Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2008 Track 20 - Lon Chaney

Leonidas Frank Chaney, better known to cinema fans simply as Lon Chaney, was born on April 1, 1883. Nicknamed "The Man Of A Thousand Faces" and one of the silver screen's first actors synonymous with special effects make-up and for playing grotesque monsters, he was a truly a horror film groundbreaker.

Between 1912 and 1917, Chaney worked under contract for Universal Studios where his previous vaudeville experience with creative theatrical make-up made him a hot commodity when tales of the macabre were concerned. But unfortunately for Universal they didn't think his ability was worthy of a higher salary so he left the studio.

Chaney's breakthrough performance, playing the decidedly un-monster roll of The Frog in 1919's gangster film The Miracle Man, which grossed a hefty $2 million dollars at the box office, garnered him praise throughout the industry and earned him the title of "America's foremost character actor."

Most well known for his portrayals of Quasidmodo in Tod Browning's 1923 Hunchback Of Notre Dame and for Erik, the horribly disfigured phantom, in Browning's 1925 Phantom Of The Opera, Lon Chaney firmly planted himself into the mind of horror fans who to this day revere him for his contributions to the genre!

Speaking of contributing to a genre... Sir Lord Comic was one of the first deejays and a real pioneer in Jamaican music. Comic got his start initially as a dancer or "legs man" for the Admiral Deans soundsystem and once he heard Sir Coxsone Downbeat's selector, the legendary Count Machuki, chatting on the mic he was inspired to become a deejay as well. He got his first break in December of 1959 when he filled in for Admiral Deans regular sound man when he was too drunk to function and the rest is history.

Now... you may be asking yourself what does this have to do with the Halloween Spooktacular and I'll tell you... The 20th track in the Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2008 is of course by Sir Lord Comic backed by the Skatalites and it's a scorching ska number called appropriately "Lon Chaney." It comes off the various artists CD What A Skandal - King Edwards The Giant on the British King Edwards label.

Track 20


bunnyboy said...

Loving it all so far, can't wait to spin the whole thing as one.

Just to let you know, the 2007 Spooktacular (non-jamaican style) is a hit in my wife's classroom (grade 4's know how to have fun) and at the cottage. Well done!

Christofari said...

I just don't know how you do it, Reggaexx - I wouldn't say my knowledge of reggae was totally encyclopaedic, but you've unearthed (or should it be exhumed) some more musty MONSTERS, most of which I'd never heard before! Given my enduring passion for eerie ska, dub and reggae (hell, even the name of the sound system I run out of East London, UK is Duppy Hi-Fi), you can best believe I'm in HEAVEN listening to this mix.

I should mention though that I've been unable to download tracks 1 - 9 (the irritating zshare links refuse to work for me - could it be a Mac thing?) But if you post the whole mix on the big day I'll be only too happy to suck it up!!!

How can I thank you enough?! That is a lot of pleasure you're spreading, and I know the effort it must have taken. It always saddens me to hear how few people leave comments, 'cause I recognise how your posts come from the heart. Please, please include me on any future mailing, if it comes to that - your blog is a real lifeline. Thanks again, and MIGHTY respect,


P.S. Remember (the sorely-missed) Mikey Dread's great 'Pre Dawn Dub' from his African Anthem album! That's got to be my alltime favourite Halloween howler... :( )

Reggaexx said...

Thanks for all the kind words everyone I sincerely appreciate them! Bunnyboy glad to hear your wife's students are enjoying the Non-Jamaican Spooktacular... my kids really loved that mix as well especially with the musical Silver Shamrock jingle from Halloween 3! They were kind of disappointed that this years Non-Jamaican mix was a little darker than the light-hearted, child-friendly mixes I usually put together. Oh well, there's always next Halloween! :)

Christofari - Great to hear from you! I'm glad that you're enjoying the monster/duppy tunes and really pleased that you're getting to hear things you've never heard before. Duppy Hi-Fi is a wicked name! If I was in the position to run a sound system that would be a name I'd find hard from stealing from you! :)

Just to let you and everyone else know... I am upping the complete mix on Friday... So if you can't get some of the tracks to download because of that Zshare issue you won't need to worry.

Christofari I thank you for recognizing this yearly project for what it is, a labor of love and don't worry if I get turned-off toward blogging the Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2009 you'll definitely get a copy through other means.