Skokiaan record by the Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms BandMy mother dropped her receipt for some purchase at Morgan’s department store in a box on her way out of the store and one week later she was on a radio quiz show. The question was about which floor of Morgan’s you’d find the music department. She guessed three times before getting it right and won ten dollars worth of records on the London label. At a buck each that was ten records. Larry and I got to take the streetcar downtown and claim our prize. I was about ten.

We’’d only had our record player for a short time. My parents had gone out one evening to buy household goods from a woman whose husband had died. They came home with a whack of stuff including this record player and a handful of records. The only ones I remember were the half dozen or so Spike Jones records which Larry and I loved and played endlessly. We worked out elaborate pantomimes to these and became famous in our family for our Spike Jones performances. Why we didn’t go on to become great comedy stars on the level of the Marx Brothers or, at least, the Ritz Brothers is another one of those insoluble mysteries.

Of all the popular songs I knew and wanted none seemed to be on the London label. I was getting frustrated. One of these was Skokiaan, a hit for the Four Lads. There was, however, a version on London by the Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms Band. Better than nothing, we took it.

When we got home and put the disc on the player it was so different from the version I knew that my heart sank. But no more then two bars into the thing my ears perked up and by the end of the side I was reborn.

I played that record at least a hundred times a day.

Play on youtube: Skokiaan

I had forgotten that the flip side was In the Mood, till I found this. Playing that track took me right back to 1954. So these two tracks, Skokiian and In The Mood by the Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms Band were very near the beginning of a lifelong passion; two highlights that have not diminished in fifty years


You may want to look at the Wikipedia article that I have put together
on the song (
Daaf Jay (a.k.a. DocDee)

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