The Word: "Exotica" is not Hawaiian and certainly not jazz; it's a branch of Latin that turned into something in the hands of musicians mostly in Hawaii [some of whom had jazz pretensions]. It's also not a catch-all for odd pop (easy listening) or just any old thing with exotic jacket art. Strict exotica meets the test of a certain formula (ersatz tropicalism, bird calls, vibes, Latin percussion instruments, etc.) exclusive of anything else (i.e., it's not the regular folk or pop music of an "exotic" place such as Tahiti or Africa). Appreciate the irony: if it's truly exotica, it can't be authentic folk music!
Stars of exotica are Baxter, Denny, Lyman, Shindo, Sumac, and Waldo, but rare one-off records by lesser-knowns often are more prized by collectors. Most of this page offers these two kinds of exotica record, with a sprinkling of a few odd foreign/international things that don't quite number enough to get their own page. And there is other exotica throughout Hip Wax.
Further below: Exotica-World 45s & trade wants
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
The All-Star Orchestra: A Far East Fantasy in Latin Dance Rhythm; 49th State Hawaii Record LP-3455; E/N- S $75 -- Latin/pan-Asian/Latin rock; bongos and the swinging new sound of rock and roll meet the traditional songs of Asia!; super rare; Shina No Yoru (rhumba)-Japan, Holi Chin Sai Lai (cha-cha-cha)-China, Ginza Kan Kan Musume (rock & roll mambo)-Japan, Yoimachi-Guza (bolero)-Japan, Yoimachi-Guza Variation (Cugat style)-Japan, De Fune (tango)-Japan, Negara Ku (cha-cha-cha)-Malaya, Planting Rice (guaracha)-Philippines, Asatoya Yunta (rhumba)-Okinawa, Ari Rung (bolero)-Korea, Aizu Ban Dai San (rhumba)-Japan, Tanko Rhapsody (samba)-Japan
Leda Annest/Phil Moore: Portrait of Leda; Columbia Adventures in Sound WL-114; 1958; 1st/gold/deep groove E/N $100 (or E-/E+ $75, specify) (or E-/E- $40, specify) -- exotica/torch/female vocal; soooo many virtues: 1) one of the handful of truly unique and fantastic LPs in this wonderful series, 2) the wildest thing Phil Moore ever did, 3) great jacket of Leda herself, 4) top sound, 5) absolutely insane, abstract, exotic vocalizing in the manner of "The Passions" and Yma Sumac, 6) orchestral horror (like the best Les Baxter), 7) hall-of-fame wacked-out liner notes as only Mort Goode can write them, and 8) even in rarity there's a choice of shape/price/value
Ted Auletta: Exotica; Cameo/Parkway SC-4008; 1962; N-/N- S $35 -- exotica; on a local label, it's one of the treasured, "one-off," strict-exotica LPs ALL MUST HAVE (if you can find it); top, no-nonsense interpretations of classic exotica (Baxter, Denny, Lyman); recorded in 4-channel/35mm film for impressive, clear, deep percussive, audiophile sound; Quiet Village, Flamingo, Adventures in Paradise, The Breeze and I, Sound of Exotica (original!!!), Taboo, Baia, Voodoo Moon, Makaha, Jungle Drums, Pool of Love (Les Baxter), Return to Paradise
Ethel Azama (Martin Denny production) .... Martin Denny subpage
Warren Barker: William Holden Presents a Musical Touch of Far Away Places; Warner Bros. WS-1308; 1959; E+/E+ S $3o (or E/E S $25, specify) (or E/E- S $20, specify) (or mono B-1308; E+/E+ S $15, specify) -- exotica; awesome in clean stereo, it's a delightful, essential strict-exotica one-off with great liners, including cutely illustrated notes about each tune, and unusual music selected by beloved actor and exotica enthusiast William Holden--all done to the very high standards of Warner Bros. (similar to the legendary "Hawaiian Eye" ST/cast-member LPs, some of which may be listed below); Malayan Nightbird, Tokyo Trolley, Junk City Hong Kong, Shojoji, Lotus Land, Kowloon to London Express, Carnvalito, Javanese Valley, Kyoto Merry-go-Round, Moonflowers, Petite, Mountain High Valley Low
Les Baxter subpage (includes soundtracks and all Bas Sheva, The Cheers, etc.)
Chaino (wild African drums, exotica, Latin jazz) ... Africa
Augie Colon (Martin Denny Group) .... Martin Denny subpage
Sylvia Copeland: The August Child; Mainstream 56030; sealed $60 -- exotica/vocal; arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky; one-off by theatrical star (Flower Drum Song, Jamaica), essential for the very Yma Sumac-esque (and how!) "Wild is Love" (exotica DJs and collectors must have!); dramatic jacket art by Jack Lonshein; rare as the dickens period, never mind sealed, although we once had it this way with sticker on the shrink that read simply "A Musical Experience"; Washerwoman of Portugal/Meditation, Dearly Beloved, Angelitos Negros, Wild is Love, Warm Blue Stream, Those Were the Days, Mira/Formidable, Meantime/Soon It's Gonna Rain, On the Other Side of the Tracks
Xavier Cugat: Here's Cugat (exotica masterpiece "Jungle Flute") .... Latin
Anita Darian: East of the Sun; Kapp KS-3052; 1960; N-/N- S $90 (or E/N S $60, specify) -- exotica/Mid-East pop/vocal; fantastic rarity for advanced collectors by acclaimed mezzo-soprano of the NYC Opera and Broadway; "the Armenian Yma Sumac," as we like to think of her, backed by Frank Hunter of "White Goddess" fame, spectacularly sings Misirlou, Mountain High, On a Little Street in Singapore, Gomen Nasai, Chinese Lullaby plus several Armenian songs (even Come On-a My House); as with Elisabeth Waldo, a tad on the highbrow/operatic side but great, entertaining, and unpretentious; great jacket too!
