LITTLE CINDY, Happy Birthday Jesus, 1959

Another record I picked up for a dollar in Brattleboro last summer. Little Cindy might be a little more well-known because John Waters put Happy Birthday Jesus on a CD  collection of his favourite Christmas songs a couple of years ago. Yes, this is creepy.

Exploiting kids is never a good idea, no matter how talented they may be, especially not in the name of religion. On Happy Birthday Jesus Little Cindy is not even singing but basically just reciting a prayer in a very cute southern voice:

“Happy Birthday, Jesus!, Momma said that you was near, And that you had a birthday, This time every year.

She told me how you listen , To  every word we say, And that you hear us calling, In the night … or in the day.

She ’splained how bad they hurt you, those awful naughty men.
But said you let them do it, For girls like me … what sin.

She said about the manger, they took and put you in. I’d let you have my blanket, If I was here back then.

She said that you were watching, Everything we do …
Her, and daddy and Granny, And our new baby, too.

I like what momma told me, Of how you healed the lame. And that they didn’t have to have any wealth, Or fame.

She told you was so awful good, And then she made me cry …
She said they nailed you to the cross, They wanted you to die.

She said that you forgave them, cuz you was dying for our sin. And then it made me happy, when she said you came back again

Momma said that Christmas is what we celebrate
Because on that day you was born.

So I hope I’m not too late, To wish you a Happy Birthday. Dear Jesus, I”ll be true, cuz momma said if I was good you’d let me live with you.”

Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

LITTLE CINDY, Happy Birthday Jesus, 1959

LITTLE CINDY, He´s Around When Everybody Turns You Down, 1959

(These illustrationa are from a comic book called Merry Christmas published by Classics Illustrated in 1953/repr.1969)

DINAH SHORE, You Meet The Nicest People, 1960

If you like cool Rock´n´Roll Christmas songs please go to Record Collector´s Hot Platters because he has posted some excellent records over the past weeks.

I think You Meet The Nicest People is a decent song but apart from the sleeve design and the fact that it is advertising for Chevrolet this Dinah Shore record is pretty terrible .  So I´ll spare you the really boring songs on the B side.

After recording the music, scanning the sleeve and writing this I just found out that somebody else has already done the same thing yesterday on youtube:

DINAH SHORE, You Meet The Nicest People

DINAH SHORE, Jingle Bells

TONY McKAY, The Island Hog Pt.1+Pt.2, 1969

Some years ago I found a whole bunch of Northern Soul/Funk 45´s in a thrift store in my street.  I don´t know how they ended up in that store but those were my biggest finds ever, at least when it comes to US 45´s : ANDRE WILLIAMS It´s Gonna Be Fine In ´69/Do the Popcorn on Checker, VERNON GARRETT & MARIE FRANKLIN Second to None/Without You on Venture, ESTHER WILLIAMS He Don´t Appreciate it/Mama on Flying Dutchman and many more. Most of them  DJ/white label copies in very good condition with company sleeves. I was virtually able to start dj-ing Northern Soul sets with that small collection I bought on that day in my little street.

This particular record was one of them and it turned out to be quite interesting. From listening to it I couldn´t quite put a label on it. It´s not Soul, not Rock´n´Roll, not Rhythm & Blues but what a racket! IT IS WILD!

Then I did a little research and found out that Tony McKay is really Exuma.

It made more sense when I read what Wikipedia said:

Exuma was known for his almost unclassifiable music; a strong mixture of carnival, junkanoo, calypso and ballad.

Mac Farlane Gregory Anthony Myckey, who recorded as Exuma, was born February 15, 1941 on Cat Island (Bahamas) to Ms. Daisy Mackie and died in Nassau in the Bahamas on January 25, 1997.

In his early days in New York’s Greenwich Village, Tony McKay (his self-given name) performed in small clubs and bars. Later, along with his then-partner and lifelong friend, Sally O’Brien, and several musician friends, Tony launched EXUMA – a 7-person group that toured and recorded albums, starting with Exuma: The Obeah Man in 1970 and ending with Rude Boy in 1986.

So this is Exuma as an even wilder young man in New York where he recorded another earlier version of Island Hog in 1967 for the Josie Label. On these two Brunswick sides from 1969 he´s wailin´and screamin´like all the  Isley Brothers put together but with a  Caribbean twist (and Shout,  Pt.1 and Pt.2)…


TONY McKAY, Island Hog Pt.1, 1969

TONY McKAY, Island Hog Pt.2, 1969

For those who like the song I pieced Pt.1 and Pt.2 together for one long screamin´ Island Hog-a-thon…

TONY McKAY, Island Hog Pt.1+Pt.2, 1969

One more thing I found about a possible reason for the name of the song:

Paradise Island is currently the most expensive place to stay in the Bahamas. The small island was not always so glamorous, however. Paradise Island in the Bahamas was once known as Hog Island and was a major site for farming in the Bahamas. Paradise Island in the Bahamas is situated near New Providence, and the two islands are connected by a bridge between Paradise Island and Nassau Harbor.

