Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2011 - Track Seven - Zombie Jamboree

Okay, we're going to mix it up a little by going mento with the next track in the 2011 Spooktacular!

This version of Zombie Jamboree isn't from mento's golden age in the 1950s it was in fact released in the late 70s. Not surprisingly, Mento records continued to be produced in an effort to appeal to older Jamaican tourists who probably found the undercurrents of struggle and strife in reggae music detrimental to the illusion that life outside their hotel or private villa was all picture perfect sunshine and smiles... but I digress.

"Zombie Jamboree" (AKA "Jumbie Jamboree" or "Back to Back") is the tale of a swingin' cemetery party for the undead and all the jovial merriment that ensues. By today's "Walking Dead" standards the idea of a civil zombie gathering seems absolutely ridiculous but regardless, it still makes for one hell of a tune! The original calypso song was titled Jumbie Jamboree, credited to Conrad Eugene Mauge, Jr. and originally recorded in 1953 by Lord Intruder... and for me to document all the various cover versions of the songs over the last 58 years would be grounds for another blog in itself. Maybe next year I'll do a mix with nothing but versions of Zombie/Jumbie Jamboree... or maybe I won't.

The Joy Makers, a band comprising of Abraham Lewis on lead vocal, Cyril Beckford on banjo, Zephiniah Taylor on rumba box and Count Moodie on guitar and harmonica, released this single from their album Jamaica Calypso Souvenir on the Sound Of Montego Bay record label.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Laurel Aitken have a non-zombie version of this song, just called "Jamboree"? Or is that another version of Jumbie Jamboree?

John AKA Reggaexx said...

You are correct Smicha1... Laurel Aitken's "Jamboree" from 1966 on the Ska Beat label, is in fact another version of zombie/jumbie jamboree in content, it just doesn't include the zombie/jumbie in the title. Aitken's version is one of my all-time favorites... and now that I think about it, why the hell haven't I included it in one of the Spooktaculars yet?!