“Skokiaan” took the world by storm several decades ago. While it wasn’t strictly a #1 hit, there were so many versions out there that it was hard not to hear the song on radio.
“Skokiaan” was written by Rhodesian (Zimbabwean) musician August Musarurwa in 1954, and was covered by such diverse artists as Louis Armstrong, Perez Prado, Ray Anthony, Spike Jones (as “Japanese Skokiaan” with lyrics by Freddie Morgan), Bill Haley, and yes…Herb Alpert, whose recording landed him on the R&B charts for the first time.
The original recording is by a Rhodesian band called The African Dance Band of the Cold Storage Commission of Southern Rhodesia. We have linked to this version of the track below for your enjoyment.
And…just what is “skokiaan?” It is a type of bootleg alcoholic beverage, usually brewed within a day by someone at home. So, take a few sips and give this a spin!
The tune “Lemon Tree” has its roots in the late 1930s. Based on an old Brazilian folk song “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro,”, Will Holt wrote this English version of the song in the late 1950s. While the tune was performed by Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Roger Whittaker, Chad & Jeremy and others, it was the Trini Lopez version (below) which would become a Billboard Top 20 hit. The Tijuana Brass would cover this on the food-themed Whipped Cream & Other Delights album in 1965.
Good news for those of you who choose to stream your music. Today, the 25 new Herb Alpert remasters are available on the streaming services!
All of the newly remastered catalog has been spotted on Spotify, as well as Tidal‘s premium streaming service (which, we emphasize, is the only streaming service to offer these in uncompromised, lossless CD-quality audio). First-ever digital releases such as Summertime, You Smile–The Song Begins, Coney Island and Main Event Live (with Hugh Masekela) are all present and accounted for.
This is a great way to preview the new remasters while you save up your piggy bank funds to purchase these in the coming months! If you’ve had a chance to catch these on streaming, hop over to the forum and leave us a message!