Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ronnie Dunne Quartet - I Hope You're Satisfied
(Introducing the Versatile Ronnie Dunne Quartet, 1967)

In the autumn of 1965, Ronnie Dunne made desperate phone calls to several of his fellow jazz instrumentalists from England, begging them to fly down to Spain in order to help him fulfill a performance contract he had no recollection of signing. He called Buckie, Dave, and John not only because they owed him money, but also for their excellent musicianship -- they had all played with the best jazz musicians in England. Yet upon their arrival in the Canary Islands, Ronnie's shady management team demanded that they all SING as well as play! Besides the fact that there was nothing in the contract requiring them to vocalize a single syllable for the next 50 years, "none of us had even entertained the idea of singing before" said Ron. Naturally the group was tempted to book the next flight home, but after only a year of practice, their four harmonizing voices and numerous instruments made them stars in the Canaries and Majorca. Then they travelled all over Scandinavia, appearing on countless TV and radio broadcasts, stage shows and cabarets. They even made cameos in 3 films, if you can believe that. Their debut album was a mix of covers, swedish folk songs, and original compositions. The originals (including the song above) are the best of the bunch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Canarios - Trying So Hard  (Get On Your Knees 7", 1968)

The Canarios were a primitive tribe inhabiting the Canary Island Concert Hall when they were first discovered by the conquering Spaniards at the beginning of the 15th century. As they slowly integrated into Spanish society they managed to score several hit singles on the Spanish charts, and they even opened a few shows for The Beach Boys! (too bad it was during the "Kokomo" years). Eduardo "Teddy" Bautista, the tribe leader, was rather fond of wearing teddies but he disbanded the group in the late 60s to enter the military. When his stint was over he happily abandoned his army uniform and returned to his teddies, only to find his bandmates experimenting with synthesizers and talking about symphonic rock, of all things. One can easily guess what happened next... but for now let's focus on their glorious garage days.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gerhard and Herbert Albinus: two German teenagers in the middle of Ohio with vodka in their blood, fire in their hearts, and eyes aglow, covering one of Heino's naughtiest songs.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

385 years after the fall of the blah blah empire, this heavenly cover of the Fleetwoods classic was released as a single. 22 years later, other stuff happened. And a mere 18 years after that, even more things occurred in the world. You do the math.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Peter King - Mr. and Mrs. Untrue  (A Soulfull Peter King, 1977)

We conclude our annual We Three Kings series with this soothing, soulful ballad from Peter King, a multi-instrumentalist from Nigeria's Western State. In closing, there is general agreement among modern scholars that if Peter, Rosa, and Ben E. King had been alive during Jesus' time, they would have kicked some serious biblical butt.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ben E. King - Street Tough  (Street Tough, 1981)