Monday, October 06, 2008

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2008 Track 4 - Dark Shadows

Welcome back to the first full week of Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular tunes for this October, and we're starting off this Monday with a great one by Charles Hanna & The Graduates. The song is called "Dark Shadows," was released as a 7" on the Graduates label in 1973 and is in fact a reggae cover of ABC's daytime soap opera Dark Shadows' theme song. And after a 4 year search for this tune it is with great pleasure that I finally present it here in this year's Spooktacular!

I haven't been able to find out any background information on Charles Hanna other than the fact that a couple artists have stated that they performed with the band in the early 1970's. Now here's where it gets weird... I did a search for Charles Hanna & The Graduates and up popped this website called Band Mix with a listing for the group now based in Lenexa Kansas of all places! I looked at the accompanying photo and grew even more intrigued... could this be the same person? How did a band that was cutting records in Jamaica, on their own label no less, during the early years of reggae, wind up in Kansas of all places? I signed up for a free account on the site in hopes that I would be able to get an e-mail address and get the story from Charles Hanna himself, but they of course wanted me to pay $9.99 just to contact anyone... so unlike American Express, I guess the free membership has absolutely no privileges. And don't get me wrong, I would have paid the ten bucks just in hopes of getting a chance to learn some more but the Band Mix website looked a little sketchy with no secure server to properly handle my credit card number... oh well.

Well let's get to the music... I have embellished "Dark Shadows" with audio borrowed from the 1973 kiddie record Scary Spooky Stories on Troll Records. I used the piece called "Dark, Dark, Dark" and I think it goes great with the spooky organ driven reggae rhythm!

I'll leave you with one question... is this the same Charles Hanna?? The world may never know...

Track 4

3 comments:

Rozum said...

The vocal sampling used in the this (I believe from a children's record called "Scary Spooky Stories") is a favorite of mine and my kids. They get a kick out of how the narrator constantly ends his questions with "I don't know," and everything is compared as in "Is that sound someone? Or, some thing?" (I don't know.) and they quote it at every situation imaginable.

Anonymous said...

I am Charles Hanna. Yes, indeed I am in Lenexa, Kansas and look forward to reaching out to the world and especially my fellow Jamaicans. I will launch a website soon and share how you may have access to some of my music from days gone by, including our reggae hit song: Dark Shadows...
For more information contact 913 486 5756

Anonymous said...

www.charleshannaandthegraduates.com