Hog Island first became Paradise Island in the Bahamas when the island was purchased by Huntington Hartford in 1959. Huntington was the A&P Supermarket Heir and paid more then $11 million for the island. Huntington was the first entrepreneur to begin developing Bahamas Paradise Island and built the first major hotel on the site. Huntington changed the name of the area from Hog to Paradise Island, and was also responsible for obtaining a gambling license for Bahamas Paradise Island. His opening of Paradise Island in 1962 was covered in Newsweek  and Time magazines.

Paradise Island was purchased in the 1980s by Donald Trump for $79 million, then sold to Merv Griffin for $400 million. It was last sold for $125 million to the current owner, Sol Kerzner. The current estimated value of the island is about $2 billion USD.

Both the Beatles´Help! and James Bond´s Thunderball were partially filmed on Paradise Island.

Exuma named himself after a district of the Bahamas consisting of 360 little islands. He must have heard of Hog Island becoming Paradise Island too. That could have inspired his song.  And could have been a possible reason for a little voodoo spell

SOUNDS OF SAMAROO, Mr. Sandman, 1968

I found this 45 in one of the record stores in Brattleboro last summer.  Julia always seemed to be waiting for me so I  listened to a couple hundred records really fast.  A couple of seconds per record had to do.  But otherwise I might have spent a couple of days in those stores instead of an afternoon.

Most of the 45´s at one of the stores seemed to have come from a radio station. They had little notes or, as in this case where both sides have the same labels, corrections written on them.

I´m still not sure, but I think this might be Jit Samaroo´s first record. Jit Samaroo is an arranger, composer and Steelpan musician from Trinidad. He would have been 18 years at the time. On both songs the steelpans are prominent but also backed by horns and other percussion instruments arranged and conducted by veteran orchestra leader Frank Hunter.

But I might be completely wrong. There was no information about this record on the internet. Anyway, nice cheerful tunes.

Like Herp Albert goes Calypso…

SOUNDS OF SAMAROO, Mr. Sandman, 1968

SOUNDS OF SAMAROO, Trinidad Jack, 1968

THE DYNAMIC 6+1, Moyambé, 1966

I´m not going to pretend to know anything about Africa or African music. There are a lot of blogs who specialize in that and know much more than I can find out on the internet in a short time. I aquired these records randomly over the past years because I thought they looked interesting. I post them because I haven´t posted any records from Africa yet.

The Dynamic 6+1 were formed in Liberia in the mid-60´s but when they came to Hamburg in 1969 changed their name to the Soulful Dynamics.

They hit number 1 in Germany with Mademoiselle Ninette in 1970. The group is still touring in Germany playing various Oldies shows.

I really like these two songs recorded for the Swiss Elite Special label.

THE DYNAMIC 6+1, Moyambé, 1966

THE DYNAMIC 6+1, Babalazi, 1966

KEITHA FODEBA, Laicima, 1963

Keita Fodeba was born on January 19, 1921 in Siguiri (Republic of Guinea). After completing his primary education in Conakry , the capital of Guinea, he attended William Ponti institute in Dakar (Senegal). In 1944, he graduated with a teaching degree from Dakar. After teaching high school students a couple of years in Senegal, he moved to Paris  and became an avid researcher of theater and dance. Eventually, in 1949, he founded “The African Theatre of Keita Fodeba”.

The first Les Ballet Africains  performance was staged at the Theatre Etoile de Paris on November of 1952. It was an instant success. After touring inFrance  for a couple of years, Fodeba brought his company to  Africa  in 1955 and produced an extensive tour among French colonies of West Africa. During that trip, he was selected to be Minister of Interior of the Republic of Guinea by Guinea´s former President Ahmed Sekou Toure.

Fodeba later was invited to be the head of Defense and Security of Guinea, during the country’s war to gain independence. After changing several positions within the government, he got arrested for political reasons on March 21, 1965 and was killed in prison.  Keita Fodeba  pioneered a dance company, that connected African  culture to the rest of the world and introduced its legacy with style and elegance.

Les Ballets Africains founded by Keita Fodeba is still touring around the world to this day.

This is a Czechoslovakian EP issued on the state-owned Supraphon label.

KEITHA FODEBA, Laicima, 1963

KEITHA FODEBA, Arissa, 1963

Here´s the second EP by Keita Fodeba and his African ensemble issued by the Czechoslovak label Supraphon. Arissa is a song in praise of a wrestler from the Diola tribe.

KEITHA FODEBA, Arissa, 1963

NASHIL PICHEN & PETER TSOTSI, Kondakta (Make The Bus Go Fast), 1962

Recorded by Nashil Pichen & Peter Tsotsi on the beautiful Equator label from Nairobi, Kenia. I have another Equator 45 , Malaika by Fadhili William & the Black Shadows from 1963, but I suppose that is a little too famous so I didn´t record it.

I wish I could listen to one of the Twist-related 45´s (Bush Baby Twist, Bachelor Boy Twist, Sukuti Tribal Twist) that are listed in the Equator records discography here.


But I´m not complaining, I´m happy with these two guitar-driven dance tunes. Found in a Berlin second-hand record store some years ago…

NASHIL PICHEN & PETER TSOTSI, Kondakta (Make The Bus Go Fast), 1962

NASHIL PICHEN & PETER TSOTSI, Wote Wanipenda (They Still Love Me), 1962