Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Snake Charmer - Kuningaskobra

Annikki Tähti was perhaps the first really succesful Finnish female artist in popular music. She started her career in 1952 and made her first recording in 1953 along with a first appearence in a movie. In 1955 her single with the song "Muistatko Monrepos'n" in the a-side became the first Finnish Gold Record. In 1956 she had a big hit with "Kuningaskobra" (King of cobras). For some reason this song was so popular in Finland that it was recorded by 4 different artists at that same year! What's more peculiar, the lyrics of the song didn't tell a word about love but - snakes! Does this say something about the nature of Finnish people ;-). The original song "The Snake Charmer" is an old foxtrot from USA. It was composed by Teddy Powell (real name Alfred Paolella) in 1937, and was a sizeable hit in the big band era. I haven't got hold of any vocal version of this song but let's hear one of the earliest recordings by Ben Pollack and his Pick-A-Rib Boys, one of the most interesting 'small big bands' of the era. The recording was made on the 21st of September 1937.

Here's the pair:

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