Martin Denny subpage
Prof. A.P. Elkin, rec.: Authentic Australian Aboriginals!; Capitol of the World T-10086; E-/E- $30 -- Australian; a highlight of the exotic Capitol of the World import series, it's one of a pair released in the US out of a total of three volumes released as "Arnhem Land" by EMI Australia; we prefer this US version (different artwork, thicker vinyl, real cardboard jacket) but either flavor is great and hard to find; the music is totally out there (didgeridoo and percussion from way back), fully as bizarre to Western ears as the wildest Tibetan ritual chants and great music to read/meditate/walkabout/dreamtime by
Prof. A.P. Elkin, recorded: Arnhem Land Volume 3; EMI Australia OALP-7516; N-/E $50 -- Australian aborigine field recording on "His Master's Voice" in Australia (to what degree that's RCA, other than the dog logo, is unclear); the previous two volumes were imported for the Capitol of the World Series but this rare volume three went unreleased in the US (very hard to come by as an import, too!), so it's a pretty big deal, especially if you have either of the first two and/or an interest in the far-out music and culture of the first Aussies
Australia--Songs of the Aborigines; Lyrichord LLST-7331; 1993; with booklet E/N S $30 -- Australian aborigine field recording by Wolfgang Laade for Italian label ALBATROS, it's not the same as the Elkin material, not even all that similar, but it's just as rare for we who care, and it's both one of the more desirable Lyrichord LPs and one of the essential handful of Australian LPs imported for a US audience; rarer still, it's in stereo
William Clauson: Australia--Waltzing Matilda & Other Australian Songs; Monitor MFS-424; E+/N ES $20 -- Australian folk songs; import for the US an LP known as "Click Go the Shears" on His Master's Voice in Australia; good for anyone interested in classic Aussie folk songs, or needing a better pressing/condition, or if you just want an iconic "roo" jacket to stir your travel lust--it's not just one roo, there's a joey too!; Waltzing Matilda, The Overlander, On the Banks Of the Condamine, The Old Bark Hut, Bold Jack Donahue, Botany Bay, The Lime Juice Tub, Moreton Bay, The Wild Colonial Boy, My Old Black Billy, Bold Tommy Payne, Wild Rover No More, The Dying Stockman
Preston Epps ... beatnik & bongo (under rock-pop)
Chick Floyd (Martin Denny production) .... Martin Denny subpage
The Folkswingers featuring Harihar Rao on Sitar: Raga Rock .... rock
Rolf Harris: RH Positive; EMI/Axis 6022 (Australia); N-/E+ S $25 -- compilation imported by hand from Rolf's hometown of Perth, Australia; 1/2 live (unreleased in the US); London Town, Botany Bay, Moon River, Let the Rest of the World Go By, Along the Road to Gundagi, Sun Arise, If I Were a Rich Man, Court of King Caractacus, Wild Colonial Boy, Carra Barra Wirra Canna, I'll Be Hanged, Hurry Home
Pepe Jaramillo: Mexican Voodoo; EMI Studio 2 TWOX.1011 (rare Australian press); 1973; N-/E S $30 -- exotica/Latin piano; the prolific UK star Pepe Jaramillo's LPs are well worth investigating; this one deserves top status for music as well as the catchy title; he's a bit of a cross between Rene Paulo and (at this most inventive) even Esquivel on piano; Alone Again (Naturally), Diamonds are Forever, Melody Maker, Carioca, Mad About the Boy, Piensalo Bien Muchacha, Misirlou, Malaguena, Let's Begin Again, Ocho Rios, Goin' Out of My Head, Tico Tico, Mexican Voodoo (original)
The Kit Kats: The Very Best of the Kit Kats; Virtue LPV-102067; E+/N- S $30 -- rock/exotic rock; not a compilation but a unique, live rocker by hit Philly group on Frank "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" Virtue's label; lively, worthy addition to any exotic-rock collection; recommended for their exotic-rock takes on "Quiet Village" & "Stranded in the Jungle"; the others: Money, You're No Angel, Sweet Little Rock & Roller, From Here On In, Hey Hey Hey, Lucille, Good Lovin', Hoo Che Coo Che Coo, Our Farewell, The End
Thurston Knudson, Augie Goupil (Afro/Tahitian) .... Afro
The Exotic Sounds of Rex Kona & his Mandarins: Wild Orchids; Columbia CS-8974; 1964; 1st/promo V+/E S $75 -- exotica; one of the best and rarest of the prized exotica "one-offs"; fantastic!; with uptempo killer "Bird Train"--an aviary gone mad, conceived in tribute to exotica's trademark bird calls (which secured Arthur Lyman's place in music history), and an exotica "top ten" essential track (comparable to labelmate Michel Magne's legendary exotica masterpiece); beautiful jacket; top sound!!!; Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Moonlight in Vermont, Ginza Girl, Sushi, Halavah, Trolley Song, Patricia (exoticized Perez Prado!), Will He Be Like Me?, Bushi Bushi, Peg O' My Heart, Bird Train, Wild Orchids
