Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gambler's Guitar - Naurava kulkuri

Famous Finnish entertainer, singer, musician and actor, Vesa-Matti Loiri has had many stage characters. One of them was Jean-Pierre Kusela in one of his TV shows. It was a parody of a typical French chanson singer and crooner - someone like Jean-Claude Pascal, for example. The most memorable and hilarious song in Jean-Pierre's repertoire was "Naurava kulkuri" (Laughing vagabond) from the year 1986. It is impossible to listen this song without laughing, or at least smiling. The original song was actually in quite different tone. This C&W -flavoured tune was called "Gambler's Guitar" and written and performed by Jim Lowe already in 1953. Jim's greatest moment came in 1957, when his "Green Door" was a big hit. A German version of "Gambler's Guitar" hit the European charts in 1958 and was done by Fred Bertelmann. The title was "Der lachende vagabund" (Laughing Vagabond) and it was included in the movie of the same name. The Finnish versions (incl. Jean-Pierre's) are based on this interpretation.

Updated on 18.09.2010: added the first Finnish version by Per-Erik Förars.

Here's the bunch:

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