"Sombrero" - 16 exotic tunes from Yucatan to Zanzibar


In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE12
Imagine this: you're on a sandy beach in Yucatan wearing a sombrero and drinking tequila while you're thinking of your friend in Zanzibar who's playing the bongos along with the roaches and the wild cats. And then you hear these native tunes and you hurry back to your tiki parlor... "

(London 45-HL
              9345 from 1960; in US in '61 Landa 667) 1. sombrero - ronnie & the rainbows

You may already know "Loose ends" byt this B-side, also an instrumental, remained unknown to so many lovers of "Las Vegas Grind", "Frolic diner" and "Jungle exotica".
9. jody - del shannon OR the snake - maximilian

We all know Del Shannon's smash hit "Runaway", but this instrumental is so much better: twangy guitar, loads of echo, crazy sax, handclapping. But surprise surprise: it's a misprint, because the song is Maximilian's "The snake" from 1960.
(London REX10095
              from 1961)
(Durium 6988) 2. basta - clem sacco

Exotic Italian cha cha cha on an Italian label, probably the best known label in Italy in the 50s and 60s. I suppose this was recorded around 1960. This song invites you to dance the cha cha cha with the beautiful girl next to you.
10. nee-no-nah-nee - bert convy

On Moonglow, the American label founded by the Belgian brother of Ronnex' boss Van Hoogten. On several "monster rock 'n' roll" compilations you can find his songs like "Gorilla", but this creature you can hear on "Nee-no-nah-nee" wasn't compiled before. The guys from the Neanderthals love this song when they came to my party a few years ago.
(Moonglow 5191
              from 1962)
              C.3155) 3. gin fizz - ginger ale

I'm not sure whether this instrumental lounge combo was Belgian or Dutch. This late 60s b-side of "The flood" was followed by "In the sand/Get off my life woman", also on Cardinal.
11. wild kitten - stu mitchell & doug roberts

Another wild instro on a Belgian label. And it's one of the wildest I know. It's fast, it's rough, it's powerful, it's playful just like a wild kitten. It's like a battle of the drummers. And more of this you can find on vol. 31 with its flip "Drumfolk".
(Frankie 106 from
(His Master's
              Voice 45-POP 818 from 1960) 4. chunky - the planets

On volume 9 you could listen to "Screwball"; its other side is even better. "Chunky" is a superb example of British instrumental soundtrack music using twangy guitars and John Barry-ish arrangements.
12. valley of the sioux - the outlaws

British rock 'n' roll never sounded better on this instrumental two-sider. "Crazy drums", its b-side, was already featured on "Rockin' on the north circular vol 2". So you can only get "Valley of the Sioux", also a frantic pre-surf instrumental, but only half as crazy.
(His Master's
              Voice 45-POP 927 from 1961)
(MGM K13750 from
              1967) 5. bongo bongo - the chanters

A girl band under the wings of Milan aka The Leather Boy. Maybe that's why this sounds like his "On the go" which was featured on the "Wavy Gravy" series. It was even written by Milan who was born as Milan Radenkovich. The Chanters have remained a mystery band as I've never seen this 45 on any compilation. I've used the other side for vol. 21.
13. sittin' bull - the sioux

And here are the Sioux themselves playing another instrumental killer about their most famous chief Sittin' Bull who together with Crazy Horse, crushed General Curtis at Little Bighorn (some history lesson, huh). You can almost hear the Indians riding their horses and closing in on the gun-crazy soldiers. About one century later The Sioux are back with this platter. "Ooh poo pah doo" is the flipside.
(Moonglow 5228)
              9-1.008 from 1956) 6. the little man in chinatown - jim lowe & the high fives

Jim Lowe, isn't that the... yes, he's the guy of "Green door" and this is the flip. Jim was a good friend of Dot Records' boss Pat Boone and that's where this song was first issued.

14. route 66 - paul curry

The most unusual pre-Stones version of Nat King Cole's hit from 1946. It was written by Bobby Troup, Julie London's husband, who also recorded it in 1956. But this remake amazes each party animal who likes whatever that happened before the Beatles-age. After the Indian reservation and now leaving Route 66...
(Cotton 1007 from
              R.S.11.001) 7. rock-a-bongo-boogie - doc severinsen

Another bongo beatin' beauty. An instrumental from the Command vaults. That label was more than Enoch Light & His Light Brigade. Doc Severinsen released several great albums and also this 45. I think it was 1959, but don't shoot me if I'm wrong again.

15. la cucuracha - terry snyder & the all stars

... we continue our trip and we're dancing witht the cockroaches near the Mexican border. Terry Snyder has used the Command All Stars for this recording of the most famous Mexican song. If this weren't an instrumental, you could listen to the story of the cockroach who doesn't have to leave anymore after finding a spot on a marihuana leaf. It was written druing the Mexican revolution in 1916 and in 1934 it was used in the movie La Cucaracha.
(Pink Elephant PE
              22.714-H from 1973) 8. el cumbanchero - trinity

The most psyched-out version of El Cumbanchero ever! On both sides! The other side's version is 63 seconds longer. So try to find the 45 and choose which side you'd like to play at your own garden parties.
16. tequila madness - versatility

And we're ending your journey across the border. Tequila is to Mexico what vodka is to Russia: it makes people mad. Tequila Madness is a mad version of Chuck Rio's hit song. I could also have taken Too Much Tequila, but I think this will do for this volume.
(President PT435
              from 1975)