Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ask Mr. Music By Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Your recent column about Hawaiian music gives me hope you can provide some information about a record that must have been from the Islands.

In mid-1963, amidst all the dance, surf, and hot rod hits, was a Hawaiian vocal by a female group. It may be titled “Dance of Love,” or at least they use that line.

I know where I was — taking summer classes at Northwestern — and I know this was a big hit in Chicago. It was played as often as other songs, but, unlike “Surfin' U.S.A.” and “It's My Party”, this infectious tune has, to my knowledge, never been played again anywhere. When I ask for help identifying it, no one even knows what I'm talking about.

Do you?
—Sandi Mason, Kenosha, Wisc.

DEAR SANDI: I do, but only because of the Chicago connection. There are, as you're about to learn, many possibilities.

Your mystery song is “Tamouré” (tam-or-RAY) one of those countless 1963 dance numbers. But, unlike the bird and bossa nova, the Tahitian-born tamouré never caught on in America — neither the record nor the dance.

The “Tamouré” in the WLS Top 10 in Chicago is by Bill Justis (Smash 1812), and it peaked at No. 7 in late May and early June.

Bill Justis is the famous sax player whose “Raunchy” (1957), is a R&R classic, yet neither he nor his sax is heard on “Tamouré.” He is the arranger and conductor, but the un-credited vocals are by the Stephen Scott Singers.

Despite many Polynesian cultural connections between Tahiti and our 50th state, there is nothing Hawaiian about “Tamouré.”

The real tamouré, a dance with extreme booty-shaking maneuvers, can be done to many different recordings, most of which are a variation of “Vini Vini.”

The earliest U.S. release of “Vini Vini” is on the 1958 LP by Terorotua and His Tahitians, titled “Lure of Tahiti” (ABC-Paramount 271). It is sung in their native language.

For about four years, the tamouré remained relatively unknown beyond French Polynesia.

Then in 1962, in France itself, a tamouré craze struck, fueled by recordings such as “Dansez le Tamouré (Elle Est Partie le Tamoure) [“It is the Tamouré Party] “Special Danse” featuring “Tamouré Vini Vini” (Vogue EPL 8-049).

This is why the picture sleeve for the Bill Justis “Tamouré” single reads: “The French Dance Rage Comes to America.”

Well, it definitely came to Chicagoland, as reported in the June 1, 1963 Billboard:

“CHICAGO - Bill Justice's [sic] “Tamouré” on Smash was the hottest of the new sides here last week.”

Far beyond Chi-town and France, a tamouré tune could be heard on nearly every continent in mid-'63.

From that same magazine comes this rave from George Hilder in Sydney, where “Tamouré” is No. 1 in Australia:

“The current sensation in the local industry has been the phenomenal success of “Tamouré” by Bill Justis [Philips BF-26]. It jumped from No. 89 to No. 1 on the Top 100. Philips started to publicize the disk with a double-page spread in a Sunday newspaper five weeks ago, which aroused immediate interest. Paul Turner of Philips organized a national tie-up with the Fred Astaire studio and a dance competition with the winning couple receiving a flight to Tahiti, plus $100 expense money” (before you laugh, that is approximately $1,000 in today's money).

The Australian picture sleeve shows the title as “Tamouré (The Dance of Love),” the sub-title being the line in the song that stuck in your memory.

That sleeve also promotes the Philips dance contest with a “Win a Wonderful Flight on TEAL to Fabulous Tahiti” banner.

Elsewhere, local recordings topped their respective charts. Especially noteworthy are “Wini-Wini” by Die Tahiti-Tamourés (Polydor 24-991), in Germany, and “Wini-Wini” by the Waikiki Tamoure (Triola TA-5), in Scandinavia. In Japan, rather than a version by one of their own, Philips repackaged the Bill Justis “Tamouré” (Philips M1055).

Inexplicably, this American (Nashville) recording by an American artist was enormous overseas and never even made the Top 100 in America, though that didn't keep numerous others in the States from trying to claim a piece of the tamouré mania so successful elsewhere.

