Drake's 9AM In Dallas.
There are a ton of songs about or inspired by Dallas, and they say a lot about who we are. So each week in this space, we'll take a closer week at one of these songs — and we'll try to determine what, exactly, they say about this great city of ours. Check out this feature's archives here.
In early 2010, Canadian-born rapper Drake found himself up early (or awake real late) while visiting Dallas.
It was at this moment that he decided to write the one final freestyle he felt would serve as the perfect introduction to his next album.
Unfortunately, by the time he decided to record “9AM in Dallas,” the rest of the record was already being mastered, meaning the song couldn't be added to it.
Still, the track was released early to promote Thank Me Later and ended up hitting No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Other than the title, though, the rest of lyrics don't explicitly mention Dallas by name.
But that doesn't mean our city didn't influence the emcee's flow at all.
Take the line “I'm in the crib stacking money from here to the ceiling,” for instance. One has to wonder where all that cash comes from in the first place, right? Besides the rare occasion that one needs some extra bills on hand for early morning stacking purposes, who even keeps much cash on them anymore at all?
These days, there's really no need. There are currently over a million ATMs worldwide (by 2020, there will be that many in the U.S. alone), with a new one being installed somewhere every five minutes on average. Yes, the money-dispensing devices are literally everywhere.
This wasn't always so, of course. And, as it turns out, Dallas was a major player in the early days of the ATM's creation, adoption and worldwide spread.
In the late '60s the Dallas-based company Docutel was still producing automated baggage handling equipment for the airline industry. Though sales of their equipment was growing ever sluggishly, they had a feeling they were really onto something with a new Docuteller machine they were developing.
As the story goes, Don Wetzel, who was an executive at the company, grew increasingly irritated the longer he stood in line at the bank waiting to deposit a check. As his lunch hour dwindled further and further away, he began to wonder why tellers were needed for most of these transactions in the first place. And thus the Docuteller, a sort of proto-ATM, was born.
In 1969, Docutel took on New York's Chemical Bank as a customer. To promote their exciting, new, Docutel-produced gadget, Chemical Bank launched an ad campaign that said, “On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!”
Because these early machines were much more limited in their functionality, however, that statement was only really true for the bank's most loyal customers. For instance: The first ATMs weren't online with the bank's central computers, meaning they could do little more than dispense cash.
Wetzel wasn't done, though. In 1971, Docutel rolled out the Total Teller, which was able to accept deposits and give out account balances as well. While this advancement initially caused tellers to fear losing their jobs, it equally worried their employers. See, in those days, it cost a banking institution an average of $8,000 more annually to operate an ATM than to pay a human teller. Still, because customers were flocking to banks that had ATMs most, banks felt extreme pressure to invest in the technology in order to keep up with their competitors.
Well, that was one reason for their quick sell, at least. Former Docutel employees credit what they called their “fool-proof sales pitch” with instantly hooking every bank president they flew in to town. Their “fool-proof” method started with a two-hour tour of their factory. Then Docutel president Jack Meredith would introduce potential clients to his brother, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith, and the Cowboys cheerleaders. A meal at one of Dallas' top restaurants would follow.
While “Dandy” Don was a fan favorite in Dallas, he never did lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl during his nine-season stint with the team. Judging from the $670 billion in ATM transactions annually, though, he managed to help his brother's company make one hell of a lasting impact on Dallas and beyond.