The Arthur Lyman Group: Leis of Jazz; HIFI SR-607; 1st press E+/E+ S $20 -- exotica/jazz; his first LP, from right after he split from Martin Denny (having invented bird-call exotica for Denny's group) to form his own group; this hard-to-find early stereo exotica effort was recorded in the acoustically wonderful Kaiser [Aluminium] Dome; the LP set a high bar for his top-selling later work which wasn't jazz (so it's a jazz anomaly as well as an unusual Lyman LP); Leis of Jazz, Trigger Fantasy, The Lady is a Tramp, Body & Soul, Gypsy in My Soul, Lullaby of the Leaves, On the Street Where You Live, My Funny Valentine, The Way You Look Tonight, How High the Moon, Lullaby of Birdland, Aloha Oe
Arthur Lyman: Yellow Bird; L-1004; 1961; gatefold; red label N/N S $15 -- exotica; his first for the label, continuing to record in the Kaiser dome and otherwise keep things the same, in its original incarnation (alternate title: Percussion Spectacular); Havah Nagilah, Yellow Bird, Ravel's Bolero, Autumn Leaves, Arrive Derce Roma, Sweet & Lovely, Bamboo Tamboo, Andalusia, Adventures in Paradise, Granada, September Song, John Henry
Arthur Lyman: Mele Kalikimaka/Merry Christmas; L-1018; 1964; yellow label E/N- S $15 -- great!; a classic, essential; unusual silver jacket may not look like much, but you'll play this every year (or at least we do, and this LP's the start of any good Hawaiian-Christmas collection, which should also include the Christmas LP by old label-mates, the Surfers!); Silent Night/Joy to the World, Mele Kalikimaka/Jingle Bells, Mary's Boy Child, Rudolph--The Red-Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas, We Three Kings, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, O Holy Night, Sleigh Ride, Christmas Song, Little Drummer Boy
Arthur Lyman: Arthur Lyman's Greatest Hits; Everest/HIFI/Life SL-1030; gold label cutout N-/N S $15 -- exotica/vibes/drums; FANTASTIC LP (and his last Life LP on the gold label); great as both the one Lyman LP to have and for completists, especially if any of your originals aren't in top shape/sound/stereo; truly a greatest hits compilation, most very exotic and/or uptempo: Taboo, Love for Sale, Jungle Drums, Black Orchid, Afro Blue, Bwana A, Yellow Bird, Cotton Fields, Blue Hawaii, Midnight Sun, Hawaii Tattoo, Pele
Arthur Lyman: Aloha, Amigo; Everest/HIFI/Life SL-1034 (Capitol SW-91033 pressing); yellow label E+/N S $15 -- exotica is a branch of Latin (not jazz or Asian music as most people incorrectly assume), and in this groovy Latin set Lyman pays some tribute to the roots of exotica (Latin) and even more to his own roots playing marimba (Mexican cousin to the vibraphone which many vibists, such as Dave Pike, play earlier in their career or in addition to the vibes); the groovy wahini on the jacket is also nice, and you get long liner notes this time (unusual for Lyman LPs); Bim Bam Bum, My Shawl, Malaguena, Guadalajara, Tango of the Roses, Cumana, La Paloma, Estrellita, Babalu, Espana, Carmen Carmella, La Cumparsa
Arthur Lyman: Puka Shells; GNP Crescendo GNPS-2091; 1975; E-/E+ S $15 -- exotica/vibes/percussion/vocal; late, great, exotic, partly jazzy, and unique, it introduces singer Kapiolani w/vocals prod. by Les Baxter(!); that's right, it's Lyman's terrific VOCAL LP; w/Neil Norman, guest guitarist (and from the time he and Baxter were doing sci-fi STs with theremin); great photos and biographical liner notes complete the attraction for Lyman fans; top tunes by Astrud Gilberto, Neil Diamond, Bob Crewe, Mahi Beamer, etc. including Brasilian percussion and probably breaks; Puka Shells, Skybird, Paoakalani, Gingele, My Eyes Adored You, Legend of the Rain, Mystic Island (deep exotica w/bird cries), Guava Tree, Adios Mariquita Linda, Loving Him Was Easier, Lonely Sky, Swingers Lullaby
Michel Magne: Tropical Fantasy; Columbia CL-1693; 1962; black 6-eye promo (US 1st press/advance copy) with the "A New Star on Columbia Records" sticker, which is typical (rarer as stock or stereo!) E/E+ $75 (or same but V+/E- $40, specify) -- sick, sick, cuckoo exotica and how!; "An Adventure in Exotic Sounds and Percussion"; this is IT, the holy grail, the ne plus ultra of exotica (along with Ananda Shankar); newly reappreciated French master (like Andre Popp, one of the pioneers of creative music concret, etc.) put the best exotica, worldwide music, percussion, electronica, avant garde, jazz, effects, his own great originals, and more in a blender and out came pure heaven for the exotica fan; it's beautiful, fantastic, awesome, jaw-dropping, useful, and utterly nuts; evidently no one in the US knew what it was or what to make of it in 1962, so it's very rare and highly coveted...deservedly so! 14 cuts (and that's minus two throwaway cuts that were released in the French pressing): Bahia, Sahara, Brazil, Perfidia, Peanut Vendor, Come Closer to Me, Two Shilhouettes, Congo, Besame Mucho, Tropical, Tabu, El Cumbanchero, You Belong to My Heart, Quizas Quizas Quizas; a truly extraordinary vinyl experience, unbeatable!
