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2008 - week 27, from 6 July - World Hits, Part 4

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:18 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata - The Jerry Ragovoy Story: Time is on My Side - South Africa/USA - Ace - CDCHD 1183

2 - Arnaldo Antunes, Carlinhos Brown, Marisa Monte - Tribalistas - Tribalistas - Brazil - EMI - 542140-2

3 - Lucha Reyes - Regresa - Los Mejores Exitos de Lucha Rayes - Peru - Inti - 11359

4 - Prince Nico Mbarga - Sweet Mother - Prince Nico Mbarga & Rocafil Jazz - Nigeria - Soulposters - SP2110

5 - Goran Bregovic - Ederlezi, feat Yanka Jankovska - Time of the Gypsies - Serbia - Philips - 842 764-2

6 - Kaoma - Lambada - World Beat - Brazil/France - CBS - 466012-2

7 - Arthur Lyman - Taboo - Shaken Not Stirred - USA - HiFi/Rykodisc - RCD 50337


Songs That Made the World Turn Round, Part 4.

Miriam Makeba

‘Pata Pata’ is usually discussed from the point of view of its place in the history of (a) South African music or (b) Miriam Makeba’s career. Ace Records has placed it in the context of its producer’s career, by including it in their compilation of hits produced and/or co-written by Jerry Ragovoy. He is the Philadelphia pianist directly associated with Garnet Mimms and Howard Tate (as their producer) but indirectly with Irma Thomas and Janis Joplin, who covered his songs ‘Time is on My Side’, ‘Piece of My Heart’ and ‘Cry Baby’. Interviewed specially for this album, Jerry recalls being invited by Warner Brothers to produce an album by the new South African singer they had just signed, who wanted to sing American ballads. Once Jerry had seen Miriam Makeba do her South African repertoire in a club, he invited her to his office where he asked to sing some of them again, but acapella. Having picked out ‘Pata Pata’ as the best one to do, he quickly devised an arrangement based around a piano riff in the currently popular Latin boogaloo idiom. Bingo! The record not only made the top ten straight away but has endured, becoming as big as any he has been involved in.

Carlinhos Brown, Marisa Monte and Arnaldo Antunes

Individually, Arnaldo Antunes, Carlinhos Brown and Marisa Monte are three of Brazil’s most interesting and popular singers and song writers of their generation (born in 1960, ’62 and ’67, respectively). When they came together for the album Tribalistas, it spawned several huge hits and became on the best-selling albums of the era. Placed as the final track, the album’s title song was not one of those big hits, but was my favourite from the start, opening with Arnaldo’s deep voice intoning the words from a Portuguese dictionary which precede ‘tribalista’ and then breaking into the rhythm that many of us identify with the recently deceased Bo Diddley.

Lucha Reyes

Even if you were not told that ‘Regresa’ by Lucha Reyes was one of the most popular songs in Peru in the early 1970,s you’d assume it must have been a hit somewhere. It just exudes quiet confidence in its own appeal.

Prince Nico Mbarga

My awareness of music from outside the western mainstream dates from the early 1980s, so I missed the initial impact of ‘Sweet Mother’ by Prince Nico Mbarga, which had swept through Nigeria and its neighbours upon its release in1976. But the song endured, being covered not only by singers from Sierra Leone and Ghana, but even across the Atlantic where a soca version was popular in Trinidad and Miami. The words are innocent and te guitar line is repetitive, but the song’s appeal has never waned.

Goran Bregovic

In his book Princes Among Men, author Garth Cartwright makes clear how unpopular the Serbian composer Goran Bregovic is among the Roma musicians of the Balkans. Partly, there is irritation that Bregovic, in his role as score composer for the films of Emir Kusturica, is far better known outside the region than the bandleaders whose musicians he used. But even greater is the resentment that Bregovic not only registered himself as copyright owner of many traditional tunes arranged for the films, but subsequently claimed royalties on other people’s versions of them. As a listener who had found the authentic versions of many of these songs difficult to cope with, I am grateful to Bregovic for opening my ears and enabling me eventually to come to terms with the real thing. While Roma musicians grumble about Time of the Gypsies, it remains in my memory one of my favourite films of all time, and the spectacular scene featuring ‘Edlerlezi’ stays indelibly in my memory. I suppose it’s about time that I watched it again.


‘Lambada’ by Kaoma was derided by many at the time of its success (in 1987) as being a too carefully calculated pastiche of traditional Brazilian music, designed to be a summer hit in Mediterranean discos, disdained by connoisseurs of the real thing. But that melody was so catchy, the rhythm so infectious, how could it be a bad thing? Twenty years later, its charm remains and we need no longer worry that it was so cleverly tailored to suit the market of the time.