Among those efforts are: “Tamouré” by Don Costa (Columbia 42785) (1963); “The Tamouré Shake” by Lester Lanin and His Orchestra (Epic 5-9624) (1963); “Tamouré, Tamouré, Amoure” by Joye Bell (Glass Piano 201) (1964); “Tamouré” by Carlos Rubio (Fontana 67515) (1964); “Vini Vini (Tamouré)” by Manuia & Maeva (Almo ) (1965); and “Vini Vini (Tamouré)” by Dick & Dee Dee (Warner Bros. 5652) (1965).

I'm told the Dick& Dee Dee tune was a minor hit in Hawaii.

IZ ZAT SO? Two tamouré records actually did make the U.S. Top 40, but only because each is merely the flip side of a hit:

“Orange Tamouré” is the B-side of “Charade,” from the 1963 film of the same name, by Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (RCA Victor 47-8256), and on the reverse of “Hawaii Tattoo,” by the Waikikis, is “Tahiti Tamouré” (Kapp 30) (1964)

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail:  Visit his Web site: .

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

This Date In Music History - October 20


Jay Siegel - Tokens (1939)

Ric Lee - Ten Years After (1945)

Alan Greenwood - Foreigner (1951)

Tom Petty - Heartbreakers, Traveling Wilburys, Solo (1953)

Mark King - Level 42 (1958)

David Ryan - Lemonheads (1964)

Jim Sonefild - Hootie & The Blowfish (1964)

Norman Blake - Teenage Fanclub (1965)

Australian singer Dannii Minogue (1971)

Snoop Doggy Dogg (Calvin Broadus) (1971)

Nicholas Hodgson - Kaiser Chiefs (1977)

Paul Wilson - Snow Patrol (1978)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1890, Jelly Roll Morton, US pianist, arranger, bandleader, the first great composer in jazz (died July 10, 1941).

In 1977, three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines (one of three backing singers) and manager Dean Kilpatrick were killed in a plane crash en route from Greenville, South Carolina, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The remaining members, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Billy Powell and Leon Wilkeson were seriously injured, but all recovered. The band was finished for ten years, until the survivors invited Ronnie's younger brother Johnny to join them in a reunion concert.

Country and western singer, songwriter, Merle Travis died of a heart attack in 1983 (age 65). Acknowledged by many as one of the most influential American guitarist's of the twentieth century. Wrote "Sixteen Tons" 1955 US #1 for Ernie Ford. He appeared in the 1953 movie 'From Here to Eternity' singing "Reenlistment Blues."

Henry "The Sunflower" Vesting (Canned Heat) was found dead from heart and respiratory failure in a hotel room in France in 1997 (age 52).

In 2007, Paul Raven, bassist with post-punk band Killing Joke, died of a suspected heart attack in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was recording (age 46). He left the band in 1987 before forming Murder Inc and joining Ministry, Prong and Mob Research.

In 2008, Dee Dee Warwick, a Soul singer who won recognition for both her solo work and her performances with her older sister Dionne Warwick, passed away at the age of 63. Warwick had several hits on the Soul and R&B charts in the 1960s and '70s, including "Foolish Fool", "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)" and a version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" that was later covered by Diana Ross and The Supremes.


The musical "Peter Pan" opened in 1954 and LaVern baker recored the cut "Tweedle Dee."

Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and Bill Haley and his Comets all appeared at Brooklyn High School auditorium, Cleveland in 1955. The concert was filmed for a documentary of Cleveland DJ Bill Randle, but never released.

Harry Belefonte recorded "The Banana Boat Song" in 1955. It reached #5 in the US in early 1957.

Roy Orbison had his first UK #1 singlein 1960 with "Only The Lonely" and his first of 33 hits. The song was turned down by The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, so Orbison decided to record the song himself.

The Elvis Presley film "G.I. Blues" premiered in 1960.

Bob Dylan's self-titled debut album was recorded in 1961.

Also in 1961, the Beatles played a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club, Liverpool and tonight they appeared at The Village Hall in Knotty Ash, Liverpool.

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "Monster Mash." The song became a #3 in the UK eleven years later in 1973. The song had been banned by The BBC in the UK, deemed offensive. This novelty song, which was recorded in less than two hours, has become an annual favorite.

