Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cannibal & The Headhunters

Artist:Cannibal & The Headhunters
Song:Land of 1000 Dances
Album:Golden Classics

Land of 1000 Dances was the only hit single for Cannibal & The Headhunters in 1965. They are significant as one of the first Mexican American rock groups. They were from East Los Angeles which has a large Latino population. The lead singer was Frankie Garcia who got the nickname Cannibal when he bit a boy during a childhood fight. Richard "Scar" Lopez and Robert "Rabbit" Jaramillo formed the group in 1963 as Bobby & The Classics. The fourth member was Jaramillo's brother Joe Jaramillo. Heavily influenced by Motown, they were a cover band in local clubs. Garcia replaced Tommy Keys in 1964 and the band was renamed Cannibal & The Headhunters after his real nickname. They signed with Rampart Records and they released Land of 1000 Dances in 1965. Chris Kenner wrote and originally recorded the song in 1961 and then Wilson Pickett had a much bigger hit with it in 1966. The Cannibal & The Headhunters recording reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. it would turn out to be their only chart single. Supposedly Garcia came up with the "nanananana" refrain when he couldn't remember the words of the song. Cannibal & The Headhunters opened for The Beatles on their second US tour in 1965. The backup band was led by King Curtis. They recorded one album for Rampart and then a second album for Date Records and then they split up in 1966. This Collectables comp is reasonably priced. There is a Cannibal & The Headhunters currently active but none of the original members are involved. Lopez described them in an interview as fake. Frankie Garcia died in 1996, Joe Jaramillo died in 2000 and Robert Lopez died in 2010. Here's Cannibal & The Headhunters performing Land of 1000 Dances on Hullabaloo 1965.

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