Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba.

OK, back to the 60's: This South African Grammy winner and civil rights activist nicknamed "Mama Africa" left us two years ago. In the 60's she was the 1st artist to popularize African music in the US and worldwide. Banned from her homeland due to her anti-Apartheid campaigning. Her signature song was written in Xhosa by Dorothy Masuka and translates "touch touch". She first recorded in in '57 and it became immensely popular in Africa. Released in '67 in the US, peaking at #12 on Billboard and at #7 R&B. She died of a heart attack in 2008 in Italy shortly after performing her biggest hit. Artist? Song?

Yesterday's answer: "Hey, Pachuco!" by Royal Crown Revue. Some tremendous ensembles followed in their footsteps - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and The Brian Setzer Orchestra, to name a few. The L.A. Zoot Suit Riots started in '43 at the height of WWII when sailors and Marines stationed in the L.A. area antagonized (or vice versa?) local zoot suit-clad Latino youths who called themselves "pachucos".

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