Sunday, 4 June 2017

Taco Ockerse (born July 21, 1955) is an Indonesian-born Dutch singer and entertainer who started his career in Germany. Known for his synthpop cover version of Irving Berlin’s "Puttin’ On The Ritz", which he released as a single from his album After Eight and accompanied by a controversial music video containing characters in blackface and has since been banned from many networks. A censored version of the video eliminates many shots of the blackface characters, though some remain. Taco pays homage to Fred Astaire by including a tap dance solo in the middle of the song, as it famously became a hit for Astaire in 1946 when he performed it in the movie Blue Skies.
Another composition, “Cheek To Cheek” , of which Berlin wrote for the 1935 movie Top Hat, starring – yep, you guessed it – Fred Astaire, along with dancing partner/on-screen romantic interest, Ginger Rogers. And speaking of tap-dancers, another to mention is Gene Kelly, and the famous centrepiece, “Singin’ In The Rain”, from the movie of which he danced, sang, directed AND choreographed in 1952. The song was originally published in 1929, words by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown. It is unclear exactly when the song was written; it has been claimed that the song was performed as early as 1927. And here both songs are featured in today’s post, new wave/synthpop style (RCA Victor TACO-1)!
Fun fact: Due to the success of Taco's cover of “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, it made 95-year-old Irving Berlin the oldest living songwriter ever with a Top 10 single in the US Hot 100. Taco’s follow-up album was also named after an Irving Berlin song he covered, "Let's Face the Music and Dance". FLAC
Fred Astaire (R) and Ginger Rogers (L).
Gene Kelly, Singin' In The Rain, 1952.
Irving Berlin, US composer/lyricist.
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