Roberta McLaughlin: Folk Songs of Our Pacific Neighbors; Bowmar B-104; gatefold E/E S $15 -- SE Asia/Pacific/children/partly narrative; rare Californian school aid (filmstrip series) providing an introduction to the folk instruments and singing of several Polynesian and SE Asian countries; nineteen tracks, with narrated introduction starting each: Green Rose Hula, The Luau, Alekoki (Japanese national anthem), Kimigayo, Sakura, Pictured Parasol, Traveler's song, Song of Fong Yang, Song of the Hoe, Flute Song, Dawn in Laos, Planting Rice, Village Fiesta (Visayan), Leron, Titi Torea, E Pari Ra, Horue, Farewell Song
Phil Moore: Polynesian Paradise; Strand SL-1004; deep groove promo N/V- $20 -- exotica; one of the great one-offs, with everything: cheesecake nude wader at sunset; hall-of-fame liner notes by Mort Goode (follow link also for full track list), top music; only trouble is it's devilishly rare in top shape/stereo, so it's as is (marks, some noise but not at all bad)--great jacket at least
The Rene Paulo Group: Heat Wave; HI-FI/Life L-1012; sealed $35 -- Latin jazz/exotica; one of the most desired Paulo LPs, presumably for the nude-in-a-hammock cheesecake jacket, but also it's hard to beat musically; exotic/California cocktail jazz: think Tjader, Guaraldi, etc., with bongos and so on (quartet recorded in the famous Aluminium Dome); Heat Wave, Love & the Weather, Reaching for the Moon (bossa), Rhapsody, Say It Isn't So, There's No Business Like Show Business, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Soft Lights & Sweet Music, I Never Had a Chance, How Deep is the Ocean, Remember, Puttin' On the Ritz
The Rene Paulo Group: Whispering Sands; HI-FI/Life L-1019; promo deep groove E-/E $20 -- Latin jazz/exotica/cocktail jazz; piano-led with vibes (we tend to think of the great Rene Paulo as the Joe Loco of Hawaii); rare and good (there aren't many by this group, so snap them up); Whispering Sands, The Wheel of Fortune, Gravy Waltz, All My Trials, Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi, La Montana, Lilie's Waltz, Wagon Wheels, More, Quando Calienta El Sol, Blue Velvet, Petticoat Junction (zippy)..
Gene Rains & his Group: Lotus Land; Decca DL-74064; 1st press/pink N-/E- S $50 -- exotica/vibes; SUPER RARE STEREO!; classic first LP by the hugely influential, #3 exotica leader of Hawaii and vibist second only to the more prolific Lyman; with pianist-arranger Paul Conrad (another exotica legend and arranger for Martin Denny), Archie Grant, Allen Watanabe; unique among exotica LPs, it's continuous (no breaks between tunes)--gives the DJ time to mix and consume elaborate cocktails; gorgeous, intense sound (deep-groove), essential!; there are three LPs, and this first one in mono is the only one that sold well--stereo is rare!!!; Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Hana Maui, Harbor Lights, Ringo Oiwake, Lotus Land, Africa, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Jungle Drums, Da Hil Sayo, Danse Arabe, Ebb Tide, The Naked Sea
The Royal Polynesian Island Orchestra: Musical Cruise--Hawaii to Hong Kong; Family SFLP-527; N/E- shrink S $45 (or E+/E- S $40, specify) (or mono FLP-127 E+/E- $30, specify) -- exotica/strings; one of the rarest exotica LPs on a little label so obscure you won't ever have anything else on it, and that's just fine; orchestra of John Peters; Dance of the Natives, Temple Bells, Typhoon, Polynesian Paradise, March Orientale, Saigon Sunset, Flowers on the Water, South Sea Lullaby, Hongkong Harbor, Teahouse Waltz, Holiday in Hawaii, Farewell to Hawaii
The Royal Polynesian Islanders: South Sea Cruise; Request SRLP-10106; E-/N S $45 -- exotica/strings; (reissues The Royal Polynesian Island Orchestra/John Peters: Musical Cruise--Hawaii to Hong Kong; Family SFLP-527)--one of the rarest exotica LPs (either version!); Dance of the Natives, Temple Bells, Typhoon, Polynesian Paradise, March Orientale, Saigon Sunset, Flowers on the Water, South Sea Lullaby, Hongkong Harbor, Teahouse Waltz, Holiday in Hawaii, Farewell to Hawaii
The Primitive Sounds of Tak Shindo: Mganga!; Edison International CL-5000; E-/V+ $90 -- African-themed exotica; rare Les Baxterish LP w/hall-of-fame "witch doctor" jacket, liners, & all-original music by Tak Shindo & Earle Hagen (who later wrote great exotica for "I Spy"); Mombasa Love Song, Safari to Kenya, Nyoba Festival, Slave Chains of Mtumwa, Bantu Spear Dance, Rains of Okavango, Huts of Kichwamba, Manga (Ritual), Mwanza Market Place, N'Ga--The Maiden, Watusi Drum Dance, Port of Trinkitat
Tak Shindo: Brass and Bamboo; Capitol ST-1345 (stereo); D1 press E+/N- S $35 (or E/E- S $20, specify) -- exotica; one of the great Tak Shindo LPs as well as one of only a handful of exotica LPs that can lay any claim to jazz (despite a lot of foolish notions to the contrary out there); in high demand & for good reason; w/Bud Shank, Shelly Manne..; gorgeous arrangements of tunes range from more swinging/jazzy/brassy (as Les Baxter's "Jungle Jazz" or the music from "I Spy") to full-on exotica in Tak Shindo's unique, Japanese-inspired style; Caravan, Poinciana, Flamingo, Bali Ha'i, Brass & Bamboo, The Song of Delilah, Skylark, No Place to Go, The Moon was Yellow..
