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...