The Four Seasons released "Big Girls Don't Cry" in 1962.

Peter Paul and Mary went to No.1 on the US album chart in 1962 with their self-titled album.

In 1963, the Rolling Stones recorded the first Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition, "That Girl Belongs To Yesterday." The song was given to American pop singer Gene Pitney who has a hit with it.

The Rolling Stones played their first live concert in France when they appeared at the Paris Olympia in 1964.

Davy Jones of The Monkees opened his own 'Zilch', boutique in Greenwich Village, New York City in 1967.

Cream and Deep Purple appeared at the San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, California in 1968.

The Yardbirds give their final performance at Liverpool University in 1968.

The Who played the first of six nights at New York's Filmore East in 1969 performing a two-hour show featuring the songs from 'Tommy.'

In 1969, John Lennon released "Cold Turkey," (recorded by The Plastic Ono Band). "Cold Turkey" was the first song John Lennon wrote for which he took sole credit; his previous compositions, including his first single release, "Give Peace a Chance," were attributed to the Lennon/McCartney partnership. ("Give Peace a Chance" was later changed to give Lennon sole credit). Besides Lennon, this recording features Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Klaus Voormann on bass and Ringo Starr on drums. It was recorded in Abbey Road Studio 2.

In 1973, Queen appeared on the 'In concert' show on UK BBC Radio One.

The Rolling Stones had the number one song in the US in 1973 with "Angie." It is often reported that the song was written about David Bowie's wife at the time, the former Angela Barnett, but many reliable sources say that the song is really about Anita Pallenberg, the long-time love of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

"The Joker" was released by the Steve Miller Band in 1973.

Led Zeppelin's film, "The Song Remains the Same," premiered in London in 1976.

The Police made their US debut at C.B.G.B.S, New York in 1978. The trio had flown on low cost tickets with Laker Airtrain from the UK, carrying their instruments as hand luggage.

Herb Alpert started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1979 with "Rise," giving the co founder of A&M records his second US #1.

The Eagles started a nine week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1979 with 'The Long Run', the bands fourth US #1.

U2's first album, "Boy", was released in 1980.

James Ingram went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1990 with "I Don't Have The Heart."

The Madonna album "Erotica" was released in 1992.

Carly Simon was unable to perform due to stage fright, aboard the Queen Elizabeth in New York in 1996.

In 2001, an all-star lineup including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John and The Who appear at The Concert For New York City at Madison Square Garden in a five hour show to benefit the victims of the 9/11 attack.

In 2005, Michael Jackson received a jury summons at his Neverland ranch in California four months after he was acquitted on child molestation charges. A spokesperson said it was likely he would be excused from serving due to the fact that he has lived in Bahrain since the trial.

Rapper Sticky Fingaz was arrested in 2005 after allegedly leaving an unlicensed gun in a hotel room. Police said a handgun was found in Manhattan hotel Flatotel, in a room in which the rapper had been staying. Sticky Fingaz, real name Kirk Jones, was not licensed to carry a weapon. Cool name.....

George Michael openly smoked a cannabis joint during an interview on a TV show in 2006. The singer was filmed backstage at in Madrid, Spain where the drug is legal. Michael said “It’s the only drug I’ve ever thought worth taking, this stuff keeps me sane and happy. But it’s not very healthy.” Light up another one......

AC/DC's “Black Ice,” with the single “Rock N’ Roll Train,” was released in 2008. "I was trying to just make people remember, 'This is the same band. I have missed this band. I love this band,'" explains producer Brendan O'Brien. The album, AC/DC’s first studio album in eight years, is available exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores and can also be ordered on group’s website. AC/DC also undertakes a North American arena tour, to promote the album, beginning in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Elton John marked the 35th anniversary of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” in 2008 with a special performance of the classic ‘73 album at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway in New York. Proceeds benefit a number of charities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The concert DVD “Double Down Live” from ZZ Top was released in 2009. The two-disc package contained a 22-song set the band played in ‘80 in Essen, Germany, plus the usual interviews and behind-the-scenes clips.