Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rockin' Red Wing - Mustasulka tanssii

Some sources say that this was the first true rock'n roll song in Finland recorded by a female artist. Well that may be, but the song was obviusly meant to be children's song at the time. Mirja-Liisi Soininen recorded "Mustasulka tanssii" (Blackfeather's dancing) in 1961 on the flipside of a cover of traditional song "Clementine". We don't know much about Mirja-Liisi, except that she recorded some children's song in the beginning of the 60's, some of them together with Finnish 'father of children's songs' - Georg Malmsten. In spite of Mirja-Liisi's young and un-trained voice, this song has some appeal with it's irresistible background rhythm of Indian drums. The original song was a minor hit for US rockabilly musician Sammy Masters in 1960. The song first became a regional hit in Los Angeles and when picked up for national distributions, it reached number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics told the story about how rock'n roll conquered Indians via a young Indian maid listening to her radio.

Updated on 17.07.2010: added Ernie Freeman's version

Here's the pair:


zilippe said...

Pow-Wow: Does anybody know where to find Ernie Freeman's version? The other side of that lost single was "Dark Eyes", which to me is still the best arrangement.

DM said...

By coincidence, the Ernie Freeman version was in my collection. I have added it to playlist.