"Tabou Sheba" - 16 shocking reports of the weird and the crazy in rock history


In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE159
"In the kitchen of my house of horrors I watched the death of an angel twistin' the merengue with pretty eyed Malagueña..."

1. house of horrors - merv griffin

One of my all time fave horror tunes! Welcome to my house of horrors, Mervyn says. Griffin used to host a talk show and a game show on US television. This Mercury release dates from 1962.

9. pretty eyed baby - billy williams quintet

Different flipside to 1956's "Shanghai" (normal release is b/w "The wonderous word of the Lord") by this vocal group around Billy Williams. He worked with stars such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. A couple of years later he had to leave the music business because he lost his voice. He was already 46 when he recorded this for MGM.

2. death of an angel - the kingsmen

In 1955 Donald Woods wrote this tearjerker for his band The Velaires. Nine years later it was picked up superbly by The Kingsmen, yes, the Louie Louie guys.

10. in the kitchen pt2 - eddie lockjaw davis quartet

The boppin' piano jazz instrumental sound of Ediie "Lockjaw" was an inspiration to many Hammond organists in the early 60s. He recorded this one for Prestige in 1958.

3. big heavy - moonriders

Instrumental r'n'r tune from 1960 on the obscure label Candy from Hartford, Connecticut.

11. moovin' with max - moonriders

Another instrumental straight from a Las Vegas go-go bar. 1959-1960-1961: the three years of the best instrumentals ever!

4. zorro - roland thyssen

A self-penned instrumental for his orchestra called "Zorro", a television series that was extremely popular in Belgium.  Philips released it in 1967. Aka Bud Hunga! See also vol 165.

12. pink merengue - frans mijts

Early sixties merengue track by the orchestra of Frans Mijts,  a Dutch band leader. This could have been a Prado or Cugat tune, but no… it's written by Mijts. It's the B-side of a "test balance demonstration" track for the new stereophonic sound.

5. twist epoque - pat field

Four French twisters on this 1962 Panorama EP, this being the most swinging. At least six more twist EP's have been released in 1961/1962.

13. sheba - johnny & the hurricanes

My favourite Hurricanes platter. From 1960 and oh so good exotica meets Ventures styled rock 'n' roll.

6. that carmen twist - the eligibles

Bizet's opera Carmen in a twist mood by The Eligibles in 1962, originally released on Mercury. Funny novelty cover version.

14. the midnight special - harry belafonte

Bob Dylan assisted here with his harmonica on this 1964 single release, but he had recorded it already for that 1962 album. Actually this is one of Belafonte's best non-calypso efforts ever. First recorded version of "On the midnight special" is from 1926, although there's also a link with a 1902 recording of "Creole belles", a ragtime song that survived in blues traditions.

7. malaguena - caterina valente

German sung version of Cuban classic "Malaguena", written in 1927 by Ernesto Lecuona whose niece Margarita Lecuona wrote "Taboo" a couple of years later. Italian born Valente put this on her 1956 debut album and it was also released as a 45.

15. farah von haifa - peter kraus

In the "so bad it's good" category of German translations. Yes, this is actually the traditional "Havah nagilah". Kraus was born Krausnecker in Munich. This is simply hilarious! A 1961 release on Polydor.

8. tabou - johnny smith quintet

Featuring the legendary sax player Stan Getz. Alabama born Johnny Smith was a prolific jazz guitar player and bandleader. This EP was issued in 1956, but it was first released  in 1952 already. Smith and Getz changed the old "Taboo" in many ways and then decided to call it their own song. No can do... the original is almost two decades older.

16. say man, back again - bo diddley

One of his best 1950s A-sides, released on Checker, with that trademark Diddley-beat. From 1959 and also on his 1960 classic album "Have guitar will travel".