when I’d be eating syrup sandwiches—two pieces of bread with maple syrup—or ‘wish’ sandwiches—bread with mayonnaisewishing there was a piece of meat to put between ‘em.
(Basketball player Quintin Dailey—ed.)

Google Answers
Subject: Re: Rubber Biscuit song
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 11 Aug 2002 11:18 PDT
The Chips’ original 1956 version of “Rubber Biscuit” gained new life in 1979, when the Blues brothers made the song a hit all over again. Sam Strain, who co-wrote “Rubber Biscuit,” is better known as a member of Little Anthony and the Imperials and the O’Jays.

As near as can be told, the song’s lyrics consist of gibberish, with nonsensical spoken interjections:

RUBBER BISCUIT (a bouncy, but flaky transcription)
Cow cow hoo-oo
Cow cow wanna dib-a-doo
Chicken hon-a-chick-a-chick hole-a-hubba
Hey fried chuck-a-lucka wanna jubba
Hi-low nay wanna dubba hubba
Day down sum wanna jigga-wah
Dell rown ay wanna lubba hubba
Mull an’ a mound chicka lubba hubba
Fay down ah wanna dippa-zippa-dippa
Mm-mmn, do that again!
Doo doo doo boo

Cow cow lubba ‘n a blubba lubba
How rown hibb’n ‘n a hibba-lu
How low lubbin ‘n a blubba-lubba
Hey ride ricky ticky hubba lubba
Dull ow de moun’ chicky hubba lubba
Went down trucka lucka wanna do-uh
How low a zippin ‘n a hubba-lu
Hey ride ricky ticky blubba-lu
How low duh woody pecker pecker

Mm-hmm, did you ever hear
Of a wish sandwich
Well that’s the kind of a sandwich
That is supposed to take
Two pieces of bread
And wish you had some meat

Urban Dictionary
wish sandwich
A kind of sandwich where you take two pieces of bread and WISH you had some meat.
Ever heard of a wish sandwich
by Suisare Jul 28, 2004

Blues Brothers - Rubber Biscuit
May 26, 2006
rubber biscuit by Elwood Blues

Rubber Biscuit with Lyrics
Published on Oct 9, 2011
The Chips, 1956. Covered by the Blues Brothers, sung by Dan Aykoryd

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, December 23, 2008 • Permalink