Arthur Lyman (still giving out good vibes, 1999)

‘Taboo’ by Arthur Lyman was a tour-de-force in which one man did all the sound effects of birds and other jungle sounds in one take. This was in the early days of stereo sound, when the Hi Fidelity record label demonstrated the technical possibilities of splitting the sounds into two speakers. That a song designed for such an album should become a hit after being played on mono radio sets was an unexpected bonus. Lyman, who played vibes, was based in Haiti, where his albums were recorded in an extraordinary, futurist-looking building. ‘Taboo’ was a revival of the tune by Cuban composer Margarita Lecuona (niece of the famous Ernest).

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:41 am
by Jonathan E.
I have read that "Lambada" was based on "Cavallo Viejo" by Corraleros de Majagual, presumably a cumbia (or at least a Colombian style) since it's on Discos Fuentes. (It can be found on a Mango UK compilation from 1990 called Sueno Colombiano.) But I could never hear the connection between the two. There was a more "authentic" lambada collection, lambada Brazil on Polydor, which strenuously denied that a racy video had accounted for the success of Kaoma's version — but did claim that it was "genuine" as opposed to Kaoma. It's all so long ago now I can't really remember how any of it sounds. Perhaps I'd better do some refresher listening.

Re: 2008 - week 27, from 6 July - World Hits, Part 4

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:45 pm
by Papa M
Charlie wrote:Image
Lucha Reyes

I'd always suspected that James Brown had an entire "other" identity in another world. :?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:55 pm
by Jonathan E.
That lambada Brazil CD from Polydor was pretty lame. Don't get excited.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:56 pm
by garth cartwright
Nice selection Charlie and, yes, Ederlezi is a haunting piece of music - one of the great soundtrack themes. I wonder where Bregovic learned it from as nothing he has done before or after comes anywhere near matching it. As for the TOTG film - it is a great film in many ways yet what annoys the Roma is how it presents them as thieves, beggars, violent, alcoholic etc. As Saban said to me "Kusturica never makes a film about the Gypsies who go to work in the factory every day, only the scum." It's a similar protest to that black Americans and Native Americans have raised about the way Hollywood has portrayed them over the decades - admittedly, Hollywood has broadened its portrayal of blacks since Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman and Denzel made their presence known. As a well off white English man you will find yourself almost always favourably portrayed on screen - Hugh Grant or Dirk Bogarde or some such handsome chappie portraying characters with lives not too different from yours. Imagine if you only saw your community represented as nefarious, violent criminals! Kusturica's films contribute to the sense of the Roma being a criminal class - something the Italians appear to believe. Oh, in America, the Italian American league protests loudly about The Godfather, Sopranos etc.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:24 am
by Jonathan E.
Jonathan E. wrote:I have read that "Lambada" was based on "Cavallo Viejo" by Corraleros de Majagual, presumably a cumbia (or at least a Colombian style) since it's on Discos Fuentes. (It can be found on a Mango UK compilation from 1990 called Sueno Colombiano.) But I could never hear the connection between the two. . . .

Jonathan E. is a fookin' idjit. It was "Bamboleo" by the Gypsy Kings what was supposedly based on "Cavallo Viejo." Any fule kno that — and Jonathan E. still kan't heer why they're the same.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:43 am
by Charlie
emails form

1. Guto Dafis, Cardiff

Re Lambada - did you know that it is a version of the song "Llorando se Fue" by Bolivian group Los Kjarkas - see and


2. Nina Chachu, Accra, Ghana

Thanks for playing Sweet Mother, among others. It really brought back memories. And the words of the song really went deep into the psyche of Nigerians and Ghanaians, as for many years, you could hear people talking about their "sweet mothers".

I do enjoy listening to the tracks you play, as many are not familiar, or part of what I would either buy or hear on local radio. Truly "world" music! Keep it up. Regards



3. John Strain, Grosse Ile, MI, USA

Thank you very much for the Pata Pata. It is one of my favorite songs.


4. Marlon A Hoilett, Kingston Jamaica

Mr Gillett your program is by far one of my most loved shows on BBC. and with all the changes they will or have made I hope they leave your program just as is its PERFECT!!!. Nothing like a quiet sunday afternoon for me while listening to some of the most mind blowing tracks from around the world.

Cheers Mate!!!


5. Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Nigeria

Thumbs up Charlie for playing Prince Nico's 'Sweet Mother' during the weekend on your programme. I am not a good dancer but I could not help moving around the floor to the tune of the beats.


6. femi martins oki, lagos, nigeria

I am a 23 year old nigerian who loves any type of music so as along it sounds nice. your show serves as a platform for me to experience music from all over the world. i will say i really appreciate your knowledge and love for world music and i really love ur show for that. i myself really want to involve myself in music production in future.