Saturday, September 1, 2012

Carl Douglas--Kung Fu Fighting (1974)

     In the history of popular music, there are many examples of songs that make you scratch your head, laugh out loud, or both. Even better when said music can make you move. The 70's for some reason was full of stuff like this....and so we come to the story of Carl Douglas.
     He spent his youth in his native Jamaica and California, then moving to England to study sound engineering. While there, he formed the group Big Stampede and even issued a couple of singles. From the mid-60's to early 70's he spent time with several groups in England and Spain, but it was a meeting with Indian-born producer Biddu which would lead to his biggest hit.
     Biddu worked with Carl on a movie soundtrack in 1972, and it was that experience that led the producer to call for help with vocals a couple of years later. The song, "I Want To Give You My Everything" was the supposed "A" side. He needed a song for the flip side, so Biddu wrote music to some lyrics that Douglas had written about the martial arts craze happening in the US at the time. The song was recorded in 10 minutes.  
     The supposed "A" side was forgotten immediately as the song was a meeting of a great tune with "expert timing". It reached number 1 in the states in late 1974. The follow-up, "Dance the Kung Fu" made the top 50, and top 20 in Britain, but he was not seen in the US again. Douglas settled in Germany and owns a production company. 


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