Song of India

Roger Craig Song of India 45 (Argo, 1961)

Two virtues of exotica are its geographical and musicological ignorance. Free of the knowledge of world and its music, exotica artists can pretty much make things as they go along. If Martin Denny wants to evoke the sounds of Hawaii and the South Pacific by interjecting monkey sounds, fine. If Korla Pandit choses to pass his hypnotizing organ music as something out of the Punjab, great. If Yma Sumac feels a need to sell her not-so-easy listening music as ancient Inca music, fantastic. Roger Craig and the Riley Hampton Orchestra also get a pass for trying to sell their odd mix of faux-Oriental music with "Hawaiian" percussion as a "Song of India."

While I know that this Roger Craig is not the legendary San Francisco 49er, his story is a mystery. His backing band, the Riley Hampton's Orchestra, was the Argo Records house band. They backed artists like Etta James, Jerry Butler, and Von Freeman. Did they ever turn out a record by their lonesome? Don't know. But Riley Hampton did do a version of Barbara Lewis's "Hello Stranger."

That was fun in a cheesy listening sort of way. Thanks.
It's clearly the Hummm Baby Roger Craig, who managed the Giants in the 90's.
Thanks for this - it's a must-find. Atypical in that it was Les Baxter-influenced, too (rather than the more common Martin Denny/small-group inspired 45s).
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