Tak Shindo: Brass & Bamboo; Capitol T-1345 (mono); promo w/timing strip on back N-/N $25 (or 1st N-/N $25, specify) (or E/E+ $20, specify)
Tak Shindo: Accent on Bamboo; Capitol ST-1433; E+/E- S $30 -- exotica/jazz/pop; the slightly rarer follow-up to Brass & Bamboo offers a beautiful jacket & more original music & top sound (not to be missed!); Stumbling, Portrait in Blue, Festival in Swingtime, Kiss Me Again, I Gotta Have You, Cherokee..
Tak Shindo: Far East Goes Western; Mercury Perfect Presence Sound PPS-2031; gatefold 1st/deep groove N/N S $30 (or mono N-/E+ $15, specify) -- exotica/Western; one of the great Tak Shindo LPs and definitely a unique concept in exotica (exotic versions of U.S. Western standards--perfect for Japanese cowboys!); you'll hear samisen, koto, bamboo percussion, flute, and all your other favorite very-non-traditional C&W instruments!; superb stereo (or mono) in audiophile series--rec. on 35mm film!; fortunately enough top copies turn up that we can offer them steadily at a very low price; Jingle Jangle Jingle, Tumblin' Tumbleweeds, On the Trail, The Green Leaves of Summer (from "The Alamo"), Buttons and Bows, Deep in the Heart of Texas, Wagon Wheels, I'm Headin' for the Last Roundup, High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me), I'm an Old Cowhand (from "The Rio Grande"), San Antonio Rose
Mike Simpson: Jungle Odyssey; Evolution 2005; 1966; gatefold; cutout E/E+ S $75 -- exotica; one of the best and rarest one-offs (collectors should jump at) and truly unique in the exotica idiom; Chicago percussionist Mike Simpson (this is his best!) recorded it in South Africa (for RPM records), so it's jungle-themed but definitely exotica/fantasy rather than African; loads of great ping-pong percussion and sparing touches of guitar, vibes, strings, even organ, also African animal sounds (far beyond bird calls!); nice liners, photos, art; 14 delicious tracks that will have your stereo jumping: Elephant Drums (best cut!), Crocodile River, The Lion is a Pushy Cat, Impala Pirouette, Madame Hippo, Rhino's Tale, Warthog Hollow, Hyena Hippies, Buffalo Country, Monkey Puzzle, Wildebeest Trail, Giraffe's Gait, Leopard's Leap, "Z" for Zebra
Sondi Sodsai (Martin Denny production) .... Martin Denny subpage
Axel Stordahl: Jasmine & Jade; Dot DLP-3282; cutout E-/N $30 -- exotica; one of the great, rare (as things on quirky Dot usually are) "one-off" exotica LPs, it's dreamy, Baxter-esque, top percussion with strings by top arranger/composer (for Sinatra) married to June Hutton; Stordahl also did some incidental exotica on the Decca LP Magic Islands Revisited but this is his big contribution to the idiom; nice jacket art and liner notes add to its elan; gotta have it; Moonlight on the Ganges, Baubles Bangles & Beads, Moon of Manakoora, Japanese Sandman, Neiani, Caravan, Jasmine & Jade (covered by Gene Rains on Lotus Land), Bali Ha'i, On a Little Street in Singapore, Flamingo, Pagan Love Song, Lotus Land (another Gene Rains classic)
Yma Sumac: Voice of the Xtabay/Inca Taqui; Capitol W-684; black label [promo] E/E- $20 -- exotica/vocal/Peruvian; the longest-continuously-in-print record in history plus the followup: this 12" LP reissues in higher fidelity the classic first two 10" LPs by the exotica legend (even if you find both of the 10" LPs you may need this for better jacket, sound, or both); Voice of the Xtabay is conducted by Les Baxter, while Inca Taqui is directed by Moises Vivanco; top jacket, clean disc, but spots of noise which we suspect is the result of density (8 cuts per side than 6) rather than wear or pressing
Yma Sumac: Legend of the Sun Virgin; Capitol SM-299 (old reissue); yellow N/N shrink $30 -- immaculate!; terrific, noisefree sound
Yma Sumac: Fuego del Ande; Capitol ST-1169; N-/N S $40 (or E+/N S $35, specify) (or E/E S $25, specify) -- her last for the label is a great one, and rare; also particularly desirable as her only Capitol LP in stereo! (and even the '90s CD reissue is not in stereo thanks to a mistake--doh!); it's more Latin and uptempo than her earlier records, even including some Latin rock and Latin twist! (anticipating the later Miracles LP somewhat); Moises Vivanco and his Orchestra Tipica provide the backing "where the sun virgins meet the one-eyed cock": La Molina (The Mill Song), Flor de Canela (Cinnamon Flower), Gallito Caliente (The Hot Rooster), La Pampa y La Puna (The Plains and the Mountains), Dale que Dale (The Workers Song), Llora Corazon (Crying Heart), Huachina (Enchanted Lake), La Perla de Chira (The Pearl), Mi Palomita (My Pigeon), Virgenes del Sol (Virgins of the Sun), Gallito Ciego (One-Eyed Rooster), Clamor ("I Won't Forget You")
