Tuesday, 24 May 2005
Are you, or your parents, or your grandparents, one of the 5,000,000
people in America who bought 1959’s Drums of Passion and made Babatunde
Olatunji a household name? (Though not one you can say really fast 10
times, I’ll bet.) That figure is total sales up to today, but still, he
moved a lot of vinyl for the ‘50s.
Especially when you consider what a weird-ass record it was at the time
for people to even find out about, let alone buy, listen to and dig. In
1959? Bobby Darin, Dion, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Connie Francis, Ray
Charles and the Chipmunks topped the charts. Dig this: it was nearly 30
years before anyone used the term “world music” (invented, in fact, in
1987 at a meeting in London of a group of small record label scions and
one music journalist who were frustrated at trying to market this
diverse and heretofore uncategorizable ...