Saturday, June 22, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Granville Williams Orchestra

Artist:The Granville Williams Orchestra
Song:The Third Man Theme
Album:Monkey Ska

This is a ska version of one of the most popular movie themes in history. I don't have much info about Granville Williams except that he led this band that played Jamaican clubs and they were used occasionally to back up Jamaican artists of the mid-60s. Chances are pretty good that ska fans have heard this recording of the theme from the 1949 film The Third Man and don't know who recorded it. The theme as performed on the zither by Anton Karas was probably more popular than the film though the film is really good. Guy Lombardo had a hit single with The Third Man Theme in 1950 using a guitar to play the melody. And it has been recorded by many artists over the years. The original by Karas could have been a bigger hit but in the late 40s instrumental film music was something new to record companies and they hadn't figured out how to sell it. That's why Decca Records had Lombardo record the song. Jamaican artists have always recorded ska or reggae covers of popular songs. From what I could tell, Granville Williams led this orchestra in the early 60s. He worked for a while with legendary singer Dobby Dobson and backed up singles recorded by Lascelles Perkins, The Silvertones and Derrick Harriott. In 1967, Williams started his own label G.W.O. Records and recorded the album Hi-Life. It was all instrumental. Hi-Life was released as a single and Williams also recorded covers of Hang On Sloopy and You've Lost That Loving Feeling. It's the only album he ever recorded. But the Christmas song Santa Claus Is Skaing To Town and The Third Man Theme were released as singles. You can get The Third Man Theme on this Trojan budget comp. Williams also recorded an album with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. It looks like Williams may have moved to Canada in the 70s as he is credited with producing the 1978 Audley Williams album Hedonism for the Canadian label Generation Records. I'm not sure about any of that. But I am sure that this ska cover of The Third Man Theme is pretty cool. Here's a video for The Third Man Theme by The Granville Williams Orchestra.

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