CHOUCOUNE

Created on 24/01/2006
Latest update on 08/04/2022

Artist: Katherine Dunham et son Ensemble
Author: Oswald Durand/Michel Moleart Monton
Label: Decca
Year: 1946

Oswald Durand was a Haitian poet laureate (1840-1906). Written as a lament for a real creole girl nicknamed Choucoune; popularity urged for a musical setting provided by Moleart Monton (1893). This original tune marked a spectacular circus attraction of the Stickney & Donovan's Great American Circus troupe whereby a Prof. Colby jumped out of a hot-air balloon with a parachute, risky business at the end of the 19th century, let alone in Trinidad.

Covers:

1953:

Emy de Pradines

1953:

Lolita Cuevas [on lp Haitian Folk Songs for Moses Asch with Frantz Casseus on guitar]

1953:

Celia Cruz

1954:

Lord Burgess & His Calypso Serenaders [as Choucounne on lp Folk Songs Of Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad, shortly before he met and started influencing Harry Belafonte, writing the best bits of his groundbreaking Calypso album ('56); see: Day O, Jamaica Farewell and Island In The Sun]

1956:

Patrick Jones [as Colby reissued on Smithsonian Folkways album Calypso Lore And Legends, first recorded in '37 in Parijs by Maiotte Almaby for Odeon, re-issued on Frémeaux comp Biguine - Anthologie de la Tradition Musicale Antilaise 1930-1954 Vol 4]

1956:

Tarriers [as Choucoun]

1956:

Andre Tousaint & the Caribbeans [from the Bahamas; crediting Lord Burgess like most of the coverers]

1957:

Harry Belafonte [as Don't Ever Love Me on lp Sings Of The Caribbean]

1957:

Norman Luboff Choir [as Yellow Bird on Columbia lp Calypso Holiday, crediting Belafonte for selecting the songs; lyrics: Alan & Marilyn Bergman]

1958:

Mills Brothers [as Yellow Bird]

1959:

Caterina Valente [as Sonnenschein top 10 GER, with Silvio Francesco]

1960:

Brothers Four [as Yellow Bird]

1960:

Jack Sels

1961:

Arthur Lyman [Top 5 US as Yellow Bird]

1961:

Lawrence Welk [idem]

1961:

Bert Kaempfert

1961:

Roger Williams

1961:

Paul Clayton

1961:

Three Suns

1961:

Ventures [all as Yellow Bird]

1961:

Ilse Werner [as Kleiner Fink]

1962:

Chet Atkins

1962:

Keely Smith

1962:

Davy Graham

1964:

Merrymen

1965:

Hiltonaires

1967:

Paragons

1967:

Gaylads

1969:

Winston Groovy

1970:

Fairport Convention [at the Troubadour club in L.A., released in '77]

1970s:

Lord Tanamo

1980:

Rex Gildo [as Zwei wie Wir]

1996:

Chris Isaak [all as Yellow Bird]

This 19th century Haitian melody can be traced further back to an old French chanson from the Anjou region: Non non non, je ne marierai pas. In Haiti it is also known under it's Creole title Ti Zwazo (Little Bird), inspiring the English translation as Yellow Bird.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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