The Surfmen: Exotic Island; Alshire/Somerset SF-10500; E-/N- $20 -- exotica; far from being merely a gorgeous "jacket" or a surprisingly good budget label outing, this coveted wonder features many of the greatest names in jazz and pop (Alvino Rey, Emil Richards, Jack Costanzo, Paul Horn...); strangely enough, they were instructed to make this terrific, full-on Martin Denny spoof/tribute/knockoff, complete w/superior percussion and [often absurd] bird shrieks; there are two other such LPs with a few outtakes (some good, some orchestral) but this is the definitive set everyone needs; Quiet Village, Tahiti Sunrise, Bali Hai, Bamboo, Jungle Romance, Forbidden Island, Taboo, Moonlight in Paradise, Luau, Orchid Lagoon, Fire Goddess, Moon of Manakoora
The Surfmen: Colorful Romantic Hawaii; Alshire S-5266; 1972; N/N- shrink S $30 (reissues The Surfmen in Hawaii; Alshire/Somerset 17100) -- exotica/Hawaiian; essential for several awesome exotica cuts which are as from the famous Exotic Island session but unique to this album (yes! there's MORE!!!); and that means more great steel guitar and percussion from the likes of Emil Richards, Alvino Rey, Jack Costanzo, Paul Horn, and other California stalwarts; the remaining tracks are good Hawaiian and you're also getting top quality and far greater rarity with this set; Lovely Hula Hands, Beyond the Reef, Orchid Lagoon, Hano Hano, Mahala Pua, Aloha Oe, Bali Hai, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Jungle Romance, Moon of Manakoora, Polynesian Fever
The Surfmen [renamed South Sea Serenaders]: Tradewinds Romance from Hawaii to Tahiti [a.k.a. Exotic Island]; Alshire/Somerset SF-25100; N/V+ shrink S $15 -- exotica; The Surfmen had to change their name for the same reason the unrelated surf group The Surfmen became The Lively Ones--"The Surfmen" was taken!; although it shares the same jacket and number as their extremely rare but different third LP, this is in fact an early reissue of their best-known, classic, coveted wonder "Exotic Island"; features many great names (Alvino Rey, Emil Richards, Jack Costanzo, Paul Horn...) instructed to make this terrific, full-on Martin Denny spoof/tribute/knockoff, complete with superior percussion and [often absurd] bird shrieks; there are two other such LPs with a few outtakes (some good, some orchestral) but this is the definitive set everyone needs; Quiet Village, Tahiti Sunrise, Bali Hai, Bamboo, Jungle Romance, Forbidden Island, Taboo, Moonlight in Paradise, Luau, Orchid Lagoon, Fire Goddess, Moon of Manakoora
Don Tiare & his Orchestra Exotique: The Music of Les Baxter; Mercury SR-60845 1st/black/deep groove N-/N- S $40 (or 1st press E/E+ $30, specify) -- exotica; wow!!! swinging, vibes-led small combo treats 'em right (no strings!); variety of classic and rare Les Baxter tunes done in non-orchestral, high exotica style; beautiful jacket and great music, so get it and love it; Quiet Village, Bangkok Cockfight, Sampan Landing, Crickets of Karachi, Girl Behind the Bamboo Curtain, River of Dreams, Cockatoo, Sunrise at Kowloon, Jacaranda, Jungle Trail, Corazon, Quai Bir Hackeim
Don Tiare & his Orchestra Exotique: The Music of Les Baxter; Mercury MG-20845 (mono, not as shown) deep groove, promo E+/E $25 -- exotica; wow!!! swinging, vibes-led small combo treats 'em right (no strings!); variety of classic and rare Les Baxter tunes done in non-orchestral, high exotica style; beautiful jacket and great music, so get it and love it; Quiet Village, Bangkok Cockfight, Sampan Landing, Crickets of Karachi, Girl Behind the Bamboo Curtain, River of Dreams, Cockatoo, Sunrise at Kowloon, Jacaranda, Jungle Trail, Corazon, Quai Bir Hackeim
Tran Quang Hai & Hoang Mong Thuy: Music of Vietnam; Lyrichord LLST-7337; with booklet N/N- S $75 (or no booklet N/E+ S 50, specify) -- Vietnamese/bamboo mouth harp; imported from an Albatros (Italy) recording, it's far and away the greatest recording featuring the bamboo mouth harp (always far out, but extremely intense and STRANGE here, and on several tracks); also amazing percussion and other go-to sample-worthy (we made a ringtone out it!) instrumental cuts, and this is all such an understatement it's not even funny; we've priced it cheap for what it is and someday will be: LEGENDARY
Don Tracy: A Night with the Voodoo Family; Columbia/EMI Studio 2 106; 1965; N-/N S $50 (or 1966 Canadian Capitol STAW-15004 press E+/E S $40, specify) -- exotica with intense Afro-Cuban drums, and how; one of the very best things on the cheesy UK label (via Canada here), rare import for the US (and extremely worthwhile if you're into exotica or drums); awesome sound!; A Night with a Voodoo Family, Dry Bones, One for the Pot, Tom Hark, Ritual Choir Dance, Dantes Inferno, Jungle Flute (hot update of the wildest exotica by Cugat!!!), Wedding of the Painted Warrior, Canoe Song, Cannibals Carnival, La Bamba
