Don Armando's 2nd Av. Rhumba Band DEPUTY OF LOVE

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JAPAN MINI LP REPLICA CD

ALBUM ZE.MLP35

11 Tracks

LIMITED EDITION

 

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DON ARMANDO

Think of this as the missing link between Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band (the lush, ’40s-swing/disco ensemble who hit big interpreting Paul Whiteman and Eartha Kitt and namedropping future Sony exec Tommy Mottola in “Whispering/Cherchez La Femme/Se Si Bon,” off their essential 1976 debut album) and Kid Creole and the Coconuts (see below). Zilkha and lead Coconut August Darnell are credited as “executive producers,” but the real movers and shakers were apparently Savannah Band syncopation visionary Don Armando Bonilla himself (“guiding light, macho vocals, and percussion”), zoot-suited and vibes-playing Nuyorican producer “Sugar-Coated” Andy Hernandez, a.k.a. Coati Mundi, and around-the-way-girl lead voice Fonda Rae. The music is ridiculously infectious Latin disco, with tongue spectacularly in cheek. Themes range from romantic advice (“Compliment Your Leading Lady,” “How to Handle a Woman”) to western movies (the No. 1 dance hit “Deputy of Love” and “I’m an Indian Too,” a politically incorrect 1946 Irving Berlin showstopper that Ethel Merman had sung in Annie Get Your Gun, and which clearly inspired Fonda’s feathers and headdress on the LP cover). Plus, “Going To A Showdown” is to this crew what “(There’s Gonna Be) A Showdown” was to the New York Dolls.

Chuck Eddy : "Designed to Kill: 8 Essentials of ZE Records » : SPIN Magazine Sept. 2012

01 • Deputy Of Love • 7:04 
Written by Ron Rogers
Published by Perennial August /Unichappell

02 • Compliment Your Leading Lady • 4:59
Written by Don Armando & Andy Hernandez
Published by Zem Sound / Don Armando Music / Suger Coated Music

03 • Winter Love • 6:34
Written by Don Armando
Published by Zem Sound / Don Armando Music

04 • Goin' To Showdown • 5:18
Written by Adriana Kaegi
Published by Zem Sound 

05 • How To Handle A Woman • 3:58
Written by Lerner & Lowe
Published by Chappell Music

06 • I'm An Indian Too • 3:25
Written by Irving Berlin
Published by Irving Berlin Music

07 • Para Ti / This Is Just For U  5:10
Written by Ron Rogers
Published by Perennial August /Unichappell

08 • I'm An Indian Too 12" Remix  Version • 8:27
Written by Irving Berlin
Published by Irving Berlin Music

09 • Deputy Of Love • 8:55
Written by Ron Rogers
Published by Perennial August /Unichappell

10 • Deputy Of Love • 3:55
Written by Ron Rogers
Published by Perennial August /Unichappell

11 • I'm An Indian Too • Piloosky Edit Version • 8 :15
Written by Irving Berlin
Published by Irving Berlin Music
Re Edited 2009 by Pilooksi
Recorded at Blank Tape Studios NYC 1978/1979
Concepted, Produced & Mixed by Bob Blank
Produced & Arranged by « Sugar Coated » Andy Hernandez
Executive Producers Michael Zilkha & August Darnell

Fonda Rae Lead Vocal
Don Armando Bonilla Guiding Light, Macho Vocals & Percussion

Remastered By Charlus de La Salle  at South Factory
Original Sound Recording Made by ZE Records © 1979
© ZE Records Mundo Ltda 2010

In the begining was : Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. The originators were a pair of Haitians in the Bronx N.Y, Stony Browder Jr. and his brother, Thomas. They formed Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band in 1974 with Stony's girlfriend on vocals, local drummer Mickey Sevilla, then auditioned and hired Spanish Harlem's own Andy Hernandez. who became « The Sugar Coated » Andy Hernandez. Stony's girlfriend changed her name to Corey Daye, and Tommy became August Darnell. A percussionist of Latin origin, Armando Bonilla Jr, joint and became Don Armando Bonilla.

They were frequent performers at the infamous Studio 54. They are best known for their 1975  #1 US dance hit, « Cherchez La Femme », from their self-titled debut album, which snagged a Grammy nomination. The band released three albums between 1976 and 1979. But by the late 70s, musical differences between Stony and August caused the break up. Corey stayed with Stony, Bassist Thomas « August Darnell » Browder and vibraphonist Andy Hernandez, a/k/a « Coati Mundi », went on to form Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

In 1978, August Darnell was hired by Michael Zilkha to produce Cristina’s debut album on ZE Records, but he also started to developpe various side projects for the label. One of them was « Don Armando’s 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band ». The concept was the brainchild of (Don) Armando Bonilla Jr. Former Savannah band pall members Andy Hernandez (producer/arranger) and August Darnell (executive producer) aided him and also introduced him to a new vocalist they were working with. Fonda Rae, a talented singer from New York, would later surface on Kid Creole & The Coconuts albums for the duo. 

But Fonda Rae, had previous commitments and there was no serious attempt to develop Bonilla's solo career. As a sessionist she would record, and have a variety of hits, under the banners Wish, Rainbow Brown and finally her own name (« Over Like A Fat Rat »).

August Darnell and Andy Hernandez aren't ones to skirt a little controversy. With Dr. Buzzard's Original Savanah Band, they wrote and recorded songs like, « March Of The Nignies » or « Once There Was A Colored Girl... » that played with race and stereotypes while the dancefloor kept jumping to faux-swing, big band disco.

So it's only natural that they would gravitate towards a cover version of Irving Berlin's widely criticized homage to Native Americans « I'm An Indian Too » from Annie Get Your Gun. By twisting the lyrics of a white girl (« Annie ») trying to become an « Injun », sung by a black woman singing for the white disco scene, the song transcends it's original meaning and heads into the metasphere. With it's themes of inter-racial sex and « hilarious » name calling (could I be more dripping with sarcasm) the original was ripe for the Darnell/Hernandez treatment.

Singer Fonda Rae and the rest of the Rhumba Band even donned indian outfits to record the track, that on the album sits at around three and a half minutes, but in it's full 12" glory comes in at nearly eight.

The first 12" single « I'm An Indian Too » was released, but against all odds it was the B side « Deputy of Love » who went #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and became an international hit in 1979.

But since « I'm An Indian Too » has become the song of choice for disco loving DJ's the world over. Compiled and edited in various Mutant Disco albums.

This first CD édition was remastered and add to the original album 4 bonus tracks, the 12" Remix versions of  « I'm An Indian Too » & « Deputy of Love », the  acclaimed Edit version of Piloosky of  « I'm An Indian Too » and a single mix version of « Deputy of Love ».

Track List
  • 1
    Deputy Of Love
    7:04
  • 2
    Compliment Your Leading Lady
    4:59
  • 3
    Winter Love
    6:34
  • 4
    Goin' To Showdown
    5:18
  • 5
    How To Handle A Woman
    3:58
  • 6
    I'm an Indian Too
    3:25
  • 7
    Para Ti / This Is Just For U
    5:10
  • 8
    I'm an Indian Too - 12
    8:27
  • 9
    Deputy of Love - 12
    8:55
  • 10
    Deputy of Love - Single Version
    3:55
  • 11
    I'm an Indian Too - Piloosky Edit Version
    8:15

Discography Album

Discography EP