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From '50s NYC clubland, a Yma Sumac-inspired version of "Babalu" by jazz/calypso singer Phyllis Branch.
The radio showThe show is Lost Frequencies. Every Monday night from 9pm to 11pm (CST) on Marfa Public Radio I explore the atmospheric side of post-War music: bop & vocals, soul/R&B heartbreak, exotica & soundtrack moods, Latin jazz, oddball instrumentals, honky-tonk ballads, early electronics - even some dreamy '60s psychedelic pop. Tune in at Marfa Public Radio or at KRTS 93.5fm.
Category Archives: Exotica/Space-Age
Vocal exotica never quite carved out the niche that its popular instrumental sister did in the ‘50s and ‘60s. A popular singer might toss the occasional “Bali Hai,” “Moon of Manakoora” or “Caravan” into the mix, but rarely did exotica … Continue reading
If the West has impulsively exoticized the rest of the world for centuries now, then the brilliant Los Angeles arranger and composer Les Baxter was the greatest twentieth century pop music proponent of this impulse. A staff arranger and conductor … Continue reading
Rarely did exotic masquerade as authentic. That’s part of what made exotica exotica: an odd minor key or flourish of African percussion here, some warmed-over Arabic melody there. Exotica, in all of its post-War musical splendor, created an aura of … Continue reading
The late 1950s through the mid-1970s were golden years for television, Hollywood and the crime jazz soundtrack, years when staccato piano chords lurked around every dark corner, and every chase scene was heralded with a steady gallop of bongos. This … Continue reading
Mention the Middle East nowadays and it’s hard to not conjure up images of shoulder-fired grenades, the hulks of burned-out cars, blood, strife, extremism. Decades ago, the average American – the pages of National Geographic open before him – was … Continue reading