This blog will feature Finnish pop music covers and their original versions mainly from '60s and '70s.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Greenback Dollar - Suuret setelit
Four Cats is a harmony vocal group that saw the light of the day in 1958 as "Esa Laukka's Quartet", named after its founding member. In 1960 the group changed its name to Four Cats in line with famous international groups Four Freshmen and Four Aces. The group was very popular in the years 1961-65 scoring many hit records, for example "Saku Sammakko" (see previous entry) together with Brita Koivunen. One of their greatest 'solo' hits was "Suuret setelit" (Big money) in 1963. The covered song was "Greenback Dollar" originally written and performed by Hoyt Axton. (His mother was Mae Boren Axton, who co-wrote the classic rock 'n' roll song "Heartbreak Hotel", the first major hit for Elvis Presley). Hoyt establised himself as a well-known country music singer-songwriter with a unique earthy style and powerful voice. Many of his songs became well known throughout the world. Among them was this "Greenback Dollar", that was included in his first folk album titled "The Balladeer" (recorded live at the legendary Californian Troubadour nightclub). The song was made into massive hit by Kingston Trio in 1963. The trio was formed in 1957 by Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds, who were just out of college. They were greatly influenced by the calypso sounds of Harry Belafonte and other folk artists. It has been told that the group first considered itself primarily a calypso group, and therefore named itself after the capital of Jamaica. The group's first hit was a catchy rendition of a traditional folk song, "Tom Dooley" in 1958. By the time they struck gold with "Greenback Dollar", Guard had already left the group and replaced by John Stewart. The arrival of The Beatles and other rock bands pushed them out from the charts, and they disbanded in 1967.