Can You Feel the Jungle?

This is the 20th in a series of Friday Forgotten Books stuff

The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny

2 CD collection of the greatest music from Martin Denny
Capitol Compact Disc CDP 7243 8 38374 2 7   120 minutes

It is 1957. In a couple of years Hawaii would become the 50th state, but right now America has Hawaii fever. The Hawaii Calls radio program was on every afternoon, and a lot of people were listening.

One of the hottest destinations in the islands is The Hawaiian Village, brainchild of entrepreneur Henry Kaiser. It was the first large tourist resort in Waikiki, and Kaiser wanted the best entertainer for his $10 million pet project. He stole Don Ho from Don the Beachcomber’s joint, and he stole the bartender from the place too. Then he hired Martin Denny, whose album Exotica had become a surprise hit, with the single “Quiet Village” hitting the charts all over the U.S.

Once you heard that song, you could identify it in the first few notes. First the quiet, warbling bird call, then the drum and acoustic base duo, ta da ta-da, ta da da dum, and another louder bird call, before the piano kicks in. If you can’t hear it in your head, you’re not trying hard enough. OK, try this: 

NOW do you remember?

The Exotica album was followed with Exotica II, Exotica III, Exotic Sounds, Afro-Desia, Primitiva, Forbidden Island, Hypnotique and several others.

~ ~ ~

So what we have here is a two CD, 40 tune collection, pressed in 1996 by Capitol. It contains music from all of the albums named above.

Feeling like throwing a tiki party yet? Great! Put on the Hawaiian shirt, light the tiki torches, get out the rum and put these discs on the player. You’ll have 2 hours of the perfect music.

We’ll be back to forgotten books next week. Meanwhile, somebody pass me a pineapple daiquiri.

series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more FFB reviews at her own blog,
along with a complete list of today’s participating blogs.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Friday Forgotten Book, Humor, Personal Opinion, Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Can You Feel the Jungle?

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    Phil remembers him–I don’t. But I’m gonna go listen.

  2. Boy, does this bring back memories! And I love the cover! Another album to track down… Keep up the good work!

  3. Richard says:

    That’s just the reaction I was hoping for, George!

    This was the first time I’ve tried to put audio into a post, I think there is a better way to do it, with it labeled and all, but I’ll figure that out soon, maybe for a Saturday Soundtrack feature…

  4. Richard says:

    Patti – the more I hear about Phil, the more I think we have a lot in common. Not that we ARE common, of course…

  5. Bill Crider says:

    I remember the “Quiet Village” hit all too well.

    Hey, maybe an Ape Call in the Quiet Village would stir things up.

  6. Richard says:

    I could see a whole theme starting here. I thought of “Stranded in the Jungle” by the Cadets as an obvious choice.

  7. When you figure out how to insert sound into WORDPRESS, let me know, Rick. I’ve played around with it and the results were not to my liking. I just supply a link (which is easy) instead. Maybe I should have Patrick upgrade me to the latest version of WORDPRESS where sound insertion might be easier to do.

  8. Evan Lewis says:

    Nice. And that cover art reminds me a bit of Will Elder. Is the artist identified?

  9. Deb says:

    I have an “Exotica – Best of” compilation CD. It’s the best for playing in the background when you’re eating alfresco.

  10. Richard says:

    Evan, it’s by Mark Ryden, according to the booklet.

  11. Richard says:

    Deb, then you probably have a lot of what’s on this 2-CD set, and you’re right, fun to listen to alfresco.

  12. Drongo says:

    Good music, and all album covers should be as cool as this one.

  13. Richard says:

    You’re right, Drongo. I wouldn’t listen to this all the time, but then that’s true of most music. But to have it available for that once in a while, as background, is a kick.

  14. Carl V. says:

    Sounds fun. I love the cover art, but for whatever reason it does not in any way make me think of Hawaii except for the Tiki character.

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