Tuesday, August 14, 2012
This collection of '50s-'70s sultry, steamy, jungle moods taken from 45s or otherwise-non-exotic albums is all I feel like listening to lately - day after day of triple-digit heat (with a dash of humidity thrown into the cocktail) has us all wilting here in L.A. Sitting by the ocean, Mai-Tai in hand, listening to this lovely music sounds really good right now.
You'll notice some big stars not known for exotica here, like Bo Diddley, The Ventures and Link Wray, all famed for their pre-surf guitar rockers; crooners Nat 'King' Cole, Sammy Davis Jr, and Frank Sinatra; and jazz divas Anita O'Day and Pearl Bailey. There's also plenty of hopelessly obscure regional acts who never made it past their local tiki bar. This isn't all Martin Denny-type cocktail lounge stuff, either - zippy ukulele instros ("Lover"), Jamaican rocksteady ("Angie La La"), goofy novelties ("Watusi Wedding," Tobi Rix) and at least three Hammond/pipe organ tracks are included here as well. The common denominator is that it's all music designed to suggest, to quote from Sammy's percussion-charged version of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," "...a night of tropical splendor...".
Most of this is recorded off my thrift-store vinyl, but thanks are in order to the late, great site Bellybongo for "Quiet Village '67" and the amusingly x-rated version of "Jungle Drums" and to toestubber.com for the radio ad. "Tiki Hut" is an excerpt I made off of the "Teenage Diary" album posted by Otis Fodder's (who has a new blog) 365 Project, hosted by WFMU's "Beware of The Blog," from whence also comes the excerpt from "Seduction." And, of course, thanks to Bettie Page.
SAVAGE Exotica!! A MusicForManiacs Collection
(After clicking the above link, scroll down for a choice of downloading options. You may have to wait a few secs.)
1 Tiki Hut - "Teenage Diary"
2 Quiet Village '67 - Theophile & Bernard
3 Poinciana - Ethel Smith
4 An Occasional Man - Anita O'Day & Cal Tjader
5 Kiki - Link Wray & The Wray Men
6 Caravan - The Nat King Cole Trio
7 Call Of The Jungle - Carl Stevens
8 Sassa Boumbit - Uele Kalabubu
9 Moon Over Manakoora - The Ventures
10 Seduction! (Act Two - Scene One) - Gregg Oliver and Lois Cooper
11 Jungle Drums - Sound Of X
12 My Shawl - Xavier Cugat-FrankSinatra
13 Brazil - George Wright
14 Haiti - Pearl Bailey
15 Wow - Russ Garcia
16 Islander - Kampus Kinsmen
17 Island of Lost Girls/Nice Girl radio ad
18 The Japanese Temple - Bobby Christian
19 Jungle Fever - Creed Taylor Orchestra
20 Accessory demo-Surfer Control - Concert Organ Co.
21 Lover - Perry Botkin
22 Angie La La - Nora Dean
24 Siboney - Desi Arnaz
25 Watusi Wedding - Hugo And Luigi
26 Bali Hai - Jesse Crawford
27 Uska dara - Tobi Rix
28 Begin the Beguine - Sammy Davis, Jr.