Elisabeth Waldo: Realm of the Inca; GNP Crescendo GNPS-603; sealed S $35 (or N/N [shrink] S $30, specify) (or mono GNP-603, light-blue label, E-/E $20, specify) -- exotica; "an original suite for orchestra and voices--featuring authentic pre-Columbian instruments!" (including human bone); one of a rare, classic pair by the great Waldo, quite obviously classically trained and accomplished but very Californian and devoted to ancient instruments, moods, and styles; there is a LOT going on throughout her works (whistling, chorus, water sounds, percussion, etc.); gorgeous jacket and first-rate liners; Land of the Sun Kings, Song of the Chasqui, Incan Festival Dance, on the High Plateau, Making Chicha, Balsa Boat, Swinging the Quipu, Saycusca!, Dance of the Nustas, Entrance of Pizzaro
Elisabeth Waldo: Viva California; Peer Southern Organization PSO-002; 1969; deluxe gatefold with illustrated inner leaves; sealed S $80 (or N-/N S $75, specify) -- exotica; dedicated to California's bicentennial, this last and by far rarest of four terrific LPs (Waldo is perhaps the more classically skilled than anyone in exotica short of Lecuona and Mozart) is "an early California pastorella for orchestra and chorus performed by Elisabeth Waldo Folklorico Orchestra and the St. Charles Choir"; similar in theme to Les Baxter's Sacred Idol and Dom Frontiere's Pagan Festival--An Exotic Love Ritual for Orchestra; unique and terrific, a must-have for Waldo and exotica collectors, not to mention California fans; art by Ted de Grazia; The Bay of a Thousand Smokes, A "Chumash" Wolf Chase, Song for Gathering Acorns, The Rose & the Robe, The De Anza March, Dance of the Vaqueros, Alessandro's Lament, The Ballad of Lola Montez, Alabado, Fandango Californiano #2
Marty Wilson: Jun'gala; Warner Bros. WS-1326; 1959; E-/E- S $20 -- Afro-Cuban/big-band exotica; unique, high-impact, and readily underscores the fact that exotica IS Latin!!!; terrific jacket photo looks twenty years ahead of its time; same first-rate WB production and sound as others on the label at the time; the original tunes are by Billy Byers; Manteca, Babalu, Yumba Maruma (Afro), Jungle Fantasy, Taboo, Passion, Misty Poo (Suite), Les Champs de Cuba (Suite), Harlem Nocturne, Enlloro
Stanley Wilson: Pagan Love; Capitol T-1552; 1st press E+/N $30 -- exotica; obscure CA ST LP for "mondo" film "The Mating Urge" picked up and issued for a national market with changed artwork/sequence and minus the non-essential title cut; one of the top, rare one-offs, with all the works: great music (including ethereal abstract female vocals and powerful drums--Wilson also did the great "Music from M Squad" LP), liner notes, hall-of-fame liner art (great sketches!), jacket (nude in green forest); we can't recommend this enough to the exotic collector, absolutely essential and fun!; The Proposal, The Sing-Sing, Music for a Bath, The South Seas Can-Can, Zulu Love Magic, Abduction of the Bride, Kandy Wedding, Pinchak Knife Fight, Ritual of the Fertility Tree, Grass Skirt Proposal, Turkana Love Dance
The Yokohama Knights: Yokohama Knights; GRT/Eye GRT-10002; cutout N/N shrink S $20 -- exotica/mod, some bossa, with highly unusual and perhaps sample-worthy female voiceover (spoken in Japanese and English), anticipating Pizzicato Five by decades!; a nice bit of swinging mod-exotica fluff in top sound, essential, and really unlike any other record released in the US; attractive jacket photo from the same photo session as that used on a George Cates LP; A Man & a Woman, Hawaii Five-O/Greensleeves, Where's the Playground Susie, Those Were the Days, Goodbye (Beatles), Happy Heart, Scarboro Fair, The Boxer, Try a Little Tenderness, Yokohama Flower Girl (an original)
The Yum Yum Kids & the MGM Territorial Orchestra: Down in Jungle Town; MGM SE-4405; N-/N shrink S $25 -- kids/exotica; rare, unique, cute record of kids singing on an exotica theme; Hooray for Capt. Spaulding, I Went to the Animal Fair, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Song of the Nairobi Trio (lyricized!), Down in Jungle Town, Napoleon Sailed the Ocean Blue, Tiger Rag, Aba Daba Honeymoon, How to Tell the Wild Animals, Under the Bamboo Tree, Abdul the Bulbul Ameer, Civilization
