Sunday, April 05, 2009

From Matterhorn to Mount Kenya: Swiss Lady

Eurocovers likes the world and the unlikely pairings of music styles coming from all over it.
One I could never have dreamt up myself is Swiss Lady by Them Mushrooms.
Pepe Lienhard and his band sang Swiss Lady back in 1977 and it was a bit of an horny affair, as the Lady in case is the ever popular folkloristic instrument from the Alps: The Alpenhorn. It was of course the Swiss entry and it ended 6th at the contest held in London.

Them Mushrooms are from Kenya and the band has been around since 1972.
After a good decade of hard work performing in hotels and clubs they have released 16 albums since 1980 (in various line-ups). They were (and are) a popular band, but superstardom in Kenya didn't mean immediate unlimited richess. They even had to borrow their instruments in the early years.

Their most popular song is Jambo Bwana (Hello Mister) from 1980. It was covered by many bands including Boney M., although Tha' Shrooms have never received a penny from Frank Farian for Jambo Hakuna Matata (insert the word allegedly at your own convenience)

The 2005 album Kazi Ni Kazi (Kelele records KE 31011) subtitles as Tribute To Bob Marley which is probably only because there is a track with that title on it.
It's this album that sports Eurocover Swiss Lady and it's an odd mellow journey from the Matterhorn to Mount Kenya, via Jamaica.

The band have ditched the name Them Mushrooms and go through life as Uyoga now. You can read more about them at Big Entertainment .

'When you play your music I'd like to be an Alphorn too': Swiss Lady is sung in English with a small part in Swahili.


picture: Giant spliff prooves to be a hard draw.

Blog Tip
Treasure trove Faintly Blowing features an interesting LP. It's The Jet Liners at the Taj Mahal Bombay. The band is from Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka).
The LP has a gorgeous sleeve and there's 15 coverversions of popular songs like Zorba The Greek, Georgy Girl, This Is My Song (anoraks: written by Charlie Chaplin) and Eurocover Puppet On A String, the Sandie Shaw Eurovision winner from 1967.
(Avid readers know there's 1000's of Puppet On A String versions at Eurocovers).

Eurovision 2009 - The Moscow Collection
The Latest 2009 News At The Moscow Collection Blog:
Serbia, Cipela, Dance version now at RTS.
Albania: Carry Me In Your Dreams - promo sleeve
Azerbaijan: Always, single release details, sleeve
Bulgaria: download old & new versions, Deep Zone remixes
Iceland: Is It True promo sleeve
Spain: Soraya promo info.
U.K.: Jade: It's Time For Remixes, promo info
Lithuania: Sasha Song (!) Love to Moscow, Russian version
Finland - Lose Control remix info, cdsingle out now, # 1 hit

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