Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ahab, The Arab - Arabi Ahab

Let's listen to one fine Finnish novelty cover. Ismo Kallio was not a singer, but an actor and very popular one, and is still today. He's become known especially for his comic roles, but he's played in wide range of roles in theatre and in 31 movies. In the 60's he also recorded various novelty records, and one of them was "Arabi Ahab" in 1962. Today this kind of record is definitely not politically correct, but in those days it was quite OK to tell a story about an arab and his camel and his mistress Fatima. The original tune "Ahab, The Arab" was composed and performed by Ray Stevens (b. Harold Ray Ragsdale), famous for his many, many novelty records in the 60's, which often employed canned laugh tracks. "Ahab" was one of Stevens' biggest hits and contributed greatly to his popularity. It reached number 5 on the Billboard chart in 1962.

Here's the pair:

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