Waffle House makes average breakfast food, plain and simple. It’s cheap, it’s easy (if you live in the South) and it’s average. Anybody disputing that last point likely has some stake in the company or has never had a steak anywhere else.
Shelby White does have some stake in the company: she is the head of Waffle Records. Never heard of it? Likely, that means you’re not a big fan of campy soulless songs about coffee and eggs, but if you are there are more than 40 songs that can numb your mind into a waffle batter sludge in any Waffle House jukebox, recorded by the company itself.
White, who was interviewed by NPR, says the music is meant to add to the Waffle House mood and not act as an advertisement. The songs can be found on Waffle House jukeboxes for anyone looking to play a sadistic John Mulaney type prank.
The music, White says, “it’s about our food. It’s about our people. It’s about the things that happen if you just sit in a Waffle House and listen to the conversations around you. We try to represent all that to some degree in the songs.”
There are dozens of these songs covering all genres from bluegrass to gospel. A highlight is Danny Jones’ wonderfully anachronistic 1996 doo-wop number “There Are Raisins in My Toast.”
The song is the sonic equivalent of a stomach ache. The music is a pretty cold note-for-note remake of Frankie Valli’s “Sherry” if Frankie and his Four Seasons had all been dead when they recorded the song.
In a terrifying twist, AllMusic guide gives Waffle House’s Jukebox Favorites Vol. 1 a near perfect rating. Who knows how or why the album was rated so highly, but the people have spoken and Waffle House’s songs only accounted for about 1 percent of plays on the restaurant’s jukeboxes. Thank goodness.