July 26, 2016

PUSSY GALORE CALYPSO

Spy Vibers, I'm on a mission and look forward to sharing photographs with you from all the major filming locations from the great 1960s series like The Prisoner, The Avengers, The Saint, and many more. Stay tuned! I'll try to post updates en route. In the meantime, check out a Spy Vibe classic that may have slipped off the radar. We had a great Ska party here at the Spy Vibe lair last weekend. To tell you the truth, the music never stopped! Once the floodgates of my curiosity opened, I just kept digging and discovering more treasures. One of my favorite tracks comes from Calypso artist Young Growler. Calypso has been called "the poor man's newspaper". The form functions as a narrative medium to spread the news and catch communities up on important goings-on. The tradition is filled with great songs about politics and historical people. One of the big events in 1964 was the James Bond film, Goldfinger, which launched the spy boom around the world. For songsmith Evral Davey (aka E. Davis, Young Growler), the movie inspired a kind of musical review and a tale of his experience going to see the film. And who made the biggest impression on him? Pussy Galore! There have actually been a few songs devoted to Honor Blackman's character, but today we feature Young Growler. Pussy Galore was released by Young Growler on Island Records as part of the Jump Up series printed in England in 1965 (cat#JU529). It's kind of amusing his previous single included the song Topless Dress (JU528). Jump Up was a subsidiary between 1963-1967 of Island Records, founded by none other than Chris Blackwell. Blackwell is the son of Blanche Blackwell, often called the love of Ian Fleming's life! Chris Blackwell began Island Records in 1962, around the same time he was hired to work on production of Dr. No in Jamaica. He sold Island Records to PolyGram in 1989 and now runs Island Outpost, a resort group that includes Ian Fleming's Jamaican home, GoldenEye. I'd love to talk with Chris about these early Ska and Calypso songs- especially if it meant I could fulfill my dream of staying at the Fleming villa (anyone have a genie in a lamp we can call on for a favor?). Pussy Galore was also released on Wirl Records (West Indies Records founded in 1958 by Edward Seaga). Vintage labels and video below. Note: the song does not appear on the Rough Guide to Calypso Gold CD as pictured in the video. It was included, however, on the compilation Calypso: Musical Poetry in the Caribbean 1955-69 (Soul Jazz Records). Enjoy!



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