The Yum Yum Kids & the MGM Territorial Orchestra: Down in Jungle Town; MGM E-4405; cutout N/N $20 -- kids/exotica; rare, unique, cute record of kids singing on an exotica theme; Hooray for Capt. Spaulding, I Went to the Animal Fair, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Song of the Nairobi Trio (lyricized!), Down in Jungle Town, Napoleon Sailed the Ocean Blue, Tiger Rag, Aba Daba Honeymoon, How to Tell the Wild Animals, Under the Bamboo Tree, Abdul the Bulbul Ameer, Civilization
Various: Hi-Fi in an Oriental Garden; ABCS-224; 1958; deep groove E+/N- $20 -- Japan/China/Korea/Thailand/Phillipines; classic set (first definitive SE-Asian LP, no doubt), starring Cely Carrillo, Stephen C. Cheng, Sirat, Noni Espina, Christina Cha; 19 tracks!: Pearls on Mindanao, Sweetheart Leron, Sweetheart Hung-Tsai, Flower Drum Song, My Spear, White Lotus, Nil-Il-Ri-A, Chon-Ahn Sam-Guri, A-Ri-Rang, Outgoing Ship, Cherry Blossom, China Night, Moon Over the Ruined Castle, Children's Song, Lullaby, Spear & Shield, Little Hut, Song of the Taing-Chiang Fisherman, Autumn Sorrow, Wagon Driver's Song, Cantonese Lullaby, Ililang
Various: Thailand--Lao Music of the Northeast; Lyrichord LLST-7357; 1973-4 (rec.) E+/N S $30 -- Thai/bamboo mouth harp/jaw harp; fantastic instruments making far-out sounds, most notably the hun (or hoon), a bamboo mouth harp on a killer track with several other great cuts in the same vein (mouth organ, xylophone, etc.); this is a great one!
Various: Zenith Presents the Best of the New Exotic Sounds; Capitol SL-6567; 1968; E/V+ S $30 -- exotica; "50th anniversary limited edition"; very rare compilation otherwise titled Return to Paradise on the Capitol Special Markets label (as issued without Zenith, in other words); good set from the Capitol stable, ranging from the obvious to nice surprises from artists not usually associated with the exotic idiom; Les Baxter: Quiet Village, George Shearing: Lotus Land, Bob Bain: Miserlou, Les Baxter: Cairo Bazaar, Ron Goodwin: Return to Paradise, Les Baxter: Taboo, Tak Shindo: The Song of Delilah, Nelson Riddle: Bali Hai, Alvino Rey: Hawaiian Wedding Song, Les Baxter Jungalero, Norrie Paramour: Cherry Blossums, Nelson Riddle: Caravan
Various: The New Exotic Sounds; Capitol Creative Products SL-6636; 1968; E+/N S $60 -- exotica; "Collector's Album -- Limited Edition"; very rare compilation otherwise titled Return to Paradise on the Capitol Special Markets label (or as made for Zenith); good set from the Capitol stable, ranging from the obvious to nice surprises from artists not usually associated with the exotic idiom; Les Baxter: Quiet Village, George Shearing: Lotus Land, Bob Bain: Miserlou, Les Baxter: Cairo Bazaar, Ron Goodwin: Return to Paradise, Les Baxter: Taboo, Tak Shindo: The Song of Delilah, Nelson Riddle: Bali Hai, Alvino Rey: Hawaiian Wedding Song, Les Baxter Jungalero, Norrie Paramour: Cherry Blossums, Nelson Riddle: Caravan
Note: Further exotica 45s are listed under subpages, particularly those for major artists (Baxter, Denny, etc.). See those pages for further 45s and EPs.
Preston Epps ... beatnik & bongo (under rock-pop)
The Kingpins: Ungaua Parts 1 & 2; United Artists UA-111-X; 1958; E $30 -- exotic rock; marks but plays fine, original UA sleeve; musically fairly typical of the time but catchy; the callout "Un-ga-wa!" makes it a standout track, a classic of exotic rock
Ella Mae Morse: An Occasional Man/Birmingham; Capitol F-3210; N $20 -- exotic pop vocal; w/Billy May; both songs from film "The Girl Rush"; listed here instead of w/pop 45s bc "An Occasional Man" has become an exotica standard; one of her very best singles!
Patience & Prudence: Very Nice is Bali Bali/You Tattletale; Liberty 738; V+ $15 -- the story of the singing sisters who walked away from a thriving show-business career is exotic enough, but this is the one track (Indonesian-esque) that gets them notice here; think of it as an American answer to Sondi Sodsai
Lalo Schifrin: Rhino Romp/Theme from "Rhino!"; MGM K-13251; 1964; yellow-label promo V+ $250 -- exotic rock/African/percussion; extremely rare, from legendary 1963 ST session (similar to Hatari) that went unreleased until a 5-CD box set (also expensive and hard to get), and even that does not include the A-side available only here (it never went beyond the promo); yes: it has marker, light wear, and light noise, but before you assume it's high-priced, be aware that we passed up an offer of $1,000 for it a couple of years ago
Carl Stevens: Baby Elephant Walk/The Call of the Jungle; Mercury 71996; 1965; white-label promo V+ $15 -- African/exotica/mod twist; rare single from the great African Sounds LP--both sides great!; wear but plays great and makes a fine addition to